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Live Like You Mean It

Over the last handful of weeks, we’ve gone through Craig Groeschel’s book, The Christian Atheist. The conversations and discussions we have had were beyond what I could have hoped for. I have experienced a chipping away at some things that have held on for a long time.

I’ve honestly felt equally encouraged and convicted through so much of what I read, but the bottom line comes back to how much is enough for God?

Is He worth half my life? A quarter of my own desires? An eighth of my time and talents? Most of us would answer quickly, “No way! God is worth everything!” The reality of what we give Him can be much different.

We all know talk is cheap. I say plenty, but my actions are what define me to other people. God sees beyond what I am (and do) to what He made me to be and a new creation in Christ, but I have to choose to walk that way. If I do, my life will change.

In the Afterword of the book, Mr. Groeschel talks about something in his life that took him two years to surrender. He prayed about it often. He quoted scripture. He felt spiritual warfare raging around him, but he wouldn’t give up. After that long haul, he came to the place of total surrender of this deep-rooted facet of his life.

It hit me again: the business of surrender and living freedom is not an easy business.

It was bought at the highest price and some things are so interwoven into our pasts, emotions, and possibly even DNA, that it takes a process of fighting to extricate ourselves. We are free the moment we cry out to Jesus, but applying that freedom takes work.

I look at my own life and see areas that I have given up or put off. I know you can’t deal with everything at once and I wouldn’t advise people to try. What I would suggest is what I’m going to do. Ask the Father, “where do I need to surrender?” then do the hard work of relinquishing that part to Christ.

For some it may be a day or a week. For others it may be months or years. But I know it’s worth it.

It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery. (Galatians 5:1)

We won’t be able to administer true freedom in these areas without experiencing it for ourselves. That’s what I carry away from this study and I very much plan to move forward.

What do you think? Is surrender sometimes hard work? Do we hold back or give up too easily sometimes?

Be sure to visit my co-facilitator, Sarah Salter for her post and Dusty Rayburn for his post. If you’d like to see all the book club posts, click here. Also, we are pleased to announce the next book we’ll be going through is The Hole in Our Gospel. Go check it out and find out more about this amazing book. There’ll be a giveaway and more information next week, but you can order it today. I hope you’ll plan to be a part!


  1. I wish I could think of the name of a song I heard the other day, where it says, “Surrender is Stronger.” I looked at my wife and told her there is a lot of truth in that line.

    • That does sound like a good song. If you think of the title, come back and tell me. Thanks Michael.

      • FFH sings “undone”

  2. Here’s how my conversation goes: “What do I need to surrender to you, God?”…..
    “No, not that. What else do I need to surrender?”
    Because I’m just so darned stubborn, but He’ll never let me go, and I continue to work out my salvation with fear and trembling. Good thoughts, Jason.
    katdish recently posted..The fear of letting go by Billy CoffeyMy Profile

    • You’re not alone, Kat. I’m glad He never gives up or lets us go. That’s a lot of patience…

  3. jason: surrender is hard no matter. I remember reading a quote by Jim Elliot: “wherever you are be all there.” That is a good quote about surrender. Also, I posted on Dusty’s blog about the discussion on CA. I have read The Hole in Our Gospel and would welcome an opp to be involved this time. Please keep me posted.
    Bill (cycleguy) recently posted..Did You Say WaitMy Profile

    • Good point, Bill. True surrender is always hard no matter what the issue is. Glad you are wanting to join in the next discussion too--great!

  4. Dusty and I were talking earlier this week about how men have a tendency to be “fixers.” That when their wives come to them to share their hearts, they immediately start “fixing” their wives’ problems which can cause them to stop listening. And he mentioned that sometimes, Julie threatens to pull out the duct tape to shut him up so that he’ll stop “fixing” and just listen…

    Now, you don’t have to tell Dusty this, but I’m a “fixer” too. If I see something in my life (or anybody else’s for that matter) that’s a problem, I have to FIX it. I might talk to God about it while I’m trying to fix it, but sometimes, He has to duct tape my mouth or my hands to get me to hush and sit still so that HE can fix it. Because you know, I can’t actually fix anything myself.

    Surrender is hard. It’s sitting down and listening to God BEFORE He has to pull out the duct tape and MAKE us sit down and listen. But my hope is that the better I know Him, the more I’ll trust Him, and the easier it will be for me to bring my broken toys to Him to fix instead of trying to fix them myself.
    Sarah Salter recently posted..A Wrap-Up- An Unveiling- and An Upcoming Giveaway!My Profile

    • Just so you know. I read all comments! #justsayin

    • Oh yeah, I’ve finally learned my lesson on trying to fix Andrea’s concerns. I just listen. And speaking from experience, if you try to fix and don’t know what you’re doing you can make things a lot worse. Thanks Sarah.

      • I’m trying not to be like my namesake, who tried to help God by sending Hagar in to Abraham. We see how that turned out, right? I really do prayerfully try not to “help” God, but rather put things in His hands and let go of them. But sometimes, it’s so hard!
        Sarah Salter recently posted..A Wrap-Up- An Unveiling- and An Upcoming Giveaway!My Profile

  5. “I Surrender All” 1896 by Judson W. Van DeVenter

    1. All to Jesus I surrender;
    All to Him I freely give;
    I will ever love and trust Him,
    In His presence daily live.
    * Refrain:
    I surrender all,
    I surrender all;
    All to Thee, my blessed Savior,
    I surrender all.
    2. All to Jesus I surrender;
    Humbly at His feet I bow,
    Worldly pleasures all forsaken;
    Take me, Jesus, take me now.
    3. All to Jesus I surrender;
    Make me, Savior, wholly Thine;
    Let me feel the Holy Spirit,
    Truly know that Thou art mine.
    4. All to Jesus I surrender;
    Lord, I give myself to Thee;
    Fill me with Thy love and power;
    Let Thy blessing fall on me.
    5. All to Jesus I surrender;
    Now I feel the sacred flame.
    Oh, the joy of full salvation!
    Glory, glory, to His Name!

    While we hold on and resist to surrender, the blessings and wonder come in the release. It’s time to let ourselves go for Christ.

    Thank you Jason for cosponsoring this discussion. It has been life changing.

    • Such a powerful hymn. I pray its truth and relevance hit me every day. I definitely don’t want to hold on any longer…

      Thank you Dusty for being such a wonderful part of the discussion and taking it further and deeper in so many ways. You are a blessing!

  6. I’m going to let O.C. comment for me today…he does a better job than I could.

    “Have you ever realized that you can give things to God that are of value to Him? Or are you just sitting around daydreaming about the greatness of His redemption, while neglecting all the things you could be doing for Him? I’m not referring to works which could be regarded as divine and miraculous, but ordinary, simple human things -- things which would be evidence to God that you are totally surrendered to Him.” -- Oswald Chambers

    • Excellent quote, Jay. It’s awful to think how much time I’ve spent thinking about His redemption when I could have been experiencing it through surrender. Powerful- thanks.

  7. Yep, surrender is definitely hard work! I wish it wasn’t but it is. 🙂
    Kevin M. recently posted..Do it anyway!My Profile

    • It’s in our nature to fight and preserve self! If we don’t take it seriously and wrestle with it then it’s not going to stick because it’s not fully formed. Thanks Kevin!

  8. Surrender. Yeah. That’s hard. I remember doing that once, then somehow little by little I grabbed it all back.
    Helen recently posted..Have Fun!!! Happy Saturday!My Profile

    • At least you recognize it. I’ve had so many areas I surrendered and took back then lived self-deluded for years. I just don’t want that because I know it’s not the best I could be living. Thanks Helen.

  9. As I’ve been following along, I really sense that Craig is trying to point out that we have such a warped sense of what constitutes “belief” or “faith” -- we like to say “faith alone” and stuff like that, secretly justifying the shallowness of our Christian experience. It is “faith alone” but that faith is not just simple belief that even the demons employ -- it is a faith that compels the desire for radical transformation of one’s whole nature. If we are comfortable on our journey, we need to stop coasting along and re-examine our “faith” -- if we ever feel as if “we’ve arrived” we’ve probably left the path all together.
    herbhalstead recently posted..hearttreasuresMy Profile

    • That definitely sums it up, Herb. It’s all about allowing that transformation through grace. We stop talking about it and really live it. That’s some radical change happening there. Thanks for your great thoughts.

  10. All of a sudden I remember a book someone gave to me. I looked in my bookcase and here it is on my desk now.
    “Victory through surrender” by E. Stanley Jones.
    Every time I want to read it but I just can’t finish it because it’s a tough subject.

    I listened to that hymn yesterday Dusty posted here. Love it.

    I also want to thank you for doing this book thing like Dusty and Sarah. It’s amazing how everyone writes it different. I liked it. Thanks.

    • Ani, you’ve been such a great part of the discussions! Thank you so much. Surrender is definitely a tough subject, but a much needed one… Blessings.


  1. The Christian Atheist – Wrap Up | - [...] as it marks the conclusion of this book discussion… but soon, my friends, Sarah Salter and Jason Stasyszen, will…
  2. Dusty Rayburn - RT @br8kthru: Live Like You Mean It
  3. Jason Stasyszen - RT @dlrayburn: RT @br8kthru: Live Like You Mean It <<thank you Dusty!
  4. Jason Stasyszen - Live Like You Mean It « Connecting to Impact Discussing Surrender & the Christian Atheist
  5. br8kthru - Live Like You Mean It « Connecting to Impact Discussing Surrender & the Christian Atheist
  6. Jay Cookingham - Live Like You Mean It /cc @feedly
  7. Jason Stasyszen - RT @strategicdad: Live Like You Mean It /cc @feedly <<thank you Jay!
  8. Jason Stasyszen - RT @KevinMartineau: RT @br8kthru: Live Like You Mean It <<I appreciate it, Kevin!
  9. Jason Stasyszen - Surrender is hard work. Today's Post: Live Like You Mean It « Connecting to Impact
  10. Helenatrandom - RT @br8kthru: Live Like You Mean It
  11. Jason Stasyszen - RT @Helenatrandom: RT @br8kthru: Live Like You Mean It <<thanks Helen :)
  12. Herb Halstead - RT @br8kthru: Live Like You Mean It
  13. Jason Stasyszen - RT @herbhalstead: RT @br8kthru: Live Like You Mean It <<thank you, sir!
  14. Sarah Salter - RT @br8kthru: Live Like You Mean It
  15. Weekend Look Back « Connecting to Impact - [...] Wednesday. Live Like You Mean It [...]

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