Wednesday, October 31, 2018

I Surrender All

Luke 22:39-42 39 He went out and made His way as usual to the Mount of Olives, and the disciples followed Him. 40 When He reached the place, He told them, “Pray that you may not enter into temptation.” 41 Then He withdrew from them about a stone’s throw, knelt down, and began to pray, 42 “Father, if You are willing, take this cup away from Me —nevertheless, not My will, but Yours, be done.”

A few weeks back we looked at a verse in 1st John. 1st John 5:14 Now this is the confidence we have before Him: Whenever we ask anything according to His will, He hears us.  I wrote about how amazing it is that the wonderful, all powerful God of the universe hears us when we pray and how we can approach Him with confidence. However, there is a caveat John includes here: “Whenever we ask anything according to His will.
“Prayer presents us with a conundrum. I come to God with what I want, but at the same time, I must submit my will to what God wants. What if my desires and God’s plans don’t fit with each other? ~ Chris Talton
How do I respond when my desires are not met by my Heavenly Father?  Do I grumble, complain, become disobedient?  My five year old knows it is better for her to eat her veggies before she can have dessert but that doesn't mean she is very willing when I tell her that!  Her response to not having her desire met reflects her lack of maturity.  Does my response to My Heavenly Father show the same? 

Here in Luke 22, we find Jesus on the night He was arrested before the crucifixion.  He is in the Garden of Gethsemane and He knows full well what is coming.  He loves humanity He wants humanity to be saved but the fully man part of the Man God knows what that will take, and He understandably desires to not go through it. So He expresses His desire.  God the Son asks God the Father if there is any way He doesn't have to go through this.  Still He prays ... nevertheless, not My will, but Yours, be done.”  It is a striking prayer of submission that serves as a model for our walk with God. How can I develop the discipline to truly surrender my desires, my all, to God's will. 

Notice what it says before this in verse 39, He went out and made His way as usual ... This time of prayer is not described as something unusual for Jesus, yes the content is unique to this situation, but the fact that He regularly prayed is not.  The Gospels often tell us time and time again that Jesus spent time alone praying. He submitted to God the Father daily in the small things which equipped Him to surrender in the big things. 

Too often we are like Peter and say, don’t worry Lord, when the chips are down you can count on me. I will do exactly what you say when it counts. Then when we face the big decision to follow or not, we fail. When we face big temptation, we crumble. We do not realize that it is every second and every decision that counts. It is easier to submit to God on the big decisions in life when you have already built up the practice of submitting to Him on the small choices we make every day.

When I was looking up definitions of surrender I came across two interesting ones: Surrender: (1) Having no resistance, and (2) accepting reality. Think about that for a moment, when we surrender our desires to God we are not only saying I will stop resisting your Holy Spirit in my life but we are also admitting that what God desires is far better than what we desire. That is the reality of all creation.

Have you ever seen the Christian flag? Many churches have them in their sanctuary or flying outside the building. This is a non-political flag that is intended to represent all Christians around the world, regardless of denomination. It is a cross on a white flag of surrender. Are you surrendering to the cross today, more importantly, are you surrendering to the Man who hung on the cross today?

Jesus was always in full submission and surrender to the Father, we, on the other hand, are sinful people. We sing the great old hymn "I Surrender All" when we mean I surrender some. We hold onto our selfish desires, pray for those desires to be met, and then complain to God when He in His wisdom says He’s not giving us that.

When you bring your desires to God or come to a crossroads of decision, are you honestly praying “Father, Your will be done.”

To discover more, visit Oak Grove Baptist Church

1 comment:

  1. Good points here I agree we have to do this daily thanks for good commits on this passage