Acts 17:30 “The times of this ignorance God winked at, but now commands all men everywhere to repent”. God has permitted much in His long-suffering and forbearance in our lives that has not been pleasing to Him, and He has winked His eye, but the time has now come when He is not leaving things unchallenged in our walk with Him. The days are getting shorter and darker. We are the heirs of His promises and, as such, God is requiring us to walk in the light we have received from Him. Light dispels darkness.
The fullness of God is our birthright. It is not some rare, to be hoped for experience, it is made available to us through the finished work of Christ at Calvary. We have only experienced it in measure because we have not walked in full surrender. How many of us have sung the well known hymn, “All to Jesus I surrender…….I surrender all”, under the anointing in a Gathering, only to prove later in the school of life that we have let those words fall to the ground as we have walked in the ways of our old, Adamic nature and have thus proved our lack of surrender to Jesus ruling and reigning in our hearts.
The time of God winking His eye is over. It is better not to sing “I surrender all” if I continue to hang on to the right to myself. God will come for my words. In the book of Acts, chapter 5: 1-11, we find the record of Ananias and Sapphira and their hypocrisy. They pretended to be part of a company of people who had fully surrendered their lives and all their possessions to the Lord, but deceitfully held back part of the price they had received for land they had sold, and lied about it. God uncovered their sin and struck them dead! In the day of great power, there is great judgement. If they had walked in truth and not pretended to be identified with a people who were fully surrendered to the Lord, they would not have died. God meets people where they are but His character demands we walk in truth.
If you feel unable to sing the words of the hymn, “I surrender all” sincerely, do not condemn yourself. Embrace the truth of where you are at. God honours truth. However, if God has birthed in you a desire for His fullness, the next step in order to move on involves your choice. God takes an unwilling man and works with him to bring him to a place of surrender, all for His glory. If I was willing in my own strength, I would have something to glory in, and God will not give His glory to another. Scripture declares: “For it is God who works in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure”, Philippians 2:13. Once you have embraced and declared unwillingness to the Lord, the next step is to surrender and humbly request Him to work with you to bring you to that position of “nevertheless, not my will but Yours be done”……. just as Jesus prayed in the garden of Gethsemane. It is not a sin to not want God’s will, but it is a sin not to choose it. Jesus, in Gethsemane, did not want to die and agonised with His Father in prayer. He asked if it were possible “to let this cup pass from me” Matthew 26:39, but then went on to surrender His will and declared, “nevertheless not as I will, but as You will”. God honoured His choice. As we surrender, we are strengthened with His power and ability……resurrection life, Christ in me, the hope of glory!
As we surrender our will to the Lord we “become” the will of God and discover the joy and peace of His presence, independent of any circumstance.
We all have a counter where we resist God’s will. That position is different for all of us. Each day brings fresh challenges as God puts His finger on situations, relationships, possessions etc. and requires us to surrender all that hinders deeper fellowship with Him. Surrender is always in the present tense as fresh challenges arise each day. Our Father always desires His highest good for us. His ways, plans and thoughts for us far exceed anything we could ask or think. He loves us passionately, disregard a lying heart that would tell you otherwise. The challenge is to daily prove God in surrender.
Jesus made a way through Calvary for us to walk in the purpose God created us for. If I am struggling it is because I am living my way, instead of God’s. We all have strongholds of wrong believing that need to be placed on God’s altar. Surrender. Jesus has not called me to try and be a son, He has called me to BE a son. John 1:12 declares “As many as received him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His name”.
It is time to walk in our birthright as sons and daughters of the Living God.
Surrender destroys the impetus of compulsion. I can choose to yield or suffer the consequences of compulsion, the hard way!…..or maybe stagnate in a pool of my own stubbornness….going nowhere, never enjoying the blessings of the Promised Land.
God, in His loving faithfulness, will bring us to the position of full surrender if we pursue Him and give Him the first place in our lives, acknowledging Him in all our ways, (Proverbs 3: 5-9). As we surrender to Him, the resurrection life of His Son will flow through us, equipping and enabling us to walk in our birthright, then we will be able to sing the following hymn:
“All to Jesus I surrender, all to Him I freely give,
I will ever love and trust Him, in His presence daily live.
(Chorus) I surrender all, I surrender all. All to Thee my blessed Saviour, I surrender all.
2 All to Jesus I surrender, humbly at His feet I bow
Worldly pleasures all forsaken, Take me Jesus, take me now.
3 All to Jesus I surrender, Lord I give myself to Thee,
Fill me with Thy love and power, Let Thy blessing fall on me.
4 All to Jesus I surrender, Now I feel the sacred flame.
O the joy of full salvation, glory, glory to His name.
J.Van de Venter