Surrendering All to God
On Easter after our worship service, I was talking with two of the church’s deacons. There was something that had been bothering me for several days. One of the deacons said, “Pastor, you haven’t surrendered this to God.” He was right, I was carrying this burden on my own. I was carrying the burden myself instead of surrendering it to God. I did surrender that issue to God that day. It got me thinking about what other burdens I have been carrying by myself and haven’t surrendered to God.
I have been dealing with health issues for the last 15 years. Up until the last 2 ? years I was able to power through my health issues on my own. The last 2 ? years have been different, I no longer have the strength to power through them on my own. I have been praying for healing and for strength to follow God’s will. What I hadn’t done is surrendered my health issues to God. I realized this morning while reading Scripture that I needed go before God and say I can’t do it on my own anymore, I give it all to you, I surrender my health issues to you God.
The scripture I read, “Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it.” (Matthew 16:24-25 NKJV)
When Jesus says, “If anyone desires to come after Me” he is giving us a subtle invitation to join Him, to be His disciple, to surrender all to Him. That can be hard for most of us. We need to give up control and totally depend on Jesus. Next, he calls us to deny ourselves, which means to surrender our self-will and embrace His perfect will. Giving up our self-will and totally depending on Jesus to guide us through life is a daily decision we need to make. If not, then our self-will prevails.
He calls us to take up our cross, not His. We are not able to carry His cross. Freely choosing to take up one’s cross to follow Jesus is self-denial. We are admitting we are sinners in need of a savior. We are called to put others wellbeing first, to share the love of God with those we encounter throughout the day. After we deny self, then we are called to follow Him. That means applying His teachings and commands to our daily life.
Jesus said, “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30)
Surrender all your burdens to God, it’s liberating and life changing.
Pastor Tim Hammond
Oak Street Baptist Church