To surrender is to yield to the power of another; to give or deliver up possession upon compulsion or demand. To yield; to give up; to resign in favor of another. To yield to any influence, passion or power; as, to surrender one’s self to grief, to despair, to indolence or to sleep. To yield; to give up one’s self into the power of another. The act of yielding or resigning one’s person or the possession of something, into the power of another. A yielding or giving up.Webster’s American Dictionary

A modern definition of surrender is to relinquish possession or control of to another because of demand or compulsion: to give up in favor of another: to give up or give back something that has been granted: to give up or abandon: to give over or resign oneself to something, as to an emotion.Oxford English Dictionary

Surrender is a law of being and of doing, a virtue, a degree and an initiation. Surrender, as a virtue, is letting, always giving up self-centered will to God. Surrender is also an initiatory degree.

The world misunderstands surrender, interpreting it as the passive action of a loser, not the dynamic act of an ascending soul. To surrender is to let go. By letting go of self credits, self doubts and all thoughts of self, you conquer by obedience to the law of surrender, knowing that the Power does the work. Surrender is breaking self’s hold to let soul take charge.

The Vow of Surrender is Here I am, Father, now surrendering all my past, present and future to Thee that I may be Thy perfect servant of all the Power." The law of surrender is that all Power comes from above. "Not I, but my Father does the work. You surrender self will and desires to become the servant of all the Power.

Edna Lister on Surrender

The first phase of surrender is to let go of things, to hold no possessions, no "me or "mine." The second phase is surrender of self to "follow me." Obeying the letter of the law is not enough; you must include the spirit of the law.—Edna Lister, Recognizing Your Good, April 22, 1934.

Surrender in devotion is a process of sublimation, a process of making the self perfect.—Edna Lister, The Lord’s Prayer, September 26, 1934.

Surrender is abandonment of self to Light under marching orders from soul.—Edna Lister, Willingness, January 22, 1936.

God can use you only in proportion to what your surrender of self permits.—Edna Lister, August 22, 1938.

Surrender must be full, not just mouthing words to cover pride, intolerance or self thinking. Full surrender of self to all the Power will make you a perfect instrument of Light.—Edna Lister, September 6, 1938.

Surrender to be used. Apply surrender in all you do. Be part of what you are doing without descending into self. This is how to work with principle.—Edna Lister, November 14, 1939.

The Disciple vows, "to surrender completely to become the servant of all the Power." The Christos vows "to make my supreme vow of complete surrender of self."—Edna Lister, Vows, January 7, 1940.

Nothing limits where you can go for the Father, if you continue to surrender self until absolutely only God uses your tongue.—Edna Lister, November 27, 1941.

God always wins when you just surrender all self and let Him do through you; stand sweetly, firmly and graciously, yet not self-righteously.—Edna Lister, January 17, 1942.

Be great enough to surrender all.—Edna Lister, December 1, 1942.

Surrender means the intestinal fortitude to dig down into the little self, face what you see and forget "I don’t understand," which covers self again. The Wheel of Fate treadmill consists of this.—Edna Lister, November 1, 1944.

Surrender! Sell all you have for the pearl of great price, which is full ascension of body, material affairs, heart, mind and soul to the Supreme, to ascend to the Father.—Edna Lister, November 20, 1944.

You gain full Ascension only by complete surrender to be used and fully guided by God.—Edna Lister, February 5, 1945.

Surrender and let. You must ascend in consciousness to speak the word "let," which is the only "open sesame" for Power.—Edna Lister, June 29, 1945.

Surrender self ideas. You hold self ideas, not God ideas. You are playing a game. You think about God and letting, but you just think about doing it. When you know, you could face total darkness and say, "I see." God is not blind. You must do it, which is surrender.—Edna Lister, July 4, 1945.

Your greatest surrender is only a crude beginning. You are still learning how to surrender. Yet you learn while you travel the way to true surrender to be possessed by love, which gives freely without counting the cost to self.—Edna Lister, July 5, 1945.

You are Chosen; the price is instant obedience and surrender always.—Edna Lister, July 9, 1945.

Vow of Surrender: "Here I am, Father, now surrendering all my past, present and future to Thee that I may be Thy perfect servant of all the Power."—Edna Lister, July 17, 1945.

You will receive everything seen and known by the writer of any revealed mystery when you go to mystical heights in surrender and desire, and stand in Light to ponder.—Edna Lister, July 31, 1945.

When you surrender to the vibration of the Word as Light, consciousness expands to overcome both time and space.—Edna Lister, The Word Made Flesh, January 5, 1947.

God has called us to Mastery of self through surrender to become the servant of all the Power. We must surrender ourselves to be used.—Edna Lister, Vicarious Atonement, January 5, 1947.

You can completely surrender self with just a single word of praise.—Edna Lister, Jesus’ Prayer of the Ages, April 27, 1947.

