Message From Matt | February 15, 2019

Surrender!

 I have been re-reading the book 

Absolute Surrender by author Andrew Murray.  In the first chapter of the book he quotes 1 Kings 20:1-4 which states in part…”And Benhadad the king of Syria…sent messengers to Ahab king of Israel into the city, and said unto him…Thy silver and thy gold is mine; thy wives also and thy children, even the goodliest, are mine. And the king of Israel answered and said, My lord, O king, according to thy saying, I am thine, and all that I have.”

At this point, much could be said about how weak and evil a king that Ahab was…no doubt this is true.  I wonder if King David would have done this.   Most likely not!  But it’s not Ahab’s weakness that grabbed my attention…it is what he said during his surrender to the king of Syria.  I think this is what attracted Andrew Murray to write this book as well!  

I have “surrender” on the brain as 15 of our church members are in Costa Rica this week with 3 missionaries that have surrendered their lives to God’s call.  It is as if they said to God “

I am thine, and all that I have.” 

when God called them.  Maybe many would think that it is easy to leave the States to live in Costa Rica;  after all, the weather and scenery are fantastic!  But I can tell you from my experience of seeing behind the scenes that surrendering to leave your home, family, friends and security is not easy!  In fact, there are some very hard parts about it!  So why do they do it?  

It has to be because when God puts something on your heart like this and it won’t go away – surrender is the only thing to do!  Doing anything else would be unfulfilling!

So how do we know when God is calling us to do something for Him?  

Maybe there are multiple answers to this depending on the circumstances and person, but I reflect back on what my father in law, Ron Pollard, told me when I asked him years ago about being called into ministry.  He said that I would know it is of God “when it’s all that I can think about!”  At that time, getting into full-time ministry was constantly on my mind! I couldn’t shake it and I tried to, but God was calling me to something different than anything that I could imagine and I knew that I would continue to be miserable if I didn’t surrender. 

Surrender can be scary!  You don’t know what to expect and what the future will hold.  It might even change your plans like it did mine but I don’t regret it!  I am glad that I surrendered (hesitantly at first) and know that I should be ready to do anything that God calls me to do.

What about you?

  Has something been pressing in your thoughts for a long time that you haven’t surrendered to yet?  

What about today?  Will you say to God, “I’m yours and everything that I have”?

What’s next?  You wake up every day and say to God that same thing and see how God directs you.  Work for Him and wait on His direction!  When I surrendered to God, I never thought I would be surrendering to be the pastor at IBT, but that was God’s plan that was fulfilled nearly 10 years after my surrender.