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Unconditional Surrender - Part 1

In Touch / Charles Stanley
The Truth Network Radio
August 3, 2023 12:00 am

Unconditional Surrender - Part 1

In Touch / Charles Stanley

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August 3, 2023 12:00 am

What would it take for us to surrender-without condition-our whole hearts to God?

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Welcome to the In Touch Podcast with Charles Stanley for Thursday, August 3rd. When we think of surrender, the word defeat usually comes to mind too. But in God's plan, giving up isn't losing.

Instead, it's the only way to win. When nations war against each other, the sure evidence that someone has had a victory is that someone else surrenders unconditionally. An unconditional surrender means that they give up, they yield possession of with no restrictions, no conditions. It is an unconditional surrender.

As long as a nation has restrictions, as long as they have conditions to the surrender, there is still the possibility of a threat of a continuous war. When you and I trusted the Lord Jesus Christ as our personal Savior, that wasn't the end. That wasn't even His goal. His goal is that you and I would live unconditionally, surrender to Him every day of our life. Usually when we think of an unconditional surrender, the first thing that we think about is, oh my goodness, God, what am I going to have to give up now? That is always the way Satan operates. He turns a wonderful opportunity into some negative attitude and cheats us out of a powerful blessing from God. An unconditional surrender to Jesus Christ is not a negative attitude. It is not something that you necessarily have to give up.

It may be that you opened the door to receive something you've wanted all along, to receive God's very, very best in your life. So before you decide that an unconditional surrender is going to threaten your security, maybe what you ought to do is just ask yourself the question, Lord, do you want to say something to me today? Of all the verses in the Bible that best describe and probably the best wording of an absolute, complete, unconditional surrender is found in 1 Kings chapter 20. And we're not going to take all of the chapter because I just want to major on one verse in this particular passage. But I want us to read the first four verses and hear two nations warring against each other. One of them is a combination, a whole group of kings and nations. Chapter 20 of 1 Kings in verse 1 says, Now Ben-Hadad, king of Aram, gathered all his army, and there were thirty-two kings with him, and horses and chariots.

And he went up in besieged Samaria and fought against it. Then he sent messages to the city to Ahab, king of Israel, and said to him, Thus says Ben-Hadad, Your silver and your gold are mine. Your most beautiful wives and children are also mine. And the king of Israel answered and said, It is according to your word, my king, O Lord my king, I am yours and all that I have.

Listen to that. It is according to your word, my lord, O king, I am yours and all that I have. Have you ever said to Jesus Christ, According to thy word, O Lord my king, all that I am and all that I have is yours. An unconditional surrender of your life to Jesus Christ means that you are willing to surrender control, to yield control, to lay down control of yourself and everything that relates to you and turn it all over to Jesus Christ. Have you ever done that? You see, many people who are saved say, Well, you know, I did that when I was saved.

Well, tell me about it. Well, you know, I trust that Jesus Christ is my personal Savior and I just said, Lord, here am I. And yet somehow that same person has gone through life while they are partially surrendered to Him. That is, they have surrendered many things to Him, have oftentimes withheld just a little something over here for themselves.

Unconditional surrender means there are no restrictions. There's withholding of nothing but absolute total yielding of everything to the control of Jesus Christ. And churches today are filled with people who are saved but who are not surrendered. They are wondering why God does not use them more. They're wondering why God does not bless them more. They're wondering why the joy of the Christian life is not there.

They're wondering when they try to serve the Lord, the power of the Holy Spirit is not upon them. The primary reason is they are not unconditionally surrendered. They are conditionally surrendered. Yes, I'm willing to give up. I'm willing to surrender.

I'm willing to yield. What? All of this over here. But there are few things in life that I don't really think are significant. I don't think really God really cares about this and God doesn't care about that. It is those things that keep coming up when you begin to pray. And God says, what about this relationship and what about these finances and what about this person on your job and what about this attitude and what about and on and on it goes.

It could be one or many, many things. An unconditional surrender means that I'm willing to deal with anything and everything God brings to mind and I'm willing to say yes to Him and I do not attempt to barter or bargain or condition of God. Many people's prayers have a lot more barter in it than they realize. May God I'm willing to do whatever you say to them. Now, Lord, if you'll do this and so, here's what I'm willing to do.

