Surrender? Never!

9/20/2007

I don't do well with losing. Actually, I hate it. There's something about it that just galls me. But what I hate even worse, is surrender. I hate just giving up. I hate the thought of being so overwhelmed and so overpowered by someone, that you just stop trying. That's why I love it when an underdog football team keeps fighting and comes back to beat a powerhouse football team. They never surrender, never give up, just keep fighting for the chance to win. When little known Appalachian State recently beat perennial powerhouse Michigan by blocking a last second field goal, that was glorious. Click here to see the video.

This hatred of surrender can cause some problems for me though. I don't always like surrendering to God. I don't want to give things up, don't want to let Him take full control. I want to do things my way, in my time, and according to my plan. And I think the prophet Isaiah may have felt the same way. That is, until he saw the blazing, overwhelming, glorious majesty of God. Listen to what he wrote in Isaiah 6:1-8
In the year that King Uzziah died I saw the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up; and the train of his robe filled the temple. Above him stood the seraphim. Each had six wings: with two he covered his face, and with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew. And one called to another and said: "Holy, holy, holy is the LORD of hosts; the whole earth is full of his glory!" And the foundations of the thresholds shook at the voice of him who called, and the house was filled with smoke. And I said: "Woe is me! For I am lost; for I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts!" Then one of the seraphim flew to me, having in his hand a burning coal that he had taken with tongs from the altar. And he touched my mouth and said: "Behold, this has touched your lips; your guilt is taken away, and your sin atoned for." Isaiah's Commission from the LORD And I heard the voice of the Lord saying, "Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?" Then I said, "Here am I! Send me."
Isaiah saw the glory of God and was utterly overwhelmed by his guilt. He knew, without any doubt, that he was completely and totally guilty, a wicked man standing before a holy God. Isaiah had no excuses for himself, no justification for his sin, and in light of this, he knew that he was doomed. But then God did the incredible. Instead of destroying Isaiah, as He should have, He purified him and atoned for his sin. Instead a crushing Isaiah, God forgave Isaiah and took away His guilt. And then God asked a question. He said, "Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?" Isaiah's response was immediate and passionate. "Here am I! Send me." Isaiah had seen God's blazing holiness and His tender love, and the only appropriate response was total surrender.

We too have seen God's blazing holiness and tender love. We were wicked, God-hating, hell bound sinners. We reveled in our sin, delighted in it, wallowed in it. We should have been annihilated by God. And yet He tenderly came to us, spoke gently to us, washed us clean with the blood of His son, and called us His children. Has there ever been such love?

The only appropriate response to such blazing holiness and tender love is wholehearted surrender. I must give my life unreservedly to this King of Love and Glory. Every area of my life - marriage, children, work, friends, hobbies, my future, my past - they all belong to Him. Is there any area of life that you have not surrendered to the King? Are you seeking to live in such a way that everything you do brings glory to God? Do your hobbies glorify God? Does your marriage glorify God? Does your work ethic glorify God? In light of all that God has done for us, let us resolve to completely surrender to Him.

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Posted by Stephen Altrogge at 8:38 AM  

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