If we believe that faith is a gift from God, it follows that for this gift to become ours, we must willingly receive it. To receive faith in God, we must surrender all faith in our own power to bring about change. “His power is made perfect in our weakness”
2 Corinthians 12:9.
God is able to use us only insofar as we are willing to be chiseled for His purposes – that is, only insofar as we surrender ourselves in order to serve His needs.
What is true surrender?
A person may yield to a stronger person. We may yield to God because He is Almighty, or because we fear His judgement. None of this is full surrender. Only if we experience that God is good – is it possible to yield our whole heart, soul, and being to Him willingly and unconditionally, and out of love.
The first step we must take is to ask God to enter our hearts. He waits for us to open our lives to Him of our own accord. “Behold! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me.” Revelation 3:20. He waits for our readiness. God does not force His will on anyone. So, we are confronted by a monumentous question: are we willing to surrender ourselves to God voluntarily – to open the windows of our hearts so that His goodness can enter and fill our lives?
To be sure, the struggles we have concerned ourselves with make it clear that such surrender is never easy but takes place against a backdrop of powerful forces. Jesus Himself had to fight hard to surrender His will to the Father’s that He sweated drops of blood. Evil surrounded Him on all sides, yet He remained faithful: His attitude was “not My will, but Thy will.” This should be our attitude too.
Often the most difficult situations will arise in life without our understanding why. It is the same in the struggle against sinful thoughts. Just when we are sure the battle is over this or that obstacle has been won, we may be newly attacked. Even then, the answer lies in full surrender to Jesus.