Bible Verses about Surrender-Living Without Fear

Surprisingly, while researching Bible verses about surrender, I found the word “surrender(s)” only occurs 18 times in the entire NIV Bible, and none in the KJV! We only find one verse in the New Testament -when Pilate surrenders Jesus to be crucified. I know there is a Biblical concept of surrendering our lives to Jesus. But where is it in the Bible?

Bible verses about surrender- 2 white flags flying against watercolor blue/orange gradient background. One flag has "surrender" painted on it

 The topic of “surrender” recently showed up everywhere- in my social feeds, TV shows, songs on the radio, the books I was reading, etc. When God gets my attention, I listen. I knew this wasn’t a coincidence.

I had recently decided I need to live each day as it comes. After all, as Jesus said, “Each day has enough trouble of its own.” (Matthew 6:34.)

I was causing myself all kinds of anxiety with issues, events, and uncertainties that would not be solved immediately. So, each day, I would verbally commit my day to Him, trusting His timing and wisdom with the following days to come- one at a time.

Every time my mind wandered to the unknown, I would reroute my thought back to Jesus’ words.

That’s when all the “surrender” messages began. It appears I need this lesson. How about you?

What Does It Mean to Surrender to God? 

The Old Testament “surrender” was a term used in battles. One side ceases to fight and submits to their enemies’ authority.

It is “giving in” and yielding to another. They are waving a white flag; admitting defeat and showing their desire to stop fighting.

Surrendering to God is choosing to stop fighting the battle between our self-centered, sinful nature and choose the will of God and His plans for us.

When we first make the decision to surrender to Him, we immediately win the battle! He doesn’t take us prisoner, but sets us free!

Surrendering our lives to Him brings the gift of salvation and eternal life.

The apostle Paul speaks of another benefit of surrendering to God. He uses the contrast of the temporary “high” found in drunkenness with the lasting joy of the Holy Spirit.

“Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit.” Ephesians 5:18.

What a contrast- our old “drunken” way of life with its selfish desires vs a life in Christ- more genuine joy than we can imagine.

The joy of the Lord comes from knowing who God is, living with Christ, and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. Each brings joy as they work in our lives.

No battle on this earth can shake them off their mighty foundation!

This surrender isn’t a one and done, however. It is a daily surrender as we give Him more of our lives.

In turn, we know Him better and can produce the fruit of the Holy Spirit to reflect His character to others.

Surrender Bible Verses

Surrendering to God requires absolute faith and trust in the hard times and in the good. We can use the word of God to understand the deeper meaning of what surrendering to God looks like in our personal lives.

Isaiah 55:9

“As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.”

Surrender includes acknowledging His sovereignty over every aspect of our lives. He made us in His image; we can connect with His thoughts, but not completely understand.

Look how far apart He says we are in understanding- the distance from where you are right now to heaven! Even so, He is available to us whenever we seek Him.

Proverbs 3:5-6

“Trust in the Lord with all thine heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him and he shall direct they paths.” KJV.

Wisdom and a promise are all wrapped up in this verse. God knows what is best and is the perfect judge of what we need. Fully trust Him, even when His plans don’t match yours.

1 Peter 5:10

“And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will restore you and make you strong, firm, and steadfast.”

Peter assures us there is a wider perspective to the trials of this life. A surrendered life is one of restoration and strength.

Matthew 6:33

“But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.”

Turn to God first whenever you need help, and all your worries can fall away. Replace worry with a heart filled with what He desires and use His character traits as a model for your life.

Give Jesus Christ first place in all areas of your life and gain the treasure of His rest, provision, and fellowship.

James 4:7-8

“Submit yourselves, then, to God…Come near to God and He will come near to you.”

James begins this chapter by discussing all the reasons we experience conflicts in life. His solutions are to practice humility and get right with God- submit to Him, your faithful and ruling King.

God invites us to surrender and come near to Him. As we do, He promises to draw near to us. We draw near through praise, worship, prayer, and spending time with Him.

He truly wants a close relationship and communion with us.

Matthew 16:24

“If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.”

This was Jesus’ expectation for His followers. They would deny themselves, surrendering to Him.

We must make a genuine commitment and let go of earthly expectations. The rewards of doing so begin immediately and are eternal.

John 15:1

“I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away, and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear much fruit. NKJV.

Jesus teaches about faithful Christian living in this chapter. Surrendering to the necessary act of pruning is done to strengthen our character and faith.

Romans 12:1-2

“I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God- which  is your spiritual worship. Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.”

God wants us to offer ourselves as living sacrifices– to daily lay aside our own desires to follow Him. We put all our energy and resources towards what He wants us to do and trust Him to guide us. 

We become “doers of the word” (James 1:22) instead of merely listeners.

Philippians 4:6-7

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard our heart and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

Paul encourages us to turn all our worries into prayers and submit them to Him. The result is God’s amazing peace, knowing you have let God take control.

Galatians 2:20

“I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.”

