Learning From the Master: Living a Surrendered Life

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He calls us to battle against selfishness, temptation, lust and sin. He gives us all we need for godliness in this lifelong war against our flesh.

Ep.3 Living a Surrendered Life with Guest Mary Wells - Created for the Impossible

However, there are some wrestling matches He asks us to refrain from. Particularly, He asks us to cease striving for control. Our sin nature whispers to us that we have the right to rule our lives—as if our very breath in our lungs was not an undeserved gift from God. When we listen to these lies, we engage in the wrestling match against the struggles of life and sometimes, the will of God. The desire for control often is revealed in two different ways: disobedience and distrust.

When we make choices based on our desires that contradict the authority of God, it is disobedience. Distrust is displayed in our demand to understand everything, despite knowing the faithfulness of God. Both disobedience and distrust reveal a need to bow ourselves in surrender and reacquaint ourselves with the character of God.

Often, this grappling for control is not a blatant disregard for the things of God or His authority, but rather indifference to it. We are not diligent in pursuing the Lord and before we know it we find ourselves pursuing the things of the world. How easy it is to find ourselves here!

As pastor and author Dr. We need our spiritual meals in order to be continually reminded of our need for God and His overwhelming grace. Recently, there was a bill working its way through the California Assembly that would have declared illegal any Christian counseling that regarded homosexuality as a sin. How do we wage war against an institution that is making such bills? For such is the will of God, that by doing right, you may silence the ignorance of foolish men.

The battle cry of every believer is, "I surrender. I submit to your authority. Peter says to every human institution, and then he refers to the king - which speaks of national authority, and then he speaks of the governor - which refers to local authorities.

Doing The Will of God

As the government rages against believers at every level, whether it be at the national level, the state level, the local level, or the municipal level, we are to surrender to every manifestation of institutional authority placed over us. Thus, we are to surrender, submit to, and honor President Trump, President Obama before him, President Bush before him, and President Clinton before him.

We are to honor Governor Jerry Brown the first time he was in office, and the second time he was in office. We are to submit to the Supreme Court's rulings, whether they lean to the left or whether they lean to the right. We are to obey every law that is passed by the legislature, whether we like it or not. Thus, whatever the government's attitude toward believers, the one thing that the government should be able to count on of all believers is our total submission and deep reverence toward their authority.

The only time we are free to disobey the institutional authorities is when they command us to disobey our Lord and Master, but short of that, we are to be exemplary citizens, submissive and reverential to the authorities over us. That's because every authority has been placed there by God Himself. This is what Pastor MacArthur refers to as evangelistic citizenship. But our surrender is not limited to the political level, it applies to the societal level as well. Servants, be submissive to your masters with all respect, not only to those who are good and gentle, but also to those who are unreasonable.

For this finds favor, if for the sake of conscience toward God, a person bears up under sorrows when suffering unjustly. For what credit is there if, when you sin and are harshly treated, you endure it with patience? But if when you do what is right and suffer for it, you patiently endure it, this finds favor with God. Paul is here speaking specifically of the master-to-slave relationship. We must remember that treatment of a slave at the hands of a secular master during this time often involved cruel beatings, severe treatment, and even death. The Christian slave was to submit to the authority of his master.

He was to serve his master willingly, humbly, and reverentially, knowing that this found favor with God. In that regard, it should be that the Christian employee is the most valuable employee to the employer. Joseph, until he was falsely accused by Potiphar, was Potiphar's most trusted slave. Now He wanted the key and He wanted control of that part of my life.

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So I gave Him the key. I surrendered my career over to God. Except for my baptism, it was the most meaningful act of surrender in my life. Very simple, but not easy. Maybe surrendering everything feels too overwhelming. If so, take surrendering one step at a time and start with one area of your life, or one decision or one day. I will follow wherever You lead.


Puzzles and Surrender | Mercy Blog »

There are two primary movements to surrendering. The first movement is letting go of something — letting go of self, letting go of control, letting go of a dream, letting go of what I cling to for worth and significance. Letting go of the Kingdom of Self and submitting to the reign and Kingdom of God. Often times surrendering involves not knowing the outcome. Was God going to ask me to stay on my career path or instead ask me to sell all my possessions and go live in a grass hut in Africa?

Learning From the Master: Living a Surrendered Life

I had no idea what was going to happen. If you have ever done any reading about grief, you will learn that grief is a process and it occurs in stages. The graphic below illustrates what the stages of grief can look like. Here is the Big Idea: The surrendering process is a grief process. When a person surrenders, he or she will most likely go through the stages of grief: denial, anger, fear, isolation, new strengths, new patterns and hope.

Surrendering is a process of letting go of control and giving that control over to God. Grieving is the stages of emotions one experiences after any kind of loss. Both of them are processes of letting go of the old before experiencing the new or even knowing what the new looks like. It is a letting go of the old even before I know what the new may look like. Going back to my locked door vision, I was afraid of what would happen once I gave God the key to that door.