I Surrender All

by Robert Stroup

An individual may be very devoted to the Lord without being truly surrendered. One may be deeply committed to making sacrifices without being wholly yielded to the Lord. The difference in commitment and surrender is that when you make a commitment you are still in control. No matter how righteous or good the thing is that you commit to – you are still in charge. Even if it is a commitment to pray, to give, or to witness – you still set the boundaries – the when, the where, the how much. But when you surrender you relinquish all such control.

Photo by kylesteed

Why is this important?  Because God can only use people to the extent that He desires to use them when they are fully surrendered.  Jesus is the ultimate example of this. No life better illustrates the difference in commitment and surrender than the life of Jesus Christ. In His human aspect – Jesus’ life was not merely dedicated to giving sacrifices and offerings to God. “Wherefore when he cometh into the world, he saith, Sacrifice and offering thou wouldest not, but a body hast thou prepared me.” (Heb. 10:5). His reason for being here was so that He might be a totally surrendered vessel or body prepared for God’s use. “Lo, I come…to do thy will, O God.” (Heb. 10:7). “For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me.” (John 6:38). He placed no limits or restraints upon God.  God was free to use this vessel in any way He saw fit.  Thus when Jesus, at Gethsemane, was facing Calvary He did not balk, nor recoil, nor shy away, but rather He surrendered to His Father’s will.  “O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt.” (Matthew 26:39).  We have hope today because Jesus was not just committed – He was completely surrendered!

The Lord still needs people who are willing to surrender all to Him – people who are prepared to do His complete will.  As God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself – He has now given that ministry of reconciliation to us.  We stand in Christ’s stead.  “As he is, so are we in this world.” (I John 4:17). The task before us will never be successfully completed by people who are merely committed to a clean and wholesome lifestyle.  The task before us can only be completed by a people who are wholly sold out to Christ and His cause – as was the early church.  “And the multitude of them that believed were of one heart and of one soul: neither said any of them that ought of the things which he possessed was his own; but they had all things common.  And with great power gave the apostles witness of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and great grace was upon them all.” (Acts 4:32-33). God was able to accomplish great things through these people because they were willing to go beyond commitment to surrender.

The resurrected Christ can only do everything that He desires to do through crucified flesh. Unsurrendered flesh, even when committed to some extent, hinders the accomplishing of God’s will.  When the rich young ruler said, “Master, all these (commandments) have I observed from my youth.  Then Jesus beholding him loved him, and said unto him, One thing thou lackest: go thy way, sell whatsoever thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, take up the cross, and follow me. And he was sad at that saying, and went away grieved: for he had great possessions.” (Mark 10:20-22). Although this man was very steadfast and devoted, God could not use him to minister to the needs of others because he refused to relinquish control.  He said, in essence (as many others do today), “I will live a good clean life, I will pray, I will do this and that – but I will not give myself for the sake of others, I will not sacrifice my independence.  I will commit this much, but no more.” Thus God could not use him to the degree He had hoped to. And so it is many times today.

God can achieve miraculous things through surrendered people. Consistently recognizing God’s ownership of everything – my time, my talents, my abilities, my possessions – even my very will – is a difficult thing that requires nothing less than a brand new way of thinking that is totally contrary to the way the world thinks.  It seems like a lot to ask of a person.  And yet, Paul tells us that it is but our “reasonable service.” “Be not conformed to this world; but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think…” (Romans 12:2-3).  “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus; Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men.” (Philippians 2:5-97). “He died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again.” (II Corinthians 5:15).

It is incredible what God can do through surrendered people. It is remarkable what He can do with a person who offers Him no opposition.  Years ago there was an article in the Reader’s Digest about superconductors.  When certain metals are reduced to absolute zero (the absence of all heat), they become superconductors that offer no resistance to the flow of electricity.  Current can pour through these superconductors with absolutely no resistance.  The power that comes out at the far end is equivalent to what went in on this end and naught is lost in the transmission.  This world needs the touch of pure Jesus – full strength Jesus undiluted by carnal unsurrendered flesh. “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.” (Romans 12:1).

“I surrender all; I surrender all – All the thee my blessed Savior – I surrender all!” 

Rev. Robert Stroup is the District Superintendent of the Indiana District, United Pentecostal Church International. He is Pastor of Pentecostals of South Lake in Merrillville, Indiana.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Tags: , , , , ,

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply