How to Let Your Life Be Worship: Surrendering It All to Jesus

Woman worshipping with hands raised

If you’re anything like me, your devoted time with God can feel magical—abounding in real faith and the promise that your life will reflect God’s perfect will—and leave you with the feeling that you’re ready to take on the world. And then you take on the world and suddenly everything changes. You forget all your promises, you start making little compromises here and there, and your perfect faith seems to wane. It leaves you feeling depressed and despondent, and like there’s no hope that you’ll ever be fully committed to following in the footsteps of the Creator.

I’m not advocating that we can ever equal the holiness of Christ by our own devices or live a sinless life while here on Earth, but simply seeking a path to greater devotion in my daily walk with the Father. Being able to reach the end of each day and feel like every moment was spent in nearness to the One who gives us breath. To be fully committed, living our lives as worship to our Savior and King. Overflowing with the fruits of the spirit; a reflection of the characteristics of the One True God. Now, that sounds like a life lived more abundantly to me. But is it even possible, and if so, how do we achieve it?  

Start By Knowing Who It Is You Worship

Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.

I think we can all agree that it’s impossible to live as worship to a God with whom we haven’t developed a personal relationship. When one of the Pharisees decides to challenge Jesus in the book of Matthew with a question regarding the greatest commandment in the law, Jesus responds by saying, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment.” If we want our lives to be worship to God then we must heed Jesus’ words and love God with every part of our being, including our intellect. We must develop a healthy spiritual life, studying scripture with the intent of understanding the true nature of God and praying for insight and revelation. Since Jesus is God incarnate, searching the Gospels to obtain a clearer picture of His characteristics, how He relates to people, and how He carries out the will of the Father is a great place to start. It’s important to gain a better understanding of who God is, but once we know Him more intimately, we must attempt to be more like Him.

Strive to Emulate Christ

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

Now that we know who it is we worship, we must seek to live for and like Him in every area of our lives.  James 1:22 says, “Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.” This is not just a suggestion, but a commandment to act in accordance with the scriptures, as they were intended. As humans, we have a way of complicating everything, but this command couldn’t be more straightforward. Through the gospels, we’re witness to three years of Jesus’ life and ministry. His actions, His words, how He treated those around Him, and even how He prayed to the Father. We have a handbook of what our lives should look like when we follow the framework set out by God from the very beginning of human history. Our verse in Galatians even goes so far as to say that it’s no longer me living my life, but Christ living in me. Easy, right? So, why is it so hard? It’s hard because our hearts are pulled in different directions by our earnest desire to honor God and fulfill His will and the self-centeredness of our carnal minds as we seek only to satiate every pining of this fallen world. But as the verse above points out, we can’t do it alone. There are a couple of elements of successfully living lives of worship that we can’t satisfy on our own.

It Takes Faith

And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.

If you aim to let your life be worship, then it takes faith not only in the existence of God, but also in the fact that He’s a personal God who loves you and wants you to experience life more abundantly. The abundance that we’re chasing after is the fullness of life that we feel when we allow God to be the center of every facet of our lives and the opposite of the emptiness that we feel when we put our faith in other things. We all put our faith in something, be it a paycheck, a government, or the hope that the Phillies will finally win another World Series. But these things leave us feeling empty, and they aren’t worthy of our praise and worship to begin with. What we want is to feel God’s continual presence, and to stop falling short in our commitment to Him, which is impossible without strong faith. Don’t get me wrong, God is always with you, but it’s our humanness that makes us prone to wandering. Like the verse says, if we’re to go and lay it all at the foot of the cross, then we must believe in Him, His goodness, and the fact that He truly rewards those who earnestly seek Him. But if our humanness causes us to stumble in the first place, don’t we need something else to make the covenant stick?

We Need the Holy Spirit

Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.

The simple fact is that living as worship to God is impossible of our own volition. Our humanness is our weakness, and we’re so often given over to our own carnality. We fight real battles in this life against principalities and powers, as well as the desires of our own flesh. The great news is that we don’t have to fight alone. In John 14:16, Jesus promises, “And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever—the Spirit of truth.” We will never not face temptation, trials, and tragedy in this world, but if we have the Spirit of God living in us, we are assured of His perfect protection and provision. The fiery darts of the devil and the foolishness of our flesh has no power over the Spirit who dwells in us and goes before us. And if we wish to take on the characteristics of our good God and live a life worthy of the calling bestowed upon us, then we must heed the guidance of God’s Spirit as He aims to direct our lives toward righteousness and holiness. Our aim is to have God be Lord over every aspect of our lives and letting the Holy Spirit guide is the first step in achieving that goal.