When we surrender our entire life to Jesus, we swap our old self and become one with Christ. He gave up His life for us; we surrender ours to Him.

There is no greater human fulfillment than a life surrendered to pleasing God.

brunette woman in brown patterned top with arms raised to cloudy sky
Pin me for later!

Signs of a Surrendered Life

King David wrote Psalm 51 after he committed adultery with Bathsheba. It is a prayer of sincere repentance and expresses a life surrendered to God, which lead to spiritual renewal.

“You do not delight in sacrifice, or I would bring it; you do not take pleasure in burnt offerings. The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.” vv16-17.

We can’t please God with our actions unless our heart is in the right place. A contrite heart and a broken spirit remove the idea of self-importance.

The Holy Spirit transforms our hearts. Here are just a few examples that characterize a surrendered life:

●A love for Jesus that comes before all others,

●An increasing awareness of our sin and spiritual need,

●Humility, concern for others over self,

●Allows God to work through them- a “living sacrifice,”

●Compassionate and forgiving spirit,

●Feels they can do all things with God’s strength,

●Their words and thoughts are fully surrendered and pleasing to God, and

●Disciplined in getting to know God better by studying His Word.

Which of these come easily to you? What do you need to work on? Remember- this is a process!

Examples of Surrendering to God in the Bible 

Abraham, “the father of our faith”, is an example of fully surrendering to God. He, in faith, took his only and promised son Isaac to the land of Moriah (a 50 mile journey!) to obey the Lord.

He was sure that either God would provide the burnt offering sacrifice, or He would resurrect his son. God did not want a human sacrifice, but for Abraham to give up Isaac in his heart.

Abraham’s obedience showed his complete trust in God, even in this difficult circumstance.

Noah was the only man left in the entire world who loved and obeyed God. Surrounded by violent evildoers, Noah surrendered to God’s plan to build an ark far away from a body of water.

It took years for the ark to be built, but Noah did not stress about the details. He concentrated on what God told him to do.

He shows his faith and surrender to God’s will by simply obeying. Never questioning or complaining, “Noah did everything just as God commanded him.” (Genesis 6:22, 7:5)

Jesus emphasizes the importance of obedience in the surrendered life:

“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.” Matthew 7:21.

The disciples gave up everything to follow Jesus- time away from family, left jobs and homes. Did they completely understand Jesus’ mission? No.

But they believed He was the Messiah and surrendered all- even their lives- for Him.

Total Surrender to God

Jesus’ entire life was one of total surrender to His heavenly Father. He agrees to leave His throne in Heaven, taking the form of a servant, and carries out the plan to save us.

He gives us a blueprint of surrender when He introduces the Lord’s prayer:

We are to pray, “Your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” Matthew 6:10.

How many times have we prayed those words mindlessly? When we pray these words, we agree with His sovereign plan for us.

Jesus struggled with surrender in the Garden of Gethsemane. He knew His mission yet was in agony, struggling fiercely with surrendering His will.

He prays to the Father:

“Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will.” Matthew 26:39 New King James Version.

In our hardest moments, what a beautiful but simple prayer of surrender this can be.

Living a Surrendered Life

A life of surrender begins when we first trust Jesus as our Lord and Savior. We are reborn into a  whole new life. But it doesn’t stop there.

Complete surrender is an ongoing decision to let Him rule our life- obeying His will, putting our own will aside. It can be a battle, and as Jesus showed us, difficult at times.

But it is all for good. When we surrender everything to Him, He can equip us to do all He has planned. 

He guides us down the right path, bringing peace, knowing we are exactly where we need to be. He gives us the sweet gift of “the full assurance of faith” (Hebrews 10:22) that grows and grows over time.

Complete trust brings rest, contentment, and blessings into all aspects of our lives.

When we let go of our own understanding, we can rest in His wisdom and direction.

Surrendering to God is also letting Him have our doubts, fears, and worries. He doesn’t want us to go through one day without His comfort and love.

Don’t wait until you’re exhausted from fighting, hanging on by your fingernails. Surrender is freedom! He wants to lift you up in His everlasting arms and hold you close.

He created you and has been faithful to you all your life. Will you lay your life down and begin the journey of daily surrender? You will be blessed beyond measure!



All Scripture is taken from the NIV unless specified otherwise.

Would you like to go deeper into this topic? Download and print these reflections directly by clicking on the image below:

Bible Verses about Surrender- mock up of reflections questions with green leaves banner at top

Photo Credit: Canva

2 thoughts on “Bible Verses about Surrender-Living Without Fear”

  1. Surrender…..I have always found such a hard word to understand and put into practise. Having thought I’d surrendered so many things over the years, they would always reappear and I would start again.What is true surrender? I am still working on that with God and pray one day for that full surrender will be attainable only with God’s help. Thank you for your message, AnneMarie.

    1. Thanks for the thoughtful comment, Lynn. It is hard, and a lifelong process. I’ve been known to snatch back things I’ve laid at His feet 🙂
      God bless you on your journey and thanks so much for reading!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Scroll to Top