Surrender – Part 1

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.  In all your ways submit to Him, and He will make your paths straight.”  Proverbs 3:5-6 NIV

Introduction

  • No concept is harder for people to grasp than what it means to surrender. As sad as it sounds, many (if not most) Christians have never truly experienced the brokenness that leads to true surrender.  The pathway to surrender is the pathway to experiencing and receiving God’s love.
  • Our willingness to be broken of self, to realize our need for God, to receive God’s forgiveness, and to enter into a new relationship with Him based on grace (not our effort) is what surrender is all about. Surrender is the doorway to a life of freedom.
  • Some think of surrender as “what I have to give up.” We associate surrender with defeat or loss.  Yet surrender is an act of receiving and being able to give love.  We realize, as we walk through the death of self, that “self’ was an imposter preventing us from being the person God intended us to be.
  • While salvation determines our eternal destiny, surrender affects the intimacy and connectedness of our relationship with Jesus. We could choose to live our lives for ourselves and never truly surrender, and if we have truly placed our faith in Jesus Christ alone, God would accept us as His children, nonetheless.  What we would lose, however, would be our true purpose and identity while here on earth.
  • We don’t go through the process of surrender for any reason other than to become aware, to be able to repent, and to ask God to give us the power to change what needs to be changed. God has a better plan.  We aren’t just survivors; we are children of the one true God.  To hunger for what God has in store for us, we must be willing to walk out in faith and conform our minds to God’s mind and our wills to God’s will.

SurrenderA Soul That Is Surrendered, Not Just Saved

  • Perspective.  They filter their perspective through what Christ has done for them – they never want to take credit for the good things in their life.
  • Inner Peace. They have indescribable peace within.
  • Joy.  They seem to have joy in the midst of challenging circumstances, and praise and thank God despite those circumstances.
  • Intimacy.  They speak to God and about God in an intimate and personal way.
  • Love.  They speak to others with love, showing grace and mercy to people who are struggling or hurting.

Surrender Requires Being Broken…

I’m sure we’ve all caught on by now that the entire focus and purpose of this book has been to help each of us uncover the brokenness in our lives, and to discover the true hope for a life of wholeness, fullness, and purpose found only in Jesus Christ.

Arriving at this point truly requires divine intervention.  We need to both become broken of self and made aware of how much God truly loves us and has a plan for our lives.  Some of us have reached this place, only to find ourselves taking back control.  Others of us never really learned how to let go in the first place.

God is a giver and respecter of free will.  He will not force Himself on anyone, nor will He make us submit our will to His.  All of us, by our sinful flesh, are programmed to want to live independently of God.

There can be a huge wall of separation between knowing we need to depend on God, and actually transferring our trust to Him.  There are several reasons why we have difficulty trusting God:

  • Tainted parental experience may have clouded our perception of God.
  • The term “father” could carry negative and emotional implications.
  • We may not have ever taken the time to nurture a personal relationship with God, and simply don’t know Him, His nature, and His character.
  • We may have learned about God in a religious sense, and still see Him as someone who cares more about how we are breaking rules than about what concerns our heart.
  • We may blame God for allowing circumstances to happen in our life.

Because God operates by a system of free will, He doesn’t always interfere with the consequences of a human being’s sinful choices.  A God who is in control in one sense yet operating by a free will on the other hand can be difficult to comprehend.

We can’t even begin to understand the world from God’s perspective, so all we can depend on is the purity, the love, and the goodness of His character.  We can rely on His word and trust that it is true.  Here are some important things God says to us about the benefits of trusting Him:

“Trust in the Lord with all you heart and lean not on your own understanding.  Submit to Him in all your ways, and He will make your paths straight” (Proverbs 3:5-6 NIV)

“It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in humans” (Psalm 118:8 NIV).

“I love You Lord; You are my strength.  The Lord is my rock, my fortress, and my savior; my God is my rock, in whom I find protection.  He is my shield, the power that saves me, and my place of safety.  I called on the Lord, who is worthy of praise, and He saved me from my enemies” (Psalm 118:1-3 NLT).

“But when I am afraid, I will put my trust in You.  I praise God for what He has promised.  I trust in God, so why should I be afraid?  What can mere mortals do to me?” (Psalm 56:3-4 NLT).

“We are confident of all this because of our great trust in God through Christ. It is not that we think we are qualified to do anything on our own. Our qualification comes from God” (2 Corinthians 3:4-5 NLT).

“The Lord is a shelter for the oppressed, a refuge in times of trouble.  Those who know your name trust in You; for You, O Lord, do not abandon those who search for You” (Psalm 9:9-10 NLT).

“Taste and see that the Lord is good.  Oh, the joys of those who take refuge in Him! Fear the Lord, you His godly people, for those who fear Him will have all they need” (Psalm 34:8-9 NLT).

“Trust in the Lord and do good.  Then you will live safely in the land and prosper.  Take delight in the Lord, and He will give you your heart’s desires.  Commit everything you do to the Lord.  Trust him, and He will help you” (Psalm 37:3-5 NIV).

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