I have wanted to interview different people for this blog. And sure enough, I was having a great conversation with two good friends about family and kiddo issues and the topic of surrender came up.

My life long best friend and his wife, Mellisa are who God led me to interview first.

Matt and Mellissa are a dynamic couple who love God and are fully devoted to walking deeply in the four streams.

During one of our conversations several weeks ago, Melissa made the comment, “that she surrendered to God.”

Her comment for some reason struck me and I sensed God telling me to interview her around the topic of surrender. I simply wanted to hear her heart around the topic and to share her responses with you. Because I knew they would be full of introspection and full of life giving Biblical wisdom for all us to learn from.

So, surrender, it’s a topic I’m certain most Christians think about and quite frankly struggle with. I know I do.

As I was traveling the state of Nebraska a few weeks ago, I stopped on this beautiful country road and began to pray and ask God for some simple questions I thought you might like answered around the topic of surrendering your life and will to God.

Below are my questions and Mellisa’s answers. I hope they strengthen your heart in Christ, I know they did mine!

Thanks Melissa!


1. How would you define surrendering to God?

Great song: I surrender all!!!!

Surrender to God is a lifelong DAILY discipline of following Jesus. We have no ability to do this apart from Christ. I would define surrendering to God as my willingness to ask God what has my heart, agree with Him when the ruling idol needs to go, being willing to hand the ruling idol over to God, and asking God to take His rightful place on the throne of my heart.

2. What circumstances caused you to realize God wanted you to fully surrender to Him?

I believe surrender is a continual process. And I don’t believe I am fully surrendered to God, but I do desire to surrender to Him whatever He reveals to me. But there have been times in my life when I have prayed Psalm 139:23-24- Search me, oh God, and know my heart; try me, and know my anxieties; and see if there is any wicked way in me and lead me in the way everlasting.

This posture of submission, and inquiry of the Lord about what has my heart has often revealed the truth about what rules my heart/life- the ruling idols!

The heart as defined by Paul David Tripp- is the casual core of your personhood. The seat of your thoughts, emotions, desires and motivations. The worship center of your self. It’s the reason I do what I do and say what I say. I live out of my heart.

What I put on the throne of my heart will direct my life. That is why God talks so much about our hearts and how He desires for us to worship no other gods before Him.

Back to the question- what circumstances caused me to realize God wants me to fully surrender to Him- most of the time, this happens when I am in some sort of crisis- family, fear, friendship, health or all of the above! During these times, it becomes all to clear what is sitting on the throne of my heart. I have recently gone through a season of major difficulty and without even realizing it, I had built up this wall of self-protection consisting of my home, my friends, my ministry, my purpose… did you see all of the my…? This is a good indicator of not submitting to God. God was asking me if I love these things more than Him, of course, I said no! But the truth is, I was not willing to give them over to him; this is a very clear indicator of idols ruling the heart. None of these are bad, in and of themselves, but I was using these amazing things to protect myself from the pain I was facing in my personal life, and I was wanting these things to protect me instead of relying on the Almighty as my Protector. One day I did the unthinkable, I told God he could have them all, and I did so with big, ugly tears rolling down my face. Sometimes, God just wants to know if the heart is willing, and other times He instructs us to move on to another place and leave everything behind. This time, that is exactly what God had planned for me!

3. Before you fully surrendered to God, what did your walk with God look like?

I was following God, but I was busy making sure all of my little idols had room in my life, and most of the time, I gave these little idols my first fruits of time.

4. After you surrendered, how has your walk with God changed?

I don’t think I am fully surrendered, but I am desiring to surrender all. I can only surrender what I see. That is why i have to ask God to reveal the things stealing my devotion.

My walk with God has been very sweet, and He has held me when I have been very sad about leaving so much of what I love behind.

There is a sense of vulnerability that comes with surrendering to God. I have a background of abandonment and it has shaped so much of how I perceive life. I have feared further abandonment, and I have let fear rule my life and cloud my trust in God. There is this innate sense that if I am in control then I won’t be hurt! That is a lie, but I daily have to tell myself that God is for me; He goes before me; and He is with me. He is worthy of my trust because he is trustworthy based not on what I think, but on what He has done in the past. His character is proven time and time again in the Bible and I have seen his faithfulness in my life too. I use Scripture memory to remind me of the truth, so I am able to combat the lies of the enemy.

