New Year’s Surrender

In The Incredible Power of Kingdom Authority there is a conversation between the late Adrian Rogers and Josef Tson, the revered Romanian pastor, author, and president of the Romanian Missionary Society. Pastor Tson survived years of persecution and exile under cruel Communist rule and was noted for his outstanding faithfulness to God, even during persecution. Adrian Rogers asked Dr. Tson for his perception of American Christianity.
After some hesitation, he replied, “Well, Adrian, since you have asked me, I’ll tell you. The key word in American Christianity is commitment.” Rather than being a positive thing, he saw it as an inadequate replacement of an older Christian teaching: surrender.
Tson described the difference, “When you make a commitment, you are still in control, no matter how noble the thing you commit to. One can commit to pray, to study the Bible, to give his money, or to commit to automobile payments, or to lose weight. Whatever he chooses to do, he commits to. But surrender is different. If someone holds a gun and asks you to lift your hands in the air as a token of surrender, you don’t tell that person what you are committed to. You simply surrender and do as you are told. . . . Americans love commitment because they are still in control. But the key word is surrender. We are to be slaves to the Lord Jesus Christ.”
This is a good observation. The Bible calls us to surrender our lives to Jesus. To give up our wants, desires and dreams and to let Him replace them with His desires for us, His goals for our lives.
During the New Year season, it is fashionable to make resolutions. Even Christians do this, resolving to give more to Kingdom work, read the Bible more, pray longer, serve somewhere, etc… The problem is that, like resolutions of diet and exercise, somewhere in mid-February we have slipped back into old habits. We try to do better in our own power and this is impossible. Without God’s empowering Spirit, we cannot do anything. With Him, nothing is impossible.
My resolve this year is not to commit to anything other than surrendering to God’s Spirit, and letting Him control my life, my ministry, my service. Even to do that, I must yield to His power. What about you? Are you tired of trying and failing? Why don’t you also resolve to surrender, and ask for the power to let Him use you as He wills?

Hymn Devotions Day 6 – I Am Resolved

DAY 6 – I AM RESOLVED

 

This upbeat, quick-tempo hymn inspires and challenges me to live for Christ daily. All too often I find myself being charmed by the delights of this world. Like Abram’s nephew Lot, looking at the lush valley towards Sodom, I find myself dazzled by the shiny façade of material things.

Oh, how I long to discipline myself to pursue those things which are higher and nobler, godly things that deserve my single-minded devotion. The author of the song, Palmer Hartsough, makes a great observation that “friends may oppose me, foes may beset me.” Not only will Satan try to distract me from my resolve to follow Jesus but even Christian friends, who have succumbed to worldly temptations, will also oppose me. Radical, fanatic and other appellations will be hurled at the one who pursues hard after God.

Still, even though friends may not understand my desire, I want them to join with me. This hymn urges me to invite them on the journey into complete discipleship. By leaning on and learning from God’s Word, by seeking guidance from His Spirit in prayer, we can journey together in spiritual growth.

How resolved are you to let go of the things of this world and follow after Jesus?

 

Lord, give me the discipline to instill Christ-like habits in my life. Help me to look beyond the things of this world and pursue hard after those things which will make me be an asset to Your kingdom. Fill my eyes with glimpses of You.

 

I AM RESOLVED by Palmer Hartsough

 

I am resolved no longer to linger

Charmed by the world’s delights

Things that are higher, things that are nobler

These have allured my sight

 

I am resolved to go to the Savior

Leaving my sin and strife

He is the True One, He is the Just One

He hath the words of life

 

I am resolved to follow the Savior

Faithful and true each day

Heed what He sayeth, do what He willeth

He is the living way

 

I am resolved to enter the Kingdom

Leaving the paths of sin

Friends may oppose me, foes may beset me

Still will I enter in

 

I am resolved and who will go with me?

Come, friends, without delay

Taught by the Bible, led by the Spirit

We’ll walk the heavenly way

 

REFRAIN

 

I will hasten to Him, hasten so glad and free

Jesus, greatest, highest, I will come to thee