October 10, 2013

Day 10. The Heart of Worship

Surrender your whole being to him 
to be used for righteous purposes.
- Romans 6:13b -

Surrender is an unpopular word, dislike almost as much as the word submission. But surrendering to God is the heart of worship. It is the natural response to God's amazing love and mercy. We give ourselves to him, not out of fear or duty, but in love.

True worship bringing God pleasure happens when you give yourself completely to God. Offering yourself to God is what worship is all about. This act of personal surrender is called many things: consecration, making Jesus your Lord, taking up your cross, dying to self, yielding to the Spirit.

There are three barriers that block our total surrender to God: fear, pride, and confusion. We don't realize how much God loves us, we want to control our own lives, and we misunderstand the meaning of surrender. 

Can I trust God?
Trust is essential ingredient to surrender. You won't surrender to God unless you trust him, but you can't trust him until you  know him better. Fear keeps us from surrendering, but love casts out all fear. The more you realize how much God loves you, the easier surrender becomes. 

God is a lover and a liberator, and surrendering to him brings freedom, not bondage. When we completely surrender ourselves to Jesus, we discover that he is not a tyrant, but a saviour; not a boss, but a brother; not a dictator, but a friend.

Admitting our limitations
A second barrier to total surrender is out pride. We don't want to admit that we're just creatures and not in charge of everything. Life is a struggle, but what most people don't realize is that our struggle, is really a struggle with God. We want to be God, and there's no way we are going to win that struggle. We aren't God and never will be. We are humans.

What it means to surrender?
Surrendering to God is not passive resignation, fatalism, or an excuse for laziness. It is not accepting the status quo. It may mean the exact opposite: sacrificing your life or suffering in order to change what needs to be changed. It doesn't mean giving up rational thinking. God would not waste the mind he gave you. Surrendering is not repressing your personality. Rather than its being diminished, surrendering enhances it. C. S Lewis observed: "The more we let God take us over, the more truly ourselves we become because he made us. You know you're surrendered to God when you rely on God to work things out instead of trying to manipulate others, force your agenda, and control the situation. You let go and let God work. Instead of trying harder, you trust more. You also know you're surrender when you don't react to criticisms and rush to defend yourself. Surrendered hearts show io best in relationships. You don't edge others pit, you don't demand your rights, and you aren't self-serving when you're surrendered.

The blessing of surrender
The Bible is crystal clear about how you benefit when you fully surrender your life to God.
1. You experience peace
2. You experience freedom
3. You experience God's power in your life

Victory comes through surrender. Stubborn temptations and overwhelming problems can be defeated by Christ when given to him. Surrender doesn't weaken you; it strengthens you. Surrender to God, you don't have to fear or surrender to anything else. Nothing is more powerful than a surrendered life in the hands of God.

The best way to live
Everybody eventually surrenders to something or someone. If not to God, you will surrender to the opinions or expectations of others, to money, to resentment, to fear, or to your pride, lust, or ego. You were designed to worship God, and if you fail to worship Him, you will create others things (idols) to give your life to. You are free to choose what you surrender to, but you are not free from the consequences of that choice.

Surrender to God is not the best way to live; it is the only way to live. Nothing else works. All other approaches lead to frustration, disappointment, and self-destruction.
Surrendering your life is not a foolish emotional impulse but a rational, intelligent act, the most responsible and sensible thing you can do with your life.

Sometimes it takes years, but eventually you discover that the greatest hindrance to God's blessing in your lifebis not others, it is yourself, yourself-will, stubborn pride, and personal ambition.

If God is going to do his deepest work in you, it will begin with this. So give it all to God, your past regrets, your present problems, your future ambitions, your fears, dreams, weaknesses, habits, hurts and hang-ups. Put Jesus Christ as a driver's seat of your life and take your hands off the steering wheel. Don't be afraid; nothing under his control can ever be out of control. Mastered by Christ, you can handle anything.

Surrendering is never just a one-time event. Paul said: "I die daily." There is a moment of surrender, and there is the practice of surrender, which is moment by moment and lifelong. You must make it a daily habit. When you decide to live a totally surrendered life, that decision will be tested. Sometimes it will mean doing inconvenient, unpopular, costly, or seemingly impossible tasks.

Question to Consider:
What area of my life am I holding back from God?

No comments: