Then Samuel spoke to all the house of Israel, saying, “If you return to the Lord with all your hearts, then put away the foreign gods and the Ashtoreths from among you, and prepare your hearts for the Lord, and serve Him only; and He will deliver you from the hand of the Philistines.” (I Samuel 7:3 NKJV)
There is nothing like complete surrender to God. In the portion of scripture above, Samuel was basically telling the people that if they really wanted to return to God then they need to completely surrender to God. There were three things he mentioned that needed to be done:
1 – Put away for foreign gods
2 – Prepare your hearts for The Lord
3 – Serve Him only
First, they had to get rid of the foreign gods. They needed to get rid of the things that have taken the place of God. We need to always be evaluating our lives to see if there are things that are taking the place of God. There are times I realize that entertainment is beginning to take the place of God. I spend more time watching movies and playing video games rather than seeking God. Those things aren't necessarily bad, but when they start to take the place of God it becomes bad. Maybe there are other things that attract us that begin taking the place of God. We need to get rid of those things to completely surrender.
Second, they had to prepare their hearts for The Lord. They were to fill themselves with the things of God. We need to constantly be feeding ourselves the Word of God. Keeping our thoughts focus on Him. When we don't constantly keep focus on God then we focus on the things that are not of God. We need to prepare our hearts to completely surrender.
Last, they were serve Him only. They needed to make a decision that they were only going to serve God. Serving The Lord is a decision that we make everyday. Everyday is a new day to demonstrate our surrender to Him. Our decision will come out of how we have prepared our hearts. If we have been filling ourselves with Godly things, then we will make decisions based on the Godly things. If we haven't been filling ourselves with Godly things, then we will make decisions based on what ever it is that we are filling ourselves.
Ultimately, Samuel declares that if they were to do these things then God would deliver them. It is up to us whether we choose to surrender to God or not. If we really want to surrender to God then we will get rid of the things replacing God, prepare our hearts for Him, and serve Him only.