BELONGING, 25.11.19

Absolute Surrender means our lives no longer belong to ourselves, but to Him, The One Who  “died for all so that those who live might no longer live for themselves, but for the One who died for them and was raised” (2 Cor.5:15). So if He died for us, isn’t it the least we can do to completely give our self-life, self-will, and all self-focussed, fleshly desires over to Him? And doesn’t Yeshua/Jesus, when He says, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me” (Lk.9:23), call us to this very thing? That is, in fact, what will be required of us in order to actually follow Him. That is what death to self is all about; we must put that flesh to death if we are going to walk as He walked. Andrew Murray provides direction: “Let death be to you the most desirable thing on earth – death to self, and fellowship with Christ . . . . Come and cast this self-life and flesh-life at the feet of Jesus” (Murray, p.261).  

I urge you therefore, brothers and sisters, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice—holy, acceptable to God—which is your spiritual service. Do not be conformed to this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may discern what is the will of God—what is good and acceptable and perfect” (Rom.12:1,2). Forget about rights as it pertains to the political correctness of society; forget about the social pressures of the world’s definitions of rights, love, good/evil; none of those should have meaning for God’s people. Upon giving the self over to Him, we forfeit all so-called “rights,” exchanging them instead for the beautiful and bountiful privilege of claiming the spiritual privileges of becoming children of God

“But whoever did receive Him, those trusting in His name, to these He gave the right to become children of God” (John 1:12). Once we enter into this heavenly realm, we gain access to the special privilege of having been grafted into the original olive tree, and thereby “are all one in Messiah Yeshua. And if you belong to Messiah, then you are Abraham’s seed—heirs according to the promise” (Gal.3:28,29), thus sharing in all the promises that were given to God’s people, Israel/the Jews. When you grasp the infinite dimensions of this status, you will realize that the world’s fixation on “rights” becomes meaningless – meaningless to those who are living their lives for Messiah Yeshua/Lord Jesus Christ. 

“The condition of God’s blessing is absolute surrender of all into His hands. .. . If our hearts are willing for that, there is no end to what God will do for us, and to the blessing God will bestow” (Murray, p.253); this is so much more valuable than the so-called rights of a selfish, self-serving, self-focussed, self-preoccupied society. “And every one of us is a temple of God, in which God will dwell and work mightily on one condition –   absolute surrender to Him” (Murray, p.255): “Or don’t you know that your body is a temple of the Ruach ha-Kodesh/Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own? For you were bought with a price. Therefore glorify God in your body” (1 Cor.6:19,20). God requires that we give it all over to Him; however, “God does not ask you to give the perfect surrender in your strength, or by the power of your will; God is willing to work it in you” (Murray, 255): “work out your salvation with fear and trembling. For the One working in you is God—both to will and to work for His good pleasure” (Phil.2:12,13).  And of course He is referring to the Holy Spirit who will do the work in us if our wills are in alignment with His and it is our heart’s desire to surrender. 

Unable to accomplish the full surrender on our own, if we have the right mindset, and the desire in our heart is to turn our will over to Him, then we are candidates for complete surrender. God will not force anything on us. We must want to give every part of our life and self over to His charge. “And this is what we should seek for – to go on our faces before God, until our hearts learn to believe that the everlasting God Himself will come in to turn out what is wrong, to conquer what is evil, and to work what is well-pleasing in His blessed sight” (Murray, p.255). The world hangs onto their rights, while we have the gift/blessing of the Holy Spirit, “whom the world cannot receive, because it does not behold Him or know Him. You know Him, because He abides with you and will be in you” (John 14:17). “And He will teach you everything and remind you of everything that I said to you” (John 14:26). . .. .  isn’t this so much more beneficial and precious than all the so-called “rights” of the secular world?

He told them, “Go into all the world and proclaim the Good News to every creature. . . .  These signs will accompany those who believe: in My name they will drive out demons; they will speak new languages; they will handle snakes; and if they drink anything deadly, it will not harm them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will get well” (Mk.16:15-18).

The Christian life (followers of “The Way”) was intended to be lived in service of God’s Kingdom, for His purposes, to redeem back the lost souls of fallen humanity, not for selfishness and pleasure-seeking. Humanity was to arise from its fallen state to redeem lost souls for the Kingdom of God. That is the mission statement in Mark 16:15, the directives given by Jesus Christ/Yeshua Ha-Mashiach, Himself.

Yeshua Messiah/Christ Jesus lived a life of self-sacrifice; yet we seem so surprised, indignant, even offended at the idea of being called to sacrifice for God’s purposes. Apostle Peter instructs us to “not be surprised at the fiery ordeal taking place among you to test you—as though something strange were happening to you. Instead, rejoice insofar as you share in the sufferings of Messiah . . .  If you are insulted for the name of Messiah, you are fortunate, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you . . . if anyone suffers for following Messiah, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God in this name” (I Peter 4:12-16).     

Early believers lived in expectation of such sacrifice. Somewhere along the way that heart attitude began to dissolve. Post-modern society is self-focussed, carnal, pleasure-seeking, and believers have largely joined the social norms rather than maintaining Godly standards/living by God’s Word. The “Me focus” accounts for a multiple of sins, disasters, and broken hearts, as seen in the high divorce rate amongst believing populations, many wounded by fellow believers, leaving congregations, the list could go on. Suffice to say the popular trends have provided a formula for disaster for the faith, for the followers of Messiah; it’s far too easy to rationalize and justify living with one foot in the Kingdom, and one foot in the world, partaking of Jezebel’s table, (Rev. 2:20-22). But that doesn’t alter God’s Word and His commandments and prescriptions.

We are to lay self aside (Lk. 9:23), do as Jesus/Yeshua did, walking in a humility that puts others’ needs before self, “for we are not our own, we were bought with a price” (I Cor. 6:19,20), and our bodies are to be used to honour God, not to be humiliated, denigrated, defiled, through sensual lusts, pleasures, and perversions. Paul instructs his disciples to ”present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service;” to “not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind,” (Rom. 12:1,2). Notice that this is not considered exceptional, but is our “reasonable service” (or “the will of God” – TLV); in other words, it should be the norm, not the exception.

Scriptures/References:

2 Cor.5:15

Lk.9:23

Rom.12:1,2

John 1:12

Gal.3:28,29

1 Cor.6:19,20

Phil.2:12,13

John 14:17,26

Mk.16:15-18

I Peter 4:12-16

Rev. 2:20-22

Tree of Life (TLV) Translation of the Bible. Copyright © 2015 by The Messianic Jewish Family Bible Society.

The Deeper Christian Life, by Andrew Murray, © Thomas Nelson Publishers, 2000.

PLEASE NOTE:  ANDREW MURRAY’S,  The Deeper Christian Life  IS HIGHLY RECOMMEND for assistance in going deeper into the concept of SURRENDER.

 

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