Sooo with vulnerability comes the sweetness of dependance on God. This is something that is so counter intuitive! Dependence and surrender are words not often found in our vocabulary, even as followers of Jesus. These words sounds so weak, insufficient and less-than! We prefer words like- victory and concur! but the truth is, we will not have victory and concur apart from dependance and surrender to Christ! Most of us, including me, want the victory without the surrender because that is about us being worthy in some way.

5. Do you believe God blesses a life fully surrendered to Him? In what ways?

Yes, God does bless a life fully (I struggle to feel like I am fully surrendered) 🙂 surrendered to Him. Romans 15:13 is a verse I have written on my heart to remind me of the truth of what God has for me when I surrender/trust Him- May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace, as you trust in him, so you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

In this verse, we see God filling us with joy, peace, and hope when we trust/surrender to Him. He doesn’t promise blessings like health and wealth! These are fleeting, BUT joy, peace and hope can be abundant in our life even when our health and wealth are in short supply!

6. If someone is struggling fully surrendering to God, what words of encouragement do you have for them?

I would tell them they are not alone, I have struggled to surrender too. God loves us as we are, but loves us too much to leave us there. He offers us a way to live in a closer union with Him, and this includes surrendering all we have for all of what He wants to give us. I would ask them if they are willing to surrender to God, if they are willing God is able! This includes anything they see sitting on the throne of their heart- self-love, self-protection, self-idolatry, loving money, loving things, loving people, loving fame, loving fortune, loving drugs, loving sex, loving alcohol, loving … Anything we love more than God is an idol and God is not pleased when we love anything more than HIM.

I would encourage them to spend time daily asking God to search their heart and to reveal anything that is in the way of their devotion/ dependence on Him. When God reveals it to you hand it over to him, ask a trusted friend to pray for you and keep you accountable to handing it to God. Then do so everyday until it no longer sits on the throne of your heart. Be careful!!! This is not a one and done deal!! This is an everyday, must do!

Some may wonder how to know what to surrender to God, here are a few questions to ask yourself? It’s possible you are creating a list of idols. 🙂 I also recommend asking a trusted friend if they see anything in your life that has consumed your devotion. And ask God to reveal to you anything needing to go.


What do I think about most of the time?

What/who do I wish would be different?

Who do I call first when things go wrong?

What do I turn to when things are difficult, good? When I am bored I???

What/Who do I complain about most?

What keeps me up at night?

7. The Bible says to guard your heart, for it’s the wellspring of life. How do you allow God to strengthen your heart in Christ?

Yes, we need to guard our hearts (see my explanation of heart in the second question). I believe it is through dependance of God that I am strengthened in Christ. This is my only source of power against this world and without it I am doomed!

8. What spiritual disciplines do you practice daily?

I daily spend time with God in prayer, read Scripture, memorize Scripture and talk to others about what God is doing in my life

9. What are you hoping for today?

I am hoping to share God with the new people God has put in my life. We have recently moved and I am praying for opportunities to share the Gospel with others. It’s too good to not share!!!

I am also hoping for God to restore some broken relationships in my family.

10. Is there anything else you’d like to say about deepening your walk with God and strengthening your heart as a believer?

I look at surrender to God, and faith in God like the ocean!

There are times in life when you go to the beach and you look out at the ocean, but you don’t venture in. There are other days when you get your toes wet; there are days when you are ankle deep, then knee deep, then shoulder deep; and then there are days you are swimming and you can’t touch the ground. The truth is, there is even deeper oceans you can swim in, but you haven’t experienced it yet! The same is true with surrender and faith. You don’t know what it is like until you are out there over your head in the ocean of God’s faithfulness! There is still deeper faith and dependence, but you don’t know it until you swim in it! SO KEEP SWIMMING IN THE FAITHFULNESS AND GOODNESS OF GOD! He will keep you afloat in Christ. 🙂

Thanks again Mellisa for sharing her thoughts about surrendering to God! Love you both and your witness to a life well lived trusting and surrendering your life and will to God!