SURRENDER HAS IT’S REWARDS
By George W. Black
When we say “Jesus is Lord,” we may not always consider the far-ranging dynamics of His Lordship in our daily lives. God spoke to my heart recently that “whatever you surrender to God comes under His covering, blessing, and protection; and whatever you do not surrender, does not.”
What we surrender to Christ comes under His covering, blessing, protection. What we don't surrender does not. pic.twitter.com/CwGs4tp2At
— George W. Black (@RejoiceNet) October 5, 2016
I have been meditating on that thought for days because of its profound implications. I felt it was a Word of wisdom to me personally, so I didn’t want to let it “fall to the ground” unexplored.
Various stories in the Bible that affirm the joy of divine surrender began to emerge in my thoughts, such as Jesus in the Garden before the passion of the Cross. He asked His Father if there was another way to accomplish salvation, His humanity bearing heavily on the moment as real as ours. Then He transitions His prayer to complete surrender with one word, “NEVERTHELESS.”
Surrender is always an act of worship, a giving of oneself fully and completely to another. Jesus set the example for us. He could have called 10,000 angels to rescue Him, but He chose the Father’s plan over His personal desire. Just has John the Baptist had decreased so Christ could increase, so too now we find Jesus choosing to decrease so that the Father’s plan could continue.
“O My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will.” Matthew 26:39
But let us not forget the example of faith that Jesus Christ set for us, and that we can continually look to for strength and courage, to say no to self, and yes to the Father’s plan. Jesus saw beyond the moment of temptation through the eyes of faith. He looked to the reward.
“looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” Hebrews 12:2
Surrender has it’s own rewards. For instance, when I surrender my life to follow Christ, I may not always do it perfectly, but it means that I am now looking to Him for His wisdom, guidance, etc. My faith and surrender place a demand on God that He responds to by perfectly covering me, blessing me, and protecting me.
In particular, when I surrender my body to Christ as a living sacrifice, this means that it is now His body, and that I want to follow His plan for it. This means using it for His purposes, taking care of it according to the clear teaching of Scripture, exercising it, feeding it good things, resting it, and fasting it as He directs.
The next time you say Jesus is Lord of your body, ask yourself, is He really? Have I really surrendered to His plan for health and a long life?
Whatever we surrender to God comes under his covering, blessing, and protection. I want to be an obedient disciple that brings glory to God. I also want the health and long life necessary to do it well, so I have to come to the place I say, “nevertheless, not as I will but as You will.”
Sometimes fasting is the hardest thing I do. When I can’t even skip a meal, that tells me who is really in charge…my flesh. But God’s grace is sufficient. It’s not about beating myself up about it, its about recognizing my need for surrender. When I surrender, grace flows to the low place. Grace is God’s ability to do His will. If I am willing to receive His grace, I can always do His will. Thank you Jesus!!!
What about surrendering our finance to Him as an act of worship? I find so many people driven by fear in this area, and fear is of the flesh. We must be good stewards by recognizing that it all belongs to Him in the first place. What a joy and privilege it is to surrender our finance to Him and ask for His wisdom and guidance on how to handle it. When you make God your financial partner, He becomes responsible for you. But we can’t say Jesus is Lord of finance, and not do the things He tells us to do.
“But why do you call Me ‘Lord,Lord,’ and not do the things which I say?” Luke 6:46
I remember a life-lesson on surrendering my finance early in my ministry. Cathy and I had driven several hundred miles to preach for a rural church in Louisiana, both Sunday morning and evening. We had some great services and everyone was blessed. However, Cathy and I were in trouble financially. Our house mortgage was overdue, and we were already getting the notices and phone calls. I felt helpless as the provider of my family. I was sure God was going to use this weekend trip to bless us with a good love offering.
I was wrong. When the deacon of the church handed me a folded check at the end of the evening, I could hardly wait a few minutes to open it and see what the church had given us. I was desperate.
When I opened the check, it was for $100.00. Needless to say, my heart just sank. We needed over $900.00 just to pull even with our bills, and would still not have anything for food or utilities.
Suddenly God spoke to me and said “sow it.” I heard Him as clear as day, but my flesh did not want to say “nevertheless.” So I argued with Him. I said, “God you know our situation. We spent more money than that check on gas and other expenses just making this trip. If I sow this money, we will have nothing to go home with, and I don’t know how I could ever tell Cathy I had given it away.”
It’s kinda funny when we think we can argue with God. But we do. He asked me one question in response that put me in my place. He asked, “will that offering meet your need?” Slowly I admitted, “no Lord, it won’t meet my need.” Then He said again, “sow it.”
BAM! Faith came up in my heart and I suddenly realized what He was trying to get me to do. He was giving me seed to break the curse of lack off my life. Now I had the choice of either eating my seed or sowing my seed. I surrendered and finally said, “nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will.”
There was a man in the service that night who had just gotten saved in prison, and was a new release. Right after God told me to sow that money, he came over and began to talk to me and share his vision of starting a prison ministry to go back in with Bible Studies and discipleship training. I asked him if $100.00 would help him get started, and he about shouted he was so excited. He said that $100.00 was exactly what he was praying for to get started. I reached into my pocket and pulled out that folded check, signed it over to him, and put it in his hand.
God heard his prayers and used me to meet the need. That $100.00 wouldn’t meet my needs, but it met his needs. What an amazing God we serve.
I felt the smile of God as I left that place, but then I had to tell Cathy on the way home. As we pulled onto the highway, I told her how much the offering was, and what God had instructed me to do with it. Cathy is a woman of great faith. I had underestimated her. She said “good; God will take care of us some other way.”
Within a week we received a special love offering in the mail from someone who did not know the situation we were facing. It was a check for $1,000.00 that completely covered our past-due mortgage and some other things. The note said that God had laid this donation on this persons heart, and it happened about the same time we had sown our offering. I cried.
Whatever we surrender to God will have His covering, blessing, and protection.
Surrender in every area of life has its own rewards. Why does God ask us to surrender to Him? Because He is a good, good Father who knows what is best for us.
“If you are willing and obedient, you shall eat the good of the land.” Isaiah 1:19