Surrender, listen, look up to receive, and accept what comes. Be up, so that you will have the right perspective when it comes.—Edna Lister, November 9, 1947.

You made your present hardships in past lives, and are foolish enough to create more now with motley thinking, feeling and imagining, when you could win by diligently surrendering self.—Edna Lister, March 31, 1948.

God gives you power daily to overcome today’s surrendered self.—Edna Lister, June 3, 1948.

Power agitates those who are unable to give up self, some beyond their ability to bear it, making them almost insanely angry with those who are surrendering in completeness.—Edna Lister, January 31, 1949.

Surrender personal feuds, and ascend until the little self’s demands for recognition no longer conflict with soul’s great responsibility.—Edna Lister, February 26, 1949.

Light moves in under surrender, which is an act of soul, not of will. People dislike the idea of surrender, thinking that it means giving in to others. Yet you surrender first to God, then to love, to forgiveness and to Light. When you have truly surrendered, you are then lifted, filled, used and happy because God needs you. The creature dwells in darkness of self. Only a creator has the power to surrender freely to the Light.—Edna Lister, Five Steps in Ascension, April 16, 1950.

Complete surrender to Light, to be possessed of the first principles of God, leads you to become the servant of all Power, exercising compassion for all others and yourself. Every rebirth in consciousness is a surrender to the Light of God, the first thing you knew.—Edna Lister, What I Do Have, I Give, October 1, 1950.

True humility is that complete surrender that is a willingness and a readiness to be used in any capacity in any way, in any place, at any time by the Father.—Edna Lister, December 4, 1950.

Evil, darkness and possession say, "Try this just once for pleasure of sensation and self-satisfaction." Ascending ways say, "Arise, and give up self. Seek nothing for self, but give all in surrender to be used by Light."—Edna Lister, January 12, 1953.

Use only your greatest moment of soul exaltation, love and devotion to the point of melting surrender as your measuring rod to compare each action.—Edna Lister, June 3, 1953.

Completely surrender the little selfishness.—Edna Lister, Your Fire Body, July 6, 1954.

Once you surrender self, you no longer are self-conscious.—Edna Lister, November 8, 1954.

It is time that you surrender, not just talk about or vow to surrender.—Edna Lister, July 23, 1955.

Do not be childish. Surrender self to the full Power of the "nothing is impossible" stage, the "greater works," the ability to let God use you to your advantage, which He can see.—Edna Lister, December 10, 1956.

Every time you surrender, Oversoul enters, but self enters when you "wonder." Give up just 15 percent of the self that fills you and full Power can enter.—Edna Lister, February 5, 1957.

Ascension is becoming light as Light itself. Hold your highest point of poised surrender as you walk through life’s pressures, for only then can the Father possess you. Unless you surrender, you constantly push 14.7 pounds of pressure per square inch.—Edna Lister, September 5, 1957.

Just a little more surrender, ignoring obstacles and conditions that frustrate, pouring out a little more comprehensive, compassionate understanding, scrapping the nonessential and trivial that seems so important to redeem more time will bring your whole glorious mission into focus.—Edna Lister, September 5, 1957.

When you surrender, the Master asks you to see the negatives as good. He looks through your eyes and his Light absorbs darkness until you do not see it because none is left to see.—Edna Lister, November 24, 1958.

The price of ascension is surrender of self to become the laws you mouth and demand of others, and to cease hanging onto another’s coattails, becoming instead the coattails for the world.—Edna Lister, May 4, 1959.

This is how to prepare for a miracle: Desire is how the oak grows from an acorn, the stalk from a kernel of corn, the lily from a bulb. A seed has only one aspiration and it grows into that desire. The reality lies underneath the surface appearance. What you need lies in space as an invisible seed; given enough time, it becomes visible, though you may never have asked for it.

To transcend outer time, you must love God and surrender yourself to that one desire to bring it into manifestation. Stand in surrender and envision the idea until you know your clear-cut desire mold, then surrender to it. Love God, love the "becoming" of this vision in form. Talk to the Father. Thank God that He is condensing universal substance to fill your desire-mold. Exercise your talents, learn to reach up and draw in universal substance instantly. You dream to escape the mundane and reach the realm of soul.—Edna Lister, All Substance Is Universal, May 12, 1959.

Unless you accept high law as a need to become, you cannot surrender. Acceptance and surrender to law, then complete devotion to both is worship of the One God.—Edna Lister, May 15, 1959.

The law of surrender is that all Power comes from above. "Not I, but my Father does the work." Surrender self-will and desires to become the servant of all the Power. To surrender is to let go. By letting go of self credits, self doubts and all thoughts of self, you conquer by obedience to the law of surrender, knowing that the Power does the work.—Edna Lister, Eight Great Powers of Being, June 23, 1959.

The finite mind cannot think beyond a certain point in infinity, which is why we stress giving up the "I." The slightest tendency left to take credit is our "point of comprehension." You have the knowledge, and the power of choice to cover this completely before you reach this point, if your surrender is not a pseudo thinking "I am surrendered."—Edna Lister, October 8, 1959.

