Surrender: putting your life at God’s disposal
Romans 12:1 I therefore urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercies, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices that are holy and pleasing to God.
Here is Paul the apostle speaking, and he says, brothers, listen to me. Paul is going to tell his brothers and sisters, that is you and me, give your life away to God. But Paul needs something to motivate us to do just that. I mean if I were to tell someone, you need to give your life away, they would probably ask why? Paul says you give your life to God because of the mercies of God; because of God’s mercies, demonstrated to you through Jesus Christ, give your life away to God.
Well what are these mercies? First of all, the word mercies there is plural. Amen. Can you count God’s mercies in your life?
But what is the greatest mercy we have received from God? If you read the first 11 chapters of the Book of Romans, you will discover what God’s mercy is.
The fact is that we have all sinned and deserved condemnation. The fact is that we could not save ourselves by our own works and didn’t even want to. The fact is that God sent His only begotten, precious, holy Son to die on a tree carrying our sin and condemned under our judgment. And when He died, He paid the price and after paying the price He rose again from the dead and forty days later He was exalted into the Heavens. He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on High and He sat there as God’s man for you. And He ever lives to intercede on your behalf. Now do you need more motivation to make yourself available to God, and if you do, you are lost.
If you need me to tell you that if you serve God, you’ll get a Mercedes, you’re lost. If you need me to tell you, if you serve God, he will fix every one of your problems, if you need that to get motivated, then you are lost. If Jesus is not enough to motivate you for godly living, you don’t know Jesus. If you don’t know Jesus, you don’t have eternal life, because the Bible tells us that eternal life comes from knowing the true God, and Jesus Christ (John 17:3).
What we need is to put our lives at God’s disposal. Here I am Lord. What do you want from me?
If I went into the North and opened up 5 churches but God told me to go to the South, and be a servant in a small town, I will be disobedient planting all those churches in the North. It is not to about doing great things it is obeying God and His word. It is to put our lives at his disposal, and that is it. Isn’t it simple?
When Jesus was on this earth, He put his life at God’s disposal. He said not my will but Father's will be done. Jesus was like you and me. Many times he was tired. Many times he felt pain. And many times he went through all the things you and I have to deal with, but here’s a thing about Jesus. He was never empty. He was never empty because He put his life at the Father’s disposal.
Do you ever feel empty or do you feel that something is missing in your life? I feel empty, I need a vacation! I feel empty I need to get away from my job for a while! I feel empty I don’t want to continue in this marriage or relationship! No! If I feel empty, I need to put my life at God’s disposal, and then I won’t be empty any more.
Ephesians 5:2, says, “Walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God”.
He gave himself up for God. Well I don’t have nothing to give. How can we talk about God that way? Hold on brother, I am not talking about God, I am talking about me: I have nothing to give to God. If you have nothing to give, you are saying God gave you nothing. And I don’t believe that. God gives everyone of his children gifts and graces. It is better to say what he has given me I shall return to him. Never say I have nothing to give to him. That is false humility and false humility is a great destroyer of many things.
Do you know what is the secret to be always happy and not be sad: surrendering your life to Jesus. Most of us are striving to be happy and that is not bad, but we are doing it totally the wrong way.
The times that I have died to self may have been few but the times when I have put myself at his disposal, I have been the happiest man on the face of the earth even though it might have costed me greatly. There is such overwhelming peace and joy in surrender. But, when I put myself first before Jesus, and that is many times, I have been the most miserable. Can anyone out there identify with what I am staying? Then let’s stop it. Stop it.
One day a son came to his mom and said, mom when I do like this with my arm, it hurts. The mother said son, stop doing that with your arm and it won’t hurt you anymore.
If not surrendering to Jesus hurts us, let’s stop doing that!
Die to your self is the message of the gospel. I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me (Gal 2:20). I must die, so that Christ can live in me. People don’t like this message but dying to yourself and offering your self is to God is the best decision you will make in your life.
You want to fix your relationship with your parents, die to yourself. You want to fix your relationship with your children, die to yourself. Is there a son who does not speak to his father, and you want to fix it, die to yourself. You want to fix your relationship with your spouse, church members, die to yourself. Those who try to save their lives will lose them, and those who lose their lives will save them (Luke 17:33).
Friends, it’s all about Jesus Christ being first, and second, and third, and fourth and fifth. What I am saying is don’t put Jesus Christ first, he is everything.
How do you make Jesus Christ first? Read the word of God, seek to submit to him, pray for power, lay down your life, live for others, not for yourselves. Die to your self so that you might have life. That is what Jesus said. Make yourself available to God. Not self promotion but self demotion so that Christ might be promoted. He must increase but I must decrease. Are you feeling miserable, then die to yourself.
We are living in a kingdom that is all about self promotion and being strong and powerful; getting everything so that people will applaud and respect you. But that is not the way in the kingdom of God. It’s not about having your feet washed, but washing others feet. Jesus Christ knowing where he came from, basically knowing He was God in the flesh put on a towel and wiped every body’s feet. Now that is strong self esteem. That is how God’s people operate. It’s not about having your feet washed, but washing others feet.
The Bible says something that is extremely offensive, can you handle it? The Bible says all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. We are not lost sheep looking for a shepherd. We are God hating people running for our lives to get away from Him because we want to be the sovereign Lord over our own universe. Romans 3:11 says there is none that seeketh after God. The Bible says you keep doing that, you will feel even more miserable. God says surrender and give your life to him because that is the best decision you will ever make in your life.
The Bible calls us to repent, recognize our sin, hate it and run back to God. God is a just God. His justice was so great that he could not forgive you because you have broken every law. So He sent his only Son to pay for every crime that you committed and you will ever commit. Friends, the payment has been made, and justice has been satisfied. God says believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved.
Your good works are like filthy rags, dead before God and have no value. The only merit, the only value we have is Jesus Christ crucified and resurrected from the dead and now mediating on our behalf, treating and counting us right with God and making us fit for heaven. Revelation 21:27 says, “no unclean thing will enter heaven”. Jesus is now in heaven, mediating on our behalf, and He wants to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. But He can’t do this if we don’t surrender to Him. He is our only hope and glory. Surrender to him, put your life at his disposal. Why should we surrender, and put our lives at his disposal? Because of his mercies, and because He is our only hope.