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Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Full Surrender

Surrender is vital to Christian maturity. Even after accepting Christ and the indwelling Holy Spirit, the work of the Spirit is limited unless we remain fully surrendered to His work in and through us. God cannot bring us to Christ-like maturity unless we give His Spirit freedom to work.
Surrender is not a ritual where God arbitrarily blesses the obedient—nor a form of Holy magic where God waves a wand and we suddenly become super-saints. Neither do we pull ourselves up by our own bootstraps, then give God the glory just to be nice. Christian maturity is a blend of human and Divine surrender. We surrender our weakness. God surrenders His strength. We surrender our sin. God surrenders His holiness. We surrender our resistance. God surrenders his assistance. If we live in full surrender, God will continue to work in our lives.
The work of the Holy Spirit is similar to the power steering unit in an automobile. The driver decides when and where to turn and the power steering unit supplies power to accomplish it. However, when we go outside the will of God, God must withdraw His Spirit to avoid helping us do what is not His will and not for our good. When God withdraws the power of his Spirit from our lives it is like an automobile engine that dies while the car is still moving—the car becomes extremely difficult to steer. If life is not going right we need to carefully consider what the reason may be. Could it be we are outside the will of God in action, activity or attitude?
Life in Christ means becoming more like Jesus—our main task and the primary work of the Holy Spirit working in us. He constantly seeks to restore in us the image of God lost first by Adam through disobedience, and secondly by us when we personally choose sin. Our every disobedience distorts God's image in our lives, and the farther we go outside God’s will, the more work God's Spirit must do to restore us to what God created us to be.
The surrendered life helps us become more Spirit-directed in daily living. Learning to live under the Spirit's constant direction saves us from many heartaches as well as much wasted time and effort. After all, God knows everything—even the future. He knows the ramifications of all our possible decisions before we even make them. He knows what we should do to achieve the best for our lives. If our desires agree with His Will, we can count on God to help us accomplish them. When we live in disobedience to God we must live without God’s help. (Although not entirely, we could not survive at all if God totally withdrew his support for life. The Bible makes it clear that: “in him we live and move and have our being” (Acts 17:28(NIV)).
But when we try to live the Christian life without the infilling of Christ’s Spirit we ignore our greatest help, because the most significant help for spiritual growth is the active power of God’s Spirit working in believers’ lives. Is it surprising Jesus told his disciples to wait until they were baptized with the Holy Spirit to begin their witness?
The surrendered life also helps us become more useful in God’s Kingdom. If our desire is to be more useful for God we can depend on Him to be constantly refining us to make our lives pure spiritual gold.
Remember, we are created in His Image to the Glory of God; distorted by sin to the disappointment of God, redeemed from sin by the sacrifice of God through Jesus Christ, our Lord, and restored to His Image by the Spirit of God.
I'm Rick Blumenberg . . .
and that's My View from Tanner Creek.


Anonymous said...

Well said. I have so much that I feel like I need to work on in my life as a Christian, sometimes it seems overwhelming...when I forget it isn't MY work, but His. So thankful He isn't finished with me yet! :-) Now, if I can just get the surrender part down I'll be doing better!

Rick Blumenberg said...

Just remember surrender is something God will help us with if we just ask, so don't try to do it on your own. Just pray something like this as often as you need to. "Lord help me to live totally surrendered to the leadership of your Spirit so he can continually create a Christ-like spirit within me."