You ascend as far as your surrender, obedience and devotion take you, but never reach the ultimate. When you think you have surrendered, you form a block. Accept the fact that you have never yet ascended high enough.—Edna Lister, February 27, 1963.

The abyss between desire and performance keeps you from becoming. You bridge it only by surrendering self.—Edna Lister, April 4, 1963.

Surrender is letting, always giving self will to God. Concentration is an act of pure personal will. If you use concentration as surrender, you get only dribbles of illumination.—Edna Lister, Seven Stages of Unfolding from Concentration to Comprehension, December 3, 1963.

As souls treading the Via Christa, we constantly review life, considering what else we can surrender.—Edna Lister, April 29, 1964.

Acceptance and surrender should always be your attitude.—Edna Lister, June 28, 1964.

Be magnificent in surrender, for only then will you accept what comes to be lifted and not suffer earthquakes within. Such hindrances are subtle. You do not accept instantly if you can forget the law of surrendered devotion to be the servant of the Power.—Edna Lister, September 20, 1964.

The law of instant, complete and surrendered devotion to be the servant of the Power demands that you accept instantly.—Edna Lister, September 20, 1964.

You build strength from each holding. Weakness fades finally in the glory of knowing and complete surrender.—Edna Lister, March 21, 1965.

Complete surrender is seeking first your identity as a son or daughter of God in the kingdom of heaven. God can use you when you have surrendered the "I."—Edna Lister, November 8, 1965.

Only complete surrender to be an "ambassador in bonds" of Light can hold you immovable.—Edna Lister, August 1, 1966.

God has lifted us far in advance of our earnings, for we have limped at our best surrender. Our highest point of devotion has been inadequate. We know we must move higher. The only way is to cast out the ballast of earthly desires.—Edna Lister, August 7, 1966.

You’ll have your miracle when your visions and declarations of "Let there be Light" are as regular as the tides with expectancy and devotion.—Edna Lister, June 13, 1968.

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Treatments for Surrender

Declare, "I surrender now," and let God move in.—Edna Lister, August 28, 1958.

"I am in the Light, o’ershadowed with wings of Light." Stand surrendered in full Light. When you quit rationalizing and explaining, you can work out your salvation on three levels at once, subconscious, conscious and God conscious.—Edna Lister, June 7, 1962.

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Stories That Illustrate Surrender

Gethsemane: Then cometh Jesus with them unto a place called Gethsemane, and saith unto the disciples, Sit ye here, while I go and pray yonder. And he took with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and began to be sorrowful and very heavy. Then saith he unto them, My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death: tarry ye here, and watch with me. And he went a little farther, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt. And he cometh unto the disciples, and findeth them asleep, and saith unto Peter, What, could ye not watch with me one hour? Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak. He went away again the second time, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if this cup may not pass away from me, except I drink it, thy will be done.—Matthew 26:36-42.

And they came to a place which was named Gethsemane: and he saith to his disciples, Sit ye here, while I shall pray. And he taketh with him Peter and James and John, and began to be sore amazed, and to be very heavy; and saith unto them, My soul is exceeding sorrowful unto death: tarry ye here, and watch. And he went forward a little, and fell on the ground, and prayed that, if it were possible, the hour might pass from him. And he said, Abba, Father, all things are possible unto thee; take away this cup from me: nevertheless not what I will, but what thou wilt.—Mark 14:32-36.

And he came out, and went, as he was wont, to the mount of Olives; and his disciples also followed him. And when he was at the place, he said unto them, Pray that ye enter not into temptation. And he was withdrawn from them about a stone’s cast, and kneeled down, and prayed, saying, Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done.—Luke 22:39-43.

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Resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also.—Matthew 5:39; see Luke 6:29. [Resistance feeds the thing you resist.]

If any man will sue thee at the law, and take away thy coat, let him have thy cloak also.—Matthew 5:40; see Luke 6:29. [If someone wants to sue you, you are already overly involved in the world.]

Whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain.—Matthew 5:41.

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Edna Miriam Lister
The original Christian Pioneering Mystic,
Platonist philosopher, American Idealist, Founder, Society of the Universal Living Christ, minister, teacher, author, wife, and mother.

Edna Lister

Etymology of surrender: Old French surrendre "give up, deliver over," from sur‑ "over" + rendre "give back."

Surrender is a law of being.
Surrender is a law of doing.
Surrender is a soul virtue.
Surrender is an initiation.
Surrender is an initiatory degree.


Harper, Douglas. Online Etymology Dictionary, 2024.

The Holy Bible. King James Version (KJV).

The Oxford English Dictionary: Compact Ed., 2 vols. E.S.C. Weiner, ed. Oxford University Press, 1971.

Webster, Noah. Webster’s American Dictionary. New York: S. Converse, 1828.

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Read about Abraham and Isaac in Genesis 22.