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Surrender to Know God or Know God to Surrender
I have great difficulty in understanding the principle of surrender or submission. I think many Christians have the same problem too. For years, I was locked in my thinking that I had to surrender to know God. The idea, that if I surrender I will know God better, is not the teaching in the Bible. Surrender is not blind obedience or unquestioning submission as that would be fatalism. Surrender cannot be the goal of getting to know God better. If I make surrender the goal, then my vision of God will be small as He will become the god of my own imagination. I cannot rely on my own limited mind-set.
Pastor Ed Miller has freed my mind-set with his exposition that when I really know God, I will want to surrender. Knowing God, walking with God, having fellowship with God and in union with God comes before surrender. When I know God, I will want to surrender in gratitude. Surrender is the outcome of knowing God and surrender is only the beginning. The core of surrender is the willingness to be done unto. If I am really surrendered to God I will forgive even if there is no apology. I can even walk away from a blessing of God but I will not walk away from God, whose blessing I am receiving. Surrender means that I will not retaliate. I will not defend my right. I will not fight against my enemies. I will turn the other cheek. I will walk the second mile. But wouldn’t a person be stupid and a wimp to do such a thing? YES, if you look at it from the world’s perspective; NO, if you see it from the spiritual point of view. Why? because all such actions are redemptive. Every Christian who is surrendered, lives a redemptive life. All that you go through are for others and you will be revealing Jesus Christ once again to those who care to search. However, there is no way I can surrender like this on my own strength. The only way I can surrender like this, is to perpetually run back to Jesus to get to know Him more. The more I know Jesus, the more I will be transformed and be conformed to be like Him: “who, when He was reviled, did not revile in return; when He suffered, He did not threaten, but committed Himself to Him who judges righteously;” (1 Peter 2:23 NKJV). For me, it takes a mighty miracle of God if I can come to this kind of surrender---of being willing to be done unto.
Ed Miller has explained how the Holy Spirit has given us a picture of submission in the life of Isaac in the book of Genesis. He illustrates it with four principles of what submission is and two principles of what submission is not. They are:
What Submission Is
1. Real submission is not the goal but the starting point of a mature Christian life.
2. Real submission is a by-product of a relationship with God.
3. Real submission is patiently waiting for God on His covenant ground.
4. The essence of real submission is a willingness to be done unto.
What Submission Is Not
1. If I surrender enough or if I am involved in religious activities, does that mean I will be saved from sins? NO, my only safety is in the Lord Himself.
2. Submission is not walking by sight but walking by faith.
You can download the MP3 Audio Sermons of Pastor Ed Miller in his website www.biblestudyministriesinc.net into your computer and listen or burn them into CD for later easier listening by clicking on the download links below.
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