Were the whole realm of nature mine – that were a present far too small – Love so amazing, so divine – Demands my life, my soul, my all!Isaac Watts
What are the implications of the Love of God and why do they demand my all?
Is it not true as we studied last week – that we are HIS whether we acknowledge it or not. He is our Creator, and shall the thing created do anything else but the Creator’s bidding?
The quote above is a popular hymn that is often sung in our church. However, so often we sing hymns and the words mindlessly are spoken…
“I surrender all..” is another hymn that comes to mind. How often have I sung those words… “All to thee my precious Savior, I surrender all” without consciously and intentionally acknowledging that surrender.
I know that we’ve been talking about surrender for a while now… and at the beginning we mentioned the fears that we encounter with a life of surrender to God.
Mankind’s natural response is to grasp – white knuckled — onto the things we fear we’ll lose. The underlying thought in most of our minds, is that if we surrender everything – our loved ones, our homes, our future, our reputations- that God will take us up on that and take them away from us. This is simply not true.
How can we find victory over those fears?
- Provision – Will I have what I need?
- Pleasure – Will I be happy?
- Protection – Will I and those I love be safe?
- Personal Relationships – Will my relational needs be met?
These fears are real and must be battled through to find a place of surrender. Can you think of an instance when you battled one of these fears in relation to something God was wanting you to surrender?
I love that the Word of God paints a true historical picture of His children. It doesn’t just relate to us the facts about how faithful these saints were; it also tells us of their trials and struggles with fear and even sin and failure.
Take Abram for example. God called him from an heathen nation, asked him to leave his home, family, and friends to go off on a journey that had no clear end in sight.
In Genesis 12:1-4 We see God spoke to Abram and he went. What transpired between God speaking and Abram going – we’ll never know. But one thing is for sure – in verses 1-4, God clearly addresses the four fears that we are discussing.
- In verse 2 I will make of thee a great nation – God is promising Abram HIS PROVISION
- I will bless thee – God is promising Abram PLEASURE/blessings.
- I will make thy name great and thou shalt be a blessing – God is promising Abram PERSONAL RELATIONSHIPS
- In verse 3 I will bless them that bless thee and curse them that curse thee – God is promising Abram PROTECTION
I’m so thankful that God knows our weaknesses.
It is a great blessing to me to see that God dealt with these four common fears for Abram before he even had a chance to worry about them.
God’s promises met Abram’s fears HEAD ON!
Then we see in verse 4 Abram departed! Armed with God’s promises, Abram gathered his family and possessions and SURRENDERED to God’s will for his life.
Again we see later in Gen. 15:1-6 that Abram had cause to fear the kings around him… and once again God meets Abram’s fear with PROMISES! This is key for our lives and combating the fears that would keep us from surrender.
The promises of God provide a powerful antidote to all our fears and free us to step out in faith and surrender.” Nancy L DeMoss
Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises; that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.II Peter 1:4
God’s promises stand to powerfully dispel any fear we might have and give us courage and strength to surrender to what God has for us.
Conversely – if we don’t take steps toward surrender and obedience then we relinquish our freedom and become enslaved to the fears that press in on us. The choice is simple – TRUST or TYRANNY.
“Trust the promises of God – which will free you to live joyfully under His loving Lordship – or live under the tyranny of that which you will not surrender.” Nancy L. DeMoss
What is the role of faith in helping us face our natural fears regarding the will of God? How can we grow in our faith? What is KEY to conquering our fears?
How to Conquer Your Fears
Practical reminders of God’s promises for each fear.
- Provision – We are to be content with what God gives us Heb 13:5 Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have; for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee. FEAR – addressed with a Promise
- Pleasure – We think we need “certain” things to give us pleasure – when God our creator knows exactly what will fill that need. Ps 37:4 Delight thyself also in the Lord and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.” AGAIN He addresses the FEAR with a PROMISE
- Protection – We are truly like sheep, just about anything will scare them. Ps 91 Again the FEAR is combatted by the PROMISES of God!
- Personal Relationships – the foundation of any good human fellowship begins with fellowship with God I John 1:3, 7 “…that ye may have fellowship with us; and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ.” “ but if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.”
Now… that we know HOW to combat our fears – how can we LIVE this thing of surrender our in our practical lives?
How To Live Victoriously
And there went great multitudes with him; and he turned, and said unto them, if any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple. And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple. For which of you, intending to build a tower, sitteth not down first, and counteth the cost, whether he have sufficient to finish it? Lest haply, after he hath laid the foundation, and is not able to finish it, all that behold it begin to mock him, saying, This man began to build, and was not able to finish…So likewise, whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple.Luke 14:25-33
Here we see Jesus in a crowd of people – not at all worried about what they thought of him… or if he would offend them in any way. (I don’t want to be irreverent, but I could imagine it sounding a bit like this if he was speaking to us today…)
He had just been talking to them about going into the highways and byways and compelling them to come in because so many had made excuse that they couldn’t come to the supper… so – he looks at them and says, “You’ve got to be so surrendered to God that your love for other people/things looks like hate. And you’ve got to be willing to die to be my disciple. I just wanted to warn you – to tell you these things so you could count the cost. Because you must surrender all you’ve got to be my disciple.”
Jesus summed it up didn’t he? Surrender all you’ve got…
When thou vowest a vow unto God, defer not to pay it; for he hath no pleasure in fools: pay that which thou hast vowed. Better is it that thou shouldest not vow, than that thou shouldest vow and not pay.Ecc. 5:4 -5
It’s easy to make a vow in a conference or a meeting where the Holy Spirit has been real to us… but it’s another thing to get back home and face the challenges of everyday life.
YET, these everyday moments of decisions are where true surrender is practiced.
It’s the real living once you’ve gotten up from the “vow” that tests and proves the work of surrender in your life.
Francis Ridley Havergal has given us an amazing hymn that beautifully illustrates this living act of surrender in our lives. Her hymn, “Take my Life and Let it Be” uses each line to focus on a vital aspect of “LIVING SURRENDER.”
Full consecration may be in one sense the act of a moment and in another the work of a lifetime. It must be complete to be real, and yet – if real – it is always incomplete. Consecration is a point of rest and yet a perpetual progression. ~ F. R. Havergal
*Used N.L. DeMoss’s book on Surrender as a resource guide.