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Absolute Surrender

The Urban Alternative / Tony Evans, PhD
The Truth Network Radio
August 30, 2021 8:00 am

Absolute Surrender

The Urban Alternative / Tony Evans, PhD

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August 30, 2021 8:00 am

Dr. Tony Evans says that many people worship a designer deity, a God who conforms to their standards more than they do to his. But in this lesson, he’ll explain why we need to come to the Lord on His terms, not ours, and talk about the benefits and difficulties of absolute surrender.

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The temptation is to be conformed to the world in order to be accepted by it. But Dr. Tony Evans says there's a reason that's not where we should be looking for approval.

When the Bible talks about the world, it is talking about that system headed by Satan that leaves God out. Celebrating 40 years of faithfulness, this is the alternative with Dr. Tony Evans, author, speaker, senior pastor of Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship in Dallas, Texas, and president of the Urban Alternative. Some of the most important truths in life are counterintuitive. We need to look beyond what seems most obvious in order to experience what's really possible. Well, today, Dr. Evans explores a remarkable paradox as he talks about what it means to fully surrender to God.

Let's join him as he begins. April 14, 1912, that was the day that the Titanic sank in its maiden voyage from England to America. The second officer on the ship of the Titanic was David Blair. But on the day before the launching of the Titanic on his voyage, David Blair was reassigned.

So he was no longer going to be on the ship. What David Blair had in his pocket was a key to the crow's nest locker. But because David Blair forgot to leave the key, the locker was not accessed, so the binoculars were not utilized. That meant that the gentleman in the crow's nest locker was limited to his human sight on that foggy day. And being limited to his human sight, he came upon the iceberg too late.

He saw it too late. In other words, the Titanic sank not merely because it hit an iceberg, but because there was a missing key. And the missing key, which led to not having the binoculars, which led to not seeing in time the iceberg, which led to the crash, which led to the sinking, all because a missing key.

Something so small could result in something so cataclysmic. As we look at the divine reset, I want to talk to you about the missing key. Many of us have been engaged and involved in religious activity, church, Bible, prayer. And yet something still seems to be sinking in our lives, in our families, in our churches, and in our culture.

And we go through major efforts to identify the cause and the cure of this sinking that's taking place with us and all around us. But I would like to suggest to you that there's one key. And if that key is accessed, it will reshape our ability to stay afloat in the realities of all that is consuming us and that is around us. That key is summarized for us in the first two verses of Romans chapter 12.

They read as follows, Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what is the will of God, that which is good and acceptable and perfect. The key is this phrase, absolute surrender. Now, we often in our Christian vernacular talk about commitment, commitment to Christ, commitment to the Lord. And that is an appropriate term.

However, it may not be a sufficient term, because when you make a commitment, it's something you decide to do. But when you make a surrender, that is controlled by something somebody else does that imposes itself on you. The first three chapters through verse 20 of chapter 3 of Romans talks about the whole world being guilty before a holy God. But in chapter 3 verse 21, he talks about the fact that we're justified freely by His grace, stringing together the great theological terms of redemption and propitiation and justification and grace. And he talks about the awesome salvation that Christ has provided. In chapter 4, he talks about the fact that this awesome salvation is granted free of charge, verses 4 and 5.

He says it's not according to a man's wages. It is being granted by your trust and faith in the finished work of Jesus Christ. In chapter 5, he says that's not all, but that gives you access to a whole plethora of God's grace and His favor once you come to faith in Christ. But chapter 6 and 7 says that that does not mean that there won't be struggles, because the world, the flesh, and the devil will seek to pull us away from that commitment. And Paul agonizes over his own struggles in chapter 7, but that leads him to chapter 8 when he runs smack dab into the Holy Spirit and discovers what it means to walk in the Spirit and not according to the flesh in order to have victory. The question then comes, if this salvation is so awesome, why does not Israel have it? Chapters 9 through 11, he says Israel does not experience it because they won't accept it. And when you don't accept it, you don't get to benefit from it.

And if you don't get the benefit from it, then all that it offers you is not accessed by you. I beseech you therefore, brethren. Predicated on the mercies of God that He has given to the Gentiles, He says, I plead with you, I urge you to present your body as a living and holy sacrifice. To present your body is to present the frame of your humanity. If you're going to touch something, your body's got to be operating. Your hand's going to move. You're going to go somewhere. Your legs have got to carry you there. You're going to speak. Your mouth has got to articulate.

If you're going to hear, your eardrums must pick up the frequency. In other words, anything God is going to do for you, He needs access to your body. It is when you fully commit all of you to all of Him. He comes in verse 2, and do not be conformed to this world. So He says the first thing you must do if you're going to be completely surrendered is give God all of you. There's no part of your humanity to which He does not want to have complete exclusivity over. The second thing He says is give the world none of you. Present your body, give all of you to Him, but give the world none of you.

