Personal effort and God's GraceTo make the fastest progress, God’s Grace plus personal effort is required. Some seekers say, “If we care for God’s Grace, then what is the necessity of personal effort here on earth?” They are mistaken because personal effort will never stand in the way of God’s descending Grace; personal effort expedites the descent of God’s Grace to earth.
Surrender is not something we can suddenly offer to God. Total surrender requires personal effort; again, total surrender can play the part of personal effort. God can give us all that He wants without even an iota of personal effort from us. He says, “It is for your own satisfaction that I ask you to make this little personal effort.” When we can make this personal effort, our whole life will be surcharged with divine pride: “See what I have done for God?” Our conscious oneness with God, who is infinite, who is eternally immortal, who is our Dearest prompts us to do something for Him.
If we sincerely make personal effort, then God is bound to be pleased with us. Why? Because He can tell the world, “My child, my chosen instrument, has done many things for Me.” We can prove ourselves worthy of our existence on earth and, at the same time, we can make God proud of us through our personal effort. But while making our personal effort, we have to know that in God there is infinite Grace. When Grace descends, there is no more personal effort; it is only dynamic self-surrender. When we offer the results of our aspiration and inner urge to God, that is called true surrender. If we do not offer the results to God and just lie like a dead body at His Feet, letting Him work for us, in us and through us, it is wrong. God does not want an inactive body, a dead soul. He wants someone who is active, dynamic and aspiring; someone who wants to be energised so that he can do something for God; someone who wants to realise God and manifest all the divine qualities here on earth.
Divine surrender, from the spiritual point of view, comes from will-power. If we have an adamantine will, then we will get the capacity to make unconditional surrender. Again, if we can surrender unconditionally to God, then we will get the capacity to develop will-power. Inner will-power, which is the soul’s light, and surrender, which is the oneness of our heart with the Absolute, always go together. They are inseparable. There can be no difference between the soul’s will-power and the unconditional surrender of our entire being to the Will of the Supreme. Both are equally strong.