Attaining Surrender

Weekly  Sabbath Survey

Attaining Surrender   —  7-27-13
There is, in  my life, an element of continual struggle for peace  and contentment. It’s easier to be happy and at peace when things are  okay. But to muster it up when things are NOT as you want is a real  accomplishment in the Christian race. It’s the Peace that Passes  Understanding. Earlier in my particular race, I kept trying to get myself  right, but every improvement lasted only until something from outside  disturbed my peace, and I was back to having a bad day. Every time this  happened, the discouragement was heavy. In time, the Lord revealed the  problem was singing “I Surrender Some.” I started to work on the “More of  Jesus–Less of Me” plan, and I have seen some real results. One  extreme test was my brush with cancer and the incredible grace and peace I  had during that time.
The usual way many people approach life is with this  question: How Much of Myself Must I Give? What is the minimum can I do  and still be a good guy? We start life with a great sense of our natural  self; with our various desire and interests. But early on, we realize there  is something else that makes demands on us: the rules of behavior in a  civilized society which we encounter even before kindergarten. We call it  “morality” or “decency” or “God’s laws.”  By whatever name, it  is rules incumbent upon this self of mine, which interferes with my  own desires. What we mean by “being good” is giving in to the rules. Some of the  things our self wants to do turn out to be “bad” so we must turn away from that.  The things that turn out to be “good” we try to repeat. But sometimes  deep inside we are still holding on all the time to ourselves. When all the  rules are obeyed and the demands are met, our desperate little natural self  will still have hope for some chance and some time to get on with its own  life and do what we really want to do. Somewhere along the way there will be a  time for ME.   < copied >
This way of thinking is referred to as “one foot in Egypt and one foot in  the Promised Land.” We can’t have it both ways. If we persist, we will either  give up trying to be good, or we will keep trying but be very unhappy with the  results. Some people go back and forth between the two. Obedience alone  always results in a feeling of guilt for the many failures. The more we keep the  rules, the more rules we find to keep. Being met with failure time and again, we  are stressed at every turn, depressed, and finally, angry.
The answer for some is to give up the faith entirely. There are thousands  of people who once believed in Jesus as the Savior, but they quit because they  cannot “do” Christianity the way they think the rest of us are doing it. So they  just quit trying and went back to the old life. Many others keep going, keep  trying to serve God, but always in a disgruntled way, complaining not  getting the recognition they deserve, or being slighted in some by other  Christians. They become self made martyrs.
I tried to live for Jesus, and serve others. But because I wasn’t  always recognized as the wonderful, giving Christian I thought I was, or my  motives were misunderstood, I was miffed and disappointed with other people a  lot of the time. But I have come far enough now that I can look back and see  progress. Not so many years ago, thinking along these lines would have made  me cry and go into despair over my sorry state as “God’s Woman of Faith and  Power.” But now, in His perfect timing, it is encouraging to think about it, and  confirming to me that the further I push myself off my heart’s throne, the more  room I make for Jesus! I am dying daily, a little bit at a time, singing,  “I Surrender ALL,” and praying that God perfects this in me. 
Some might ask, what does Jesus require us to give up in order to  follow Him?  That’s easy.  He wants it ALL.  All that I am, all  that I hope for, all that I plan, all that I do, all that I own, all that I  love. Everything on His altar for the rest of time. And, that I worship  YHVH and Jesus with all my heart, mind and body; and to love my neighbor as much  as I love myself.  It’s called being a “Living Sacrifice.”
I am crucified with Christ, but, I still  live. Yet, not I, but Christ lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh,  I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.  Galatians 2:20
Charlene  Reams Manning
Believer  in the Lord Jesus Messiah
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