Be not conformed. The Greek word conform is used of a potter manipulating clay, creating something with the clay. Squeezes it here, presses it there, shapes it around here, so that now you wind up with a cup, salsa, plate, bowl, because of how they've shaped or conformed the clay. It has to do with external pressure in order to formulate what you have in mind with the clay.

You press it in order to formulate it into what you want it to be. He says don't let the world squeeze you here, press you there, reshape you over here, so that you come out looking like it, so that you come out worldly, because you've allowed its value system to control and define your value system. When the Bible talks about the world, it is talking about that system headed by Satan that leaves God out.

You become, I become, we become worldly when we kick God to the curb in order to satisfy the broader society. Now, in days gone by, there was sympathy to a Judeo-Christian ethic and worldview. Even people who weren't Christians respected a Christian ethic. You and I did not grow up having worried, being worried in our culture about being persecuted for following Christ. It was an accepted thing to do.

That's not the case now. And the temptation is to be conformed to the world in order to be accepted by it. That's why he wants to own you, because now the question is, who do you want to accept you? Do you want the society that leads God out to accept you, or do you want the one who owns you to accept you? He says, do not allow the world to squeeze you, mold you, shape you. Now, the reason why this is important is James 4, 4 says, friendship with the world is hostility toward God. First John chapter 2, verses 15 to 17 says, Love not the world, nor the things that are in the world. If any man loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. So guess what? Once you accept the world, you lose God.

Once you buy into that system where you adopt its values and make them your values in order to make them happy because you don't want them not to like you, you can have their like, but you won't have the Father's support. So we have a lot of Christians who have no heavenly support because they're too worldly connected. Now we're supposed to be in the world. Jesus made it clear we're not supposed to leave the world. He left us here to make an imprint on the world, but to make his imprint on the world, not to have the world make its imprint on us. So what we have today are Christians who are compromising, Christians who are dumbing down decency, Christians who no longer use God's definition, Christians who in the name of sympathy or compassion change the rules.

We should be sympathetic. We ought to lead in compassion, but we don't change God's rules in the name of it. You maintain the divine standard and you do it with a loving heart and a compassionate spirit, but with clarity. He says, do not be conformed to this world. Don't let this world system shape your world view. And how do you know you're being worldly?

Because God's perspective is no longer the dominating one. Dr. Evans will tell us more about that missing key when he returns shortly with part two of this message from the Divine Reset series. This collection is full of insights to help you leave behind destructive patterns and problems that may have afflicted you for years. You'll discover how to redefine success the way God sees it, how to persevere when life gets tough, how to unlock God's power in your life, and much more.

There's a lot packed into this powerful series, and all ten messages are yours as our gift when you make a contribution to help support our work here on the air. Along with the audio messages, which you can get on CD or digital download, we'll also send you Tony's practical booklet, Winning Your Spiritual Battles, a convenient reference guide to help you move past the devil's attempts to hinder your marriage, health, career, virtually all aspects of your life. Visit us at before the special limited-time offer runs out, or call us at 1-800-800-3222 to get some in-person help from our resource team. We'll have our contact information again for you after part two of today's lesson and this.

Take a course with Dr. Evans and explore the kingdom anytime, anywhere. So, absolute surrender starts with God owning all of you, present your body, your humanity, a living sacrifice, the world owning none of you. Thirdly, he says, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Verse two says, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Now, what the brain is to the body, the mind is to the soul. And the soul is the life.

You are not your body. He says, be transformed in renewing of your mind so that your soul can function correctly. The mind must be recalibrated. Now, that's no easy thing, because oftentimes to recalibrate the mind, you have to go against things you were taught.

You have to go against experiences that you've had. You may have to call your own self a liar, because when confronted with God and anything else, once the something else wins, the transformation stops, the machine cuts off, and the changing of the distortion of the soul does not take place. But the issue is, being transformed by the renewing of the mind, there must be a different set of standards governing what it means to follow Christ. So God must own all of you.

The world must own none of you. So the Holy Spirit is free to reshape the distortion of the mind. The Bible is clear that to not to be double-minded, let man think he will receive anything from the Lord James 1.5. He says, don't try to mix the two. The two don't mix.

Oil and water, leaded and diesel, the two don't mix. So what can you expect if you reset your life to absolute surrender? If you say, okay, I get up in the morning and I let God know He owns me today, owns all of my humanity, and that the world will not— I'm going to be in the world, I'm going to be relevant to the world, I'm going to be productive, I'm going to do all the stuff that I'm going to do in society, but I am not going to let it define me.

I'm not going to let it decide for me. And then I'm going to expose myself so the Holy Spirit can give me God's way of thinking in a matter, and the way you know you did that is you find out what God thinks first, not last. You don't just find out what everybody else has to say, and then you wind up with God. He says something very important.

This is life-changing. So that you may prove, verse 2 says, what the will of God is, that which is good, acceptable, and perfect. So you will prove what the will of God is. The committed Christian wants the will of God. The will of God is what God determines and desires to happen. Everything God determines, everything God desires, He doesn't determine.

Let me say that again. Everything God desires, He doesn't determine. That's why the Bible says you have not because you ask not. He may desire you to have it, but He doesn't determine that you get it because you didn't fulfill the requirement to get it. So He desires it, but He didn't determine it.

Anything God determines will happen, but He doesn't determine everything He desires. What you and I should want is everything He desires for Him to determine it, for Him to execute His will on our behalf for whatever that is for our existence. You want the will of God. Many times I'm asked, how can I find the will of God?

Let me help you. I've got good news for you. You don't have to. He says, if you're absolutely surrendered, the will of God will find you. He says, give God all of you, give the world none of you, allow the Holy Spirit to transform your thinking into God's perspective so that you will prove. That means so that you will see worked out, so that you will see come to pass what the will of God is.

Okay, let me go a little deeper here. God has a revealed will. That's a revealed will is what He has recorded in His Word. That's a revealed will.

You can open your Bibles and discover, thus saith the Lord. But then God has a secret will, things He doesn't talk about in the Bible, but still things we need to know about for our own personal lives, because you can't go to the Bible and find out whether you should take this job or that job, Mary, Bill, or Joe. You can't go and find all the specifics about all the issues of life, because those are not in the revealed will, but they're part of the will. So that's His will for me, His will for you, His will for us. To get His secret will, you have to be submitted to His revealed will. See, if you reject His revealed will, He ain't going to tell you His secret will, because He can't trust you with what you know.

So He's certainly not going to trust you with what you don't know. So you must accept His revealed will. When you accept His revealed will and you are absolutely surrendered, He is now free to show you His specific will or secret will or unique will for you, which varies from person to person. When God sees total surrender of life, He can now say, let the will of God flow, let it emerge naturally out of our relationship. And so it may be scary to say, I'm going to be absolutely surrendered, because I don't know what He's going to do, I don't know what He's going to say, I don't know what I'm going to lose, rejection I might endure if I'm absolutely surrendered.

I don't know, and I'm scared. When I was a water safety instructor, when I was teaching people how to swim, who were afraid of the water. They were afraid of the water, because water can be risky business. And so the first thing I had to do was I had to get them to buy into one thing. This one thing, because once I got them to buy into this one thing, it wouldn't take long for me to teach them how to swim. And the one thing I had to get them to buy into was, I'm not going to let you drown. I'm not going to let you go. I got you.

They may be scared at first, but once they knew that I wasn't going to let them go, their confidence grew even though they were still in a growth learning process. What God wants you to know is if you do absolute surrender, I got you. I know it's a little scary, but I got you. Dr. Tony Evans, talking about putting God's agenda ahead of our own.

And he'll come back with a final word in just a moment. But first, if you'd like to review this lesson on your own or pass it along to someone you care about, just get in touch with us for details on getting the full-length version of the message titled, Absolute Surrender. Better yet, get it as a part of Tony's brand-new series, Divine Reset. As I mentioned earlier, it's available right now as our gift to you in appreciation for your donation toward Tony's ministry, along with a special bonus, the paired booklet, Winning Your Spiritual Battles. Visit today to get all the details before time runs out. Again, that's Or call us at 1-800-800-3222. Our resource center is open 24-7.

That's 1-800-800-3222. When we've done something wrong, the right thing to do is to apologize. But when we've done something right, like confessing our allegiance to Christ, Dr. Evans says it's a different story. Tomorrow, he'll explain what it means to be an unapologetic Christian, loyal to Christ, even when it cuts across the grain of our culture. Right now, though, he's back with this closing thought. So, we can make a decision to keep going to church, keep singing songs, keep doing good things, but being worldly for most of the time, except those few hours where we're doing the Christian thing. Or giving God all of us, giving the world none of us, allowing our minds to be reconformed. The question is, do you believe He has you, or do you believe you're better at having yourself? The Alternative with Dr. Tony Evans is brought to you by the Urban Alternative, and is celebrating 40 years of faithfulness thanks to the generous contributions of listeners like you.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-09-12 09:21:39 / 2023-09-12 09:29:52 / 8

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