Lord, if you'll heal me, here's what I will do. The truth is that because of who God is, He has the right and the privilege and the sovereign position to require of us the unconditional surrender of our life and all that we have to Him, whether He ever does anything or not. And so when we say unconditional surrender, that means I don't draw any lines and say, God, I'm willing to do this and so up to this point, but I does not cross that line. Lord, I'm willing to do this and so if you'll do this. No, unconditional surrender says, I lay it all down.

God, if you ever do anything, I'm willing to be obedient. I surrender it all to you. I relinquish control of my life.

Now listen to me carefully. The last thing any man wants to do is give up control. We don't want to give up control in our family. We don't want to give up control where we work. We just don't want to give up control. We like a little bit of control. But the unconditional surrender of a person that Jesus Christ means, I am willing, I choose by an act of my will to give up control. How much control? 90%, 100% control, which makes me absolutely, totally, completely available to the will of God, whatever, whenever and wherever. That's what obedience is all about.

And if you'll think about in the Scriptures, why in the world, what would be God's purpose for requiring us to give up absolute control and total surrender? What would be His purpose? Well, first of all, He's looking out for our best interest. Secondly, He wants to use you. And you see, there's so many people who go to church who say, well, you know, God can use him, He can use her, but how in the world could God use me?

Why don't you find out? Listen, as long as you ask yourself the question, how could God ever use me? Stop asking Him how and give Him the privilege of doing it. And one of the reasons He requires absolute and total unconditional surrender is because He wants to use His way. He wants to accomplish His purpose. He wants to glorify Himself.

He wants to make a contribution to His whole body through you. God's great purpose for requiring absolute and total unconditional surrender, His purposes are far higher than my purposes for wanting my way. So when we think about the whole idea of an unconditional surrender to Him, you'll notice in this passage what happened, that they talked about it. And so Ahab said in verse 4, it is according to your word, my Lord, O king, I am yours and all that I have. Now listen to this, listen to what Ben Hadeh asked for. He says, I want your silver and your gold. He says, I want the most beautiful women you have. And besides that, I want your children. Now watch this.

Did he not hit Ahab right where Ahab's most precious possessions gripped him most? I want your silver and your gold. That's all your financial security.

Then I want your wives and your children. He had nothing left. Listen, what did he have left?

When his family was gone and his physical material security was gone, he had nothing left. Is it any wonder that he said to the messengers of Ben Hadeh, you go tell him it's all his? Then when he got together with his elders, the Scripture says, they made another decision.

Look if you will, because this is the kind of decision a lot of us have made in life at times. Look in verse 9. So he said to the messengers of Ben Hadeh, tell my Lord the king, all that you sent for to your servant at the first I will do, but this thing I cannot do. I wonder how many of us have ever said that to the Lord Jesus Christ. Lord, I'm willing to give up my job. Lord, I'm willing to make less money. But God, to preach the gospel, no way.

They go to the mission field, I just can't do it. Lord, I cannot afford to tithe. Can you imagine telling God you can't afford to obey Him?

It is amazing how we rationalize and we, listen, by the time we get through coloring it up and painting it up, it looks so good, you're thinking convince God doesn't convince Him. Listen, disobedience never persuades God. And I can never accomplish the will of God by being disobedient to Him.

And He, listen, He will never require of me an act of disobedience in order to accomplish His will. And there are many people who genuinely think I'm surrendered. Whatever you want God, and as long as God's not dealing with some issue, it's really easy to say I'm totally surrendered. When I'm willing for God to really search my heart and He brings up something, then the question is, am I unconditionally surrendered or am I holding on to some things that I want in life? So let's look at this just for a moment.

This is a personal requirement. Unconditional surrender is the requirement of God for every single follower of Christ. When He said to those apostles, He said, follow me and I'll make you fishes of men. Finally, to become a follower of Jesus, they had to lay down the nets. And the Bible says to lay down the nets, walk out of the boat and walked away and left them. Here's what we want to do. We say, Lord Jesus, you got me, where do you want me to go?

As long as I can hold on to home base. Unconditional surrender says, I give up all control. I surrender all my rights.

I recognize that Jesus Christ has the right, the position, the sovereign power to require of me anything He chooses, and it's all right. But here's the problem. This is where the rub comes, because sometimes when we respond, we're sort of like old Ben Haydad, and sometimes we say it with our lips, but we don't mean it. And so we begin to protest. And there's some reasons that we really don't want to unconditionally surrender.

Number one is fear. And here's how Satan works on us. Lord, if I were to offer unconditional surrender, what in the world would you make me do? And here's what Satan does. Satan says, if you surrender yourself unconditionally to him, I'll tell you what he's going to do.

