From earliest memory I understood that everybody ought to love Jesus. Then I began to hear that everybody ought to "receive the Lord Jesus Christ as his own personal Savior." To the best of my understanding that is what i wanted to do, so I did it -- I asked Him to come into my heart, as I was instructed to do. It was a once-for-all decision, and I believe He accepted the invitation and came in. So far so good. I was told that I was now "saved," saved by grace. That was a gift, a free gift, from God. Amazing. Simply amazing that the Lord of the Universe, the One who is "the ruler over all authorities and the supreme head over all powers" (Col. 2:10), "the blessed controller of all things, the king over all kings and the master of all masters, the only source of immortality, the One who lives in unapproachable light, the One whom no mortal eye has ever seen or ever can see" (1 Tim 6:15-16) --amazing that the same One bends His ear to the prayer of a child or of a sinner of any age and, if asked, comes in and makes His home with us. For His name is Immanuel, God with us.
How shall He be at home with us unless our lives are in harmony with His holy life? Unless He lives His very life in us and we live our lives "in company with Him"? Salvation means rescue fromt he pit of destruction, from the miry clay of ourselves.
So my decision to receive Him, although made only once, I must affirm in thousands of ways, through thousands of choices, for the rest of my life -- my will or His, my life (the old one) or His (the new one). It is no to myself and yes to Him. This continual affirmation is usually made in small things, inconveniences, unselfish giving up of preferences, yielding gracefully to the wishes of others without playing the martyr, learning to close doors quietly. We may think of them as little "deaths."
Sin no longer holds authority, "exacting obedience to the body's desires. You must no longer put its several parts at sin's disposal, as implements for doing wrong. No: put yourselves at the disposal of God as dead men raised to life; yield your bodes to him as implements for doing right; for sin shall no longer be your master, because you are no longer under law, but under the grace of God" ( Romans 6:12-14).
The further we travel on this pathway to the glory the more glorious it becomes, because we are given to understand that every glad surrender of self is merely a little death.
A Path of Suffering by Elisabeth Elliot