Saturday sermon with Rev Diane Ledwick: The Act of Surrender, a Universal language - Part 2
...We have to come to place in our lives sooner or later, where we are willing to surrender our Jerusalem, whatever is most important to us. Are you there yet, are you willing, do you realise the importance, vitality and necessity of it yet?
What is your Jerusalem? What are you trying to cling to, trying to hang onto? Is it your pain and sorrow, is it the love of your life that has left you, is it your own independence? Is it all those many memories of the past or even countless regrets? Is it that time long ago when you were happy, is it the dreams and aspirations that you had when you were younger and that never materialised? Is it perhaps your own stubbornness and unteacheable spirit? Is it your own self-indulgence or pride?
Whatever it is, it is time to raise the arms of your spirit and surrender. When we are in a state of surrender, our arms and our hands are free, they are empty and we can’t hold onto anything.
We cannot carry anything while our arms are raised in surrender, so for complete surrender to take place we have no choice but to let go of everything. What is your Jerusalem, what do you cling to and what will you not give up or not do for God? Where is your will crossing His will, and whose will are you choosing to follow?
‘Then came Amalek and fought with Israel in Rephidim. And Moses said to Joshua, choose us out men and go out, fight with Amalek. Tomorrow I will stand on the top of the hill with the rod of God in mine hand. So Joshua did as Moses had said to him, and fought Amalek, and Moses, Aaron and Hur went up to the top of the hill. And it came to pass, when Moses held up his hand, that Israel prevailed, and when he let down his hand, Amalek prevailed.
But Moses’ hands were heavy, and they took a stone, and put it under him, and he sat thereon, and Aaron and Hur stayed up his hands, the one on the one side, and the other on the other side, and his hands were steady until the going down of the sun. And Joshua discomfited Amalek and his people with the edge of the sword’ (KJV)
As long as Moses kept his arms and hands raised to God, in a state of surrender, Israel prevailed against their enemy. We only have and enjoy victory in our lives and circumstances when we are in a perpetual state of surrender to God. Because that means that we are trusting God alone because the battle is His, it belongs to Him.
2 Chronicles 20v15
‘And he said, hearken ye all Judah, and ye inhabitants of Jerusalem, and thou king Jehoshaphat, thus saith the Lord unto you, Be not afraid nor dismayed by reason of this great multitude, for the battle is not yours, but God’s’ (KJV)
1 Samuel 17v47
‘And all this assembly shall know that the Lord saveth not with sword and spear, for the battle is the Lord’s, and He will give you into our hands’ (KJV)
1 Peter 5v7
‘Casting all your care upon Him, for He careth for you’ (KJV)
There is a common argument against surrendering to God and casting all our burdens onto Him. It is usually things like: I can’t, I don’t know how, I handed the same thing to God many times already. While I am holding onto something I cannot surrender, even if it is just an excuse or justification. Are we not all weary of not seeing any victory or breakthrough that we so desperately need and want?
God is everything and without Him we can do nothing. We have to give God control of our lives, He will not take it.
So many times I have heard and seen, ‘Here, you take the wheel’.
We have to start by saying, ‘God today you take the wheel’. Surrendering means submission, and nobody likes that do they? The worst song I have ever heard has a line in it that says, ‘I did it my way’. As children of God if that is the story of our lives and our testimony, then we need to beg for forgiveness and mercy. That is the way of the world, yet so many children of God embrace it. That is not God’s way, it is the way of man to do things his way.
In the garden of Gethsemane before Jesus was arrested, He spends a night in prayer. He asked the Father if the particular burden or cup that He has to drink of, could be taken away. However He adds that, even if God was not willing, He would surrender His will to the Father’s will and go to the cross. Jesus was prepared to submit His will to the Father’s and go to the cross even though He preferred not to. As a result, the enemy was defeated, annihilated is a better word. And mankind was given spiritual victory for eternity, if he would but choose it.
‘And He was withdrawn from them about a stone’s cast, and kneeled down and prayed. Saying, Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me, nevertheless not my will but thine, be done’ (KJV)
King Saul in the Old Testament, lost a battle and his kingdom because he would not do what God had told him to. He would not submit, so God took the kingdom away from him, God removed him from the scene because of disobedience.
Where we have had worries and anxieties, it is time to enter into God’s rest. It is time for victory, where there have been struggles, problems and issues. It is time for victory where there has been defeat. As long as we surrender to the enemy, God remains bound.
As long as we surrender to God, the enemy is bound and the victory is ours. A state of surrender, let go of everything, raise your arms to God, hold onto nothing and no-one and allow Him to come in and take control of every battle. Stand up and say, ‘God I give up, I give up everything about myself, I look to you the author and finisher of my faith’.
Coca-Cola is universal, the act of surrendering is universal but the act of surrendering is also God centred and carries spiritual implications of selflessness, breakthrough and victory. I have had to surrender many different things and perhaps you will identify with some of them in your life.
Unforgiveness, holding a grudge, all that is important to me, my hopes and aspirations, every difficult and painful circumstance, all that I trust in, every negative situation and the memories attached to them, every regret, all guilt and shame, my own logic and understanding and reliance on my own abilities, to name but a few.
They have been surrendered to a higher cause, the cause of knowing and experiencing Jesus Christ just a little bit more and in a deeper way. Has it been worth it, is it worth it? You tell me. My response is, ‘Of course it has and of course it is’. Surrender, and above all else surrender.
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