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What Does It Mean to Surrender to the Spirit?

May 30, 2023

What Does It Mean to Surrender to the Spirit?

What Does It Mean to Surrender to the Spirit?

By Brooke Holt

“For these people are not drunk, as you suppose, since it is only the third hour of the day. But this is what was uttered through the prophet Joel: ‘And in the last days it shall be, God declares; that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh, and your sons and your daughters shall prophecy, and your young men shall dream dreams; even on my male and female servants in those days I will pour out my Spirit, and they shall prophesy.” Acts 2:15-18

The Holy Spirit can make people uncomfortable. Why? He does not comply with our desires, timing, and expectations. He is powerful and sometimes overwhelming. We simply have no formula for how he will work in a life or a circumstance. For one person it may be gentle nudges to do or to not do something. For others, the Holy Spirit leads one to rest in his presence, to see visions, to prophecy, or to pray for the healing of God’s people.

No better depiction of the unexplainable and uncontrollable nature of the Holy Spirit exists than the day of Pentecost. As the Holy Spirit descended upon the disciples, a strong rushing wind and tongues of fire accompanied his presence. And his presence manifested both physically around the people and spiritually within the people. They began to declare the mighty works of Jesus in languages they did not know or understand. What a miracle of the Lord!

In his great Pentecost sermon, Peter addresses those unsure of the Spirit’s work among them. Peter declares that the disciples are not drunk; it is far too early for that! Rather, they are experiencing the fulfillment of God’s promise to the nation of Israel found in Joel 2:28-29. Just as God foretold, the Spirit was poured out on all people – sons and daughters, young and old, male and female. Throughout the Old Testament, the Spirit was given to certain people for certain purposes and times (examples include Joseph, Moses, Samson, Bezalel, David, the prophets, and judges). With the expansion of the kingdom of God through Christ’s death and resurrection, the Holy Spirit was poured out on all people.

At Pentecost, God did not pour out the Holy Spirit simply for a special task and time. Instead, he would remain in God’s people to transform hearts, to provide ongoing assurance of salvation, to quicken one to hear, understand, and obey the word of the Lord, and to create fruit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.

Today, the Holy Spirit invites you to surrender even more to his presence and power. Yes, it may feel a bit uncomfortable as you release control of your life; however, the Spirit is within you to equip and lead you into God’s way -- the way of everlasting life and fullness of joy for today. Will you release the desire to control and receive this amazing gift of God?


Are you allowing the Holy Spirit to fully inhabit your life, to strengthen you, and to work through you? Do you have areas you can more fully surrender today? We would love to hear your thoughts in the comments.

Related Resource:

The Spirit-Filled Life

Jesus calls the Holy Spirit a "gift" who will guide us, lead us, and empower us. Yet many believers don't experience the power and presence of the Holy Spirit in their lives. This unique Christian small group Bible study provides a space in which we can explore what it truly means to "walk in the Spirit" on a daily basis. The Spirit-Filled Life small group curriculum centers on a 6-part video teaching series examining the life-giving and creative work of the Holy Spirit in our lives. Begin to experience the gift today!


Honest Prayer

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