The concept of surrender to God is not often spoken of in churches or discipleship meetings, but I consider it to be of extreme importance to the life and spiritual growth of every Christian. Songs like ‘I surrender all’ have often irritated me, because what does it mean to surrender absolutely everything that we are into the hands of God – and how do we do so in a real, deliberate, holding-nothing-back way? It seems to me that simply repeating that one short sentence is not what it means to surrender ourselves to God. And if we could come to a place of authentic surrender of ourselves to God, what a difference that would make to our lives, our mindsets, our friendships, our decisions, our everyday activities.
This project, The Art Of Surrender (TAOS), leads us to prayerfully ponder this idea of surrender – to consider the cost, and the commitment, and the potential impact – and to practice it. Each chapter leads us to think about surrendering to God a different area of our lives, and each chapter ends in a prayer. These prayers could be seen as a challenge: having considered the impact and counted the cost, do we dare to pray a prayer of surrender to God; do we really choose to give over to Him that part of our lives?
The layout of this project uses a metaphor of the human body – each section is connected to a body part. This may sound strange – and some chapters could arguably be attributed to more than one body part – but I have found this image helpful, and I pray that you might benefit from it too.
How to use this book
The Art of Surrender is not a story, by which each chapter follows on directly from the last, but an exercise, a meditation, a way of life. I encourage you, do not read two chapters in one sitting without praying for a while in between. Do not simply read one chapter after another, like any other book. This is not a book to be simply read and absorbed, but to be lived, practiced, reflected upon. Do reflect. Pray. Think. Surrender.
There are fifty chapters – some longer than others – so if it would be useful to you this way, feel free to read a chapter each week and spend time during the week pondering what you have read and putting it into practice, surrendering to God. This way it should last a year (with a week off for Christmas and Easter to reflect upon other relevant and important things!). Or read a chapter a day, if you have time – and allow God to speak to you throughout each day as you reflect upon what you have read and understood. Or pick it up and put it down when you feel like it, or have the time, or feel led. Use it in a way that suits you, and may God bless you abundantly in your journey with Him.
As well as being available from this website, TAOS has been going out a chapter a week by email since January 2017. If you would like to sign up to this weekly email (starting somewhere in the middle doesn’t matter!), or if you would like to receive full sections as they are completed, then please do let me know. I don’t know if it will ever be published – though I’m encouraged that my wonderful Grandma thinks it should! – but I do hope that it will be helpful to people by whatever means.
Feel free to email me with any comments, corrections, suggestions, etc.
- Chapter 1 – Surrender to God the way you see yourself
- Chapter 2 – Surrender to God the way you see other people
- Chapter 3 – Surrender to God the way you see your situations
- Chapter 4 – Surrender to God the way you see the Bible
- Chapter 5 – Surrender to God your focus
- Chapter 6 – Surrender to God your Light
- Chapter 7 – Surrender to God your Visions and Revelations
- Chapter 8 – Surrender to God the way you listen to Him
- Chapter 9 – Surrender to God the way you hear Him
- Chapter 10 – Surrender to God your obedience to Him
- Chapter 11 – Surrender to God what ‘goes in’
- Chapter 12 – Surrender to God the way you listen to people
- Chapter 13 – Surrender to God your discernment
- Chapter 14 – Surrender to God the way you test situations
- Chapter 15 – Surrender to God the way you follow His guidance
- Chapter 16 – Surrender to God your daily bread; what you consume
- Chapter 17 – Surrender to God your role as His mouthpiece
- Chapter 18 – Surrender to God the way you speak the Gospel
- Chapter 19 – Surrender to God your choice of truth instead of deception
- Chapter 20 – Surrender to God your ways of talking to Him
- Chapter 21 – Surrender to God your vocal purity
- Chapter 22 – Surrender to God your curious taste buds
- Chapter 25 – Surrender to God your endurance
- Chapter 26 – Surrender to God your practice of forgiveness
- Chapter 27 – Surrender to God the burdens of other people
- Chapter 28 – Surrender to God your ‘prayer life’
- Chapter 29 – Surrender to God your intercession
- Chapter 30 – Surrender to God your worship and praise
- Chapter 31 – Surrender to God your Foundation
- Chapter 32 – Surrender to God your Paths: Walk in His Presence
- Chapter 33 – Surrender to God your Prayer and Obedience
- Chapter 34 – Surrender to God your Service of Others
- Chapter 35 – Surrender to God the way you Serve God
- Chapter 36 – Surrender to God your Possessions
- Chapter 37 – Surrender to God your Hobbies
- Chapter 38 – Surrender to God your Talents
- Chapter 39 – Surrender to God your Workplace
- Chapter 40 – Surrender to God your Responsibilities
- Chapter 41 – Surrender to God your ability to Receive from Others
- Chapter 42 – Surrender to God your Time
- Chapter 43 – Surrender to God your Sin
- Chapter 44 – Surrender to God your Purpose
- Chapter 45 – Surrender to God your Ideas and Plans
- Chapter 46 – Surrender to God your Worries, Hopes, Fears and Dreams
- Chapter 47 – Surrender to God your Deepest Desires
- Chapter 48 – Surrender to God your Pain
- Chapter 49 – Surrender to God your Relationships
- Chapter 50 – Surrender to God your Whole Being