Today, I want to talk about the willingness to completely surrender our lives to Christ.
This means being willing to tell God that there is nothing you are holding onto that is more important than Him.
The word surrender means to give up control of something to someone else. Some common synonyms of surrender are abandon, relinquish, resign, waive, and yield.
God desires for those that choose to give their lives to Him abandon their old ways. Meaning, the things I used to do, the ways I used to act, the things I used to say, the places I used to go, the things I used to listen to…… I abandon! I relinquish! I resign to those old ways of living.
The Spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh says, “Let me hold onto some of that.”
The flesh is saying, “Can I keep a little bit of my old life?”
The flesh is saying, “I don’t want to let it all go!”
And the whole time the Spirit is saying, “Lay it down at the altar.”
“Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak” Matthew 26:41
Again, Jesus shows us by example that we must deny ourselves of what the flesh wants and surrender to the Spirit.
“From that time forth began Jesus to shew unto his disciples, how that he must go unto Jerusalem, and suffer many things of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised again the third day. Then Peter took him, and began to rebuke him, saying, Be it far from thee, Lord: this shall not be unto thee.” Matthew 16:21-22
Just a few scriptures before this, Peter was praised by Jesus because he had a revelation of who He was. But now we see, Jesus calling him Satan, because he is speaking against Jesus fully surrendering to the will of God.
Maybe Peter and the other disciples were starting to get comfortable with the miracles, comfortable with the provision, comfortable with the present lifestyle with the almighty God being with them every day.
But now, when things are getting asked that they are not comfortable with, Peter rebukes the Lord… because his own flesh was not in agreement.
Can I tell you the obvious….the flesh will never agree with the spirit. It is like oil and water; they repel from each other.
Look at Jesus’s strong response to Peter…
But he turned, and said unto Peter, Get thee behind me, Satan: thou art an offence unto me: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but those that be of men. Matthew 16:23
When you want what the flesh wants, you desire the things that are not of God.
Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. Matthew 16:24
If you want to follow Jesus, you got to be willing to deny yourself. You have to deny your flesh.
For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it. For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul? Matthew 16:25-26
Everything this flesh wants and desires will profit only in this life, not in the next.
What are you saying yes to that you are exchanging your soul for?
A better question is asking you need to say no to, so you don’t exchange for your soul.
The altar is an incredible place to make commitments and to tell God that you will surrender ALL to Him.
My best moments in my life with God have been at the altar.
At the altar, I sacrifice.
At the altar, I give ALL of myself.
At the altar, I make commitments to live a life that is pleasing to Him.
At the altar, I surrender ALL.
My question today is….
Are you willing to surrender ALL to Him?
Abraham is one of many examples that said yes at an altar of sacrifice. His prayer and actions were aligned when God asked him to give the one thing that Abraham loved the most on this earth.
All the way to the altar of sacrifice, he worshipped and spoke the words, “God will provide.”
Because Abraham was willing, he was able to see Jehovah Jireh, meaning “the LORD will provide.”
There is nothing you give up for Him that He will not replace with something better.
Are you willing?