If you're single, he's going to send you to the jungle to be a missionary, and you'll never be married. He says to a person of wealth, you surrender everything to Jesus Christ, and he's going to wipe you out financially. And so on and on and on it goes of Satan's lies.

The only problem is we believe them. And we deliberately, willfully disobey God and rationalize it on the basis, well, you know, nobody's perfect, and everybody has a little something. And then here's what we do. Now, not only do we rationalize it, but we go over here, and in the area that, you know, 95% totally surrendered. To make up for the other 5%, we begin to get busy for God. We're willing to teach, we're willing to sing in the choir, we're willing to do this, we're willing to preach, you name it.

We'll do anything in order to hold on to 5%. You'll be good God. Oh, listen, Lord, I'm going to be better than I've ever been, Lord. I'm going to church three times every week. I'm going to tithe my income.

God, I'll teach Sunday school, sing in the choir, usher, you name it. But God, I can't give up this relationship. That's not unconditional surrender. Do you realize that you can't ever do enough work to be fully, totally, unconditionally surrendered to God?

It has nothing to do with work. It has to do with my attitude and my spirit. Unconditional surrender leaves me no control. Now let's face it, one of the reasons we fear is because it is a fearful thing to give up control. It's fearful to say, you mean God, I don't have, you mean I can't call any of the plays, no plays.

Lord, I mean, you mean none. Unconditional surrender means I transfer possession of spirit, soul, and body to Christ, and I don't have any say so in it. Now, it's not acquiescence to everything coming and going.

I'm going to explain that. But first of all, it is fear of what God may require. But second, it's fear of failure. Oh, but if I were to unconditionally surrender my life to Christ, then suppose I fail, join the club.

We all have failed at times. The third thing we're afraid of, we're afraid of criticism. Because we don't know exactly what unconditional surrender may require of us, we fear what other people think and what they say.

So number one, one of the primary reasons that we protest unconditional surrender is that we're afraid. A second reason is that we're just plumb selfish. We're just selfish. We want our way. God, you have 95% of it, but God after all, listen, I am human.

He knows all about it. Another problem is just plain old pride. Just pride now, Lord. I know exactly what you're asking me to do. I believe you. That's absolutely right.

But now, Lord, I think the timing could be a little bit better if it were done over here and in this way. And what we're saying is we really believe somehow we act as if we know better for ourselves than God does. We know in our heart that we don't have the wisdom God has.

Whatever God tells us to do is for our own good, no exception. But you see, if I'm afraid and I'm selfish and I have a streak of pride in me that I just somehow I really think that there's some things I know a little bit better about, then I'm not going to be fully surrendered. And the fourth thing is just pure rebellion. And ultimately that's what it is. When I know that God says, lay it down, I say, God, here's 99% of it and I know you want that. There it is. And I'm going to get over here.

I'm going to work extra hard. And what I'm going to try to do is to atone for what I didn't give him. Has God already brought something to your mind?

And it may not be anything particularly bad. Listen, God doesn't just go after evil wickedness. He goes after anything that will hinder his best in your life, in my life.

He's coming after it. I remember when I came to Atlanta, that's one time in my life that I rebelled against God. I gave him a thousand reasons why I didn't want to come.

Some of them were theological. Boy, that was impressive. You know what? He ignored every single excuse I gave him. And to show you how absolutely committed I was all the way up the road, my kids will tell you, I griped and complained all the way from Bartow, Florida to Atlanta, Georgia. Oh, I surrendered.

Not really. I gave in. But unconditional surrender? And the reason I know I didn't unconditionally surrender, I conditionally surrendered.

Now God, I'm going to do it, but I don't like it. And if I had unconditionally surrendered, my attitude would not have been what it was when I first got here. You see, if I unconditionally surrender, I'm going to lay it down.

And it may hurt and it may be painful. And I might have to give up, walk away from something, somebody, some experience, some wonderful privilege. If God says walk away, you have to walk away. If God says lay it down, you have to lay it down. If God says break it off, then you have to break it off. And here's what will happen. Listen carefully. Until you do, you will quarrel with God continuously. Thank you for listening to Unconditional Surrender. If you'd like to know more about Charles Stanley or In Touch Ministries, stop by InTouch.org. This podcast is a presentation of In Touch Ministries, Atlanta, Georgia.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-08-03 06:05:09 / 2023-08-03 06:12:21 / 7

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