Ask God to Be Lord Over Every Facet of Your Life

But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.

The Bible is full of examples of people who have kicked the tires of devotion to Christ—maybe out of mere curiosity—but never could fully make a commitment for one reason or another. Take for example the case of the rich young ruler. When he asks Jesus, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?”, Jesus responds by telling him that he must keep the commandments that were given to the Israelites on their wilderness journey to the promised land. Like many of us, the young ruler had been able to resist the temptation to murder another in his short lifetime, and to defraud others, and likely made his best attempt at honoring his father and mother (exempting maybe his teenage years). But then Jesus goes deeper and makes the conversation more personal. He points out what the young man still lacks, and tells him, “Go, sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.” He knew exactly where the man would insist on clinging to parts of his life that he wasn’t willing to surrender, and He knows where those strongholds exist within us. If we want to be like Christ, and live fully committed to Him, then we must be willing to sacrifice our own will and desires, and to surrender it all to Him. In the book of Matthew, Jesus declares to his disciples, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it. What good will it be for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul?” We must be willing to lose our lives—to give up our worldly hopes and desires and the monuments that we’ve built to our own successes—and let God lead from a rightful position of power and authority. That includes our careers, our marriages, our families, our hobbies, our futures, etc. And, when we are finally ready to relinquish full control to the One who made the sun, moon, and stars, He will begin to create a new heart in us and reveal who He truly created us to be.

Pray for God to Reveal You to You

We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith; if it serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully.

According to scripture, we’re all endowed with certain gifts and talents. And if you’ve discovered what your gifts and talents are, then you know how good it feels to live fully and freely at the center of those giftings. We can use what God has given us to enhance our careers, to enrich our own lives, to share our creativity with the world, but most importantly to bring glory and honor to the God we serve. As we strive to live our lives as worship, this becomes an important component of surrendering our whole selves to His acclaim. God’s will for all of us, collectively, is to love Him and love others and to share the gospel with all nations and tribes, but individually, He has created each of us with our own set of unique characteristics, including the things that seem to come naturally to us in certain areas of our lives. We all possess different gifts so that collectively we can minister to each other in different ways. If we take a small step back in Romans 12, it tells us that, “For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others.” God intends for us to be one body and to worship Him with the gifts that we’ve been given by serving one another. Have you discovered which part of the body your specific gifts and talents fulfill, and if so, are you using it to bring God glory by serving others? And that brings us to our final point.


Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.

God is love. If that was our full stop, then we’ve said it all. If we want to glorify God, and let our lives be worship to Him, then we must love Him and love one another. In the book of Matthew, a Pharisee attempts to trap and expose Jesus by asked Him this question: “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the law?” Jesus answered, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself. All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” The absolute truth is that we can’t be worship to God if we don’t learn to love like God. Don’t misunderstand, I’m not saying that we can ever achieve the fullness of the love of Almighty God, but we must strive to love Him with every fiber of our being and to love others with the love the God exhibits toward His creation. In 1 Corinthians 13, we read:

"If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have faith that can move mountains, but do not love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.”

This scripture makes it very evident that love should be at the center of all that we do and all that we are. When we learn to love God as we’ve just described, then all the acts of worship we covered above will begin to come into focus in our lives. When we begin to love others, then we begin to take on the true characteristics of our Loving Father, and worship becomes part of who we are, rather than just something we do.

The greatest act of love in the history of the world was when God gave up His only begotten Son so that we may be set free from the death march of sin. Our Savior tells us in John 15:13 that, “Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” As we strive to live our lives as worship, let us cling to those words and the One who loved each of us with such a fierceness of love that He cried out as He hung on that cross for our behalf, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” All that we need, and all that we are can be found in Him. When we begin to truly understand the love Jesus, who laid down His perfect life for His friends, then our worship will begin to flow freely.


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