Do We Win When We Surrender?
When a soldier in battle surrenders, he throws his weapon down and throws his hands in the air as a sign that “I Give Up, I Surrender.” That means he will from that point on be obedient to the commands of his capture. When we ask Jesus to save us, we should throw our hands up and say, “I surrender, I quit doing life my way and will follow your commands from this day on, you are my Lord, Savior and Master.” But oh too many who say they are saved still hold on to the areas in their lives that they r4efuse to give up.
There are too many people who want full control of their life. They refuse to surrender to the Lordship of Jesus Christ. When we don’t listen to God’s instruction in our lives …WE CRASH! If you refuse to surrender to the Gospel & respond positively to the wooing from the Holy Spirit, you will crash! Today the lost man refuses to surrender to Jesus for salvation. And many saved folk refuse to surrender to Jesus’ direction in their lives as well. Text here…Luke 9:57-62 And it came to pass, that, as they went in the way, a certain man said unto him, Lord, I will follow thee whithersoever thou goest. 58 And Jesus said unto him, Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head. 59 And he said unto another, Follow me. But he said, Lord, suffer me first to go and bury my father. 60 Jesus said unto him, Let the dead bury their dead: but go thou and preach the kingdom of God. 61 And another also said, Lord, I will follow thee; but let me first go bid them farewell, which are at home at my house. 62 And Jesus said unto him, No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.
A common phrase in the church today is “I am going to commit my life to Jesus”. You’ve heard it and maybe even said it! But when you really look at the word COMMIT, you will find that the word doesn’t go far enough.
Adrian Rogers told a story about a conversation he had with a man from Romania named “Josef T’son. They were talking about the difference between “Commitment” & “Surrender” T’son said, “When you make a commitment, you are still in control no matter how noble the thing you commit to. One can commit to pray, study the Bible, give his money, to make those automobile payments, or to lose weight. Whatever he or she chooses to do, they commit to it. “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 individual what you are committed to. You simply surrender and do as you are told.” But the key word is surrender. We are to be the slaves of the Lord Jesus Christ.”
We have enough commitment in the church today… we need surrender! Complete surrender to Jesus Christ. I want to preach on the subject of “Complete Surrender”. Do we win or lose when we surrender to Jesus Christ? There are three things I would like to see about “Surrendering All To Jesus”:
Let’s begin with the fact that:
- You Must Submit Your Life To Jesus – v57 And it came to pass, that, as they went in the way, a certain man said unto him, Lord, I will follow thee whithersoever thou goest. 58 And Jesus said unto him, Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head.
In Matthew’s account of this event we are told that this man was a Scribe. A scribe was = a “teacher of religious law” This event takes place shortly after Peter’s Mother in Law was healed. After this we read that “That evening many demon-possessed people were brought to Jesus. He cast out the evil spirits with a simple command, and he healed all the sick”. Matt 8:16
It is possible that this “scribe” was among the great crowd that was with Jesus as He healed many. He comes to Jesus and says “Lord, I will follow thee whithersoever thou goest”. Notice Jesus’ reply – “Foxes have dens to live in, and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has no place even to lay his head.”
Jesus wasn’t turning this man away, He was explaining to him the “cost of being a disciple” He makes it clear to the scribe that there was more to following Jesus than meets the eye. Many times you will find people who get caught up in the excitement of others. They see God moving and great things happening and they want in on it! They need help and they think that Jesus is the answer. And we know that Jesus is the answer, but the problem is that these people want to make a commitment instead of surrendering to Jesus.
Webster’s defines “Surrender” as – the action of yielding one’s person or giving up the possession of something especially into the power of another.
Surrender is illustrated in the actions of James & John after Jesus called them to be His disciples: Mark 1:19 And when he had gone a little further thence, he saw James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, who also were in the ship mending their nets. 20 And straightway he called them: and they left their father Zebedee in the ship with the hired servants, and went after him.
Jesus called James and John and they submitted their lives to him. They left their home, their family, their job, their life as they knew it to follow Christ. When Jesus calls your name you must SUBMIT to Him! You are to live a life of COMPLETE SURRENDER to the Savior! James, John, Peter, Andrew, Matthew and the others did not begin following Jesus and then go back. They didn’t go back to fishing or collecting taxes… they followed Jesus until the day they died for Jesus!!
What about you? Have you fully surrendered your life to Christ or have you made a half hearted commitment? Have you given your all to Jesus and followed Him faithfully, or did you walk His way for a while and then return to what you were before? We will find out shortly that “No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.”
The biggest problem for many people when it comes to “Surrendering Their All” to Jesus is that they are too concerned with the things of this world. But in verses 59-60 we will see that if you are going to “Surrender All” then you must 2ndly:
- You Must Deny This World – v59 And he said unto another, Follow me. But he said, Lord, suffer me first to go and bury my father. 60 Jesus said unto him, Let the dead bury their dead: but go thou and preach the kingdom of God.
Here we have the account of another individual. ……The 1st man made an offer to Jesus, this man receives an offer from Jesus.
Notice 1st there is An Opportunity To Follow Jesus – v 59a and he said unto another, Follow me.
Jesus now offers a man the opportunity to “Follow Him”. What a great privilege this man received. The same words Jesus said to the Peter, James, John, Andrew, Matthew, Thomas, and others He said to him. And Jesus is still calling men and women to “follow Him” today.
The last great invitation in the Bible says – Revelation 22:17 And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.
Paul says in – Romans 10:13 for whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. – Then we read in Romans 10:9 …if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.
– Jesus may be calling you today! There still remains an opportunity to follow Jesus, but also notice 2ndly in this verse we also see:
There Are Obstacles To Following Jesus – v59b But he said, Lord, suffer me first to go and bury my father. 60 Jesus said unto him, Let the dead bury their dead: but go thou and preach the kingdom of God.
Jesus gave this man an invitation and the man wanted to accept it, but he had something that was important to him that he wanted to attend to. He said “Lord, let me go and bury my Father and then I am yours” This man’s Father was either dead or at the point of death. There was a long standing custom for the Jew that if he had a duty to perform concerning the dead he was exempt from any other responsibility or duty. This may sound like an honorable request but the greater point is found in Jesus’ response to this man’s request.
1) Natural death – the separation of the body and soul.
2) Spiritual death – the separation of God and the soul.
Jesus is telling this man to let the spiritually dead bury the natural dead. What would hinder you from surrendering all to Jesus today? There are usually three things that hinder folks from surrendering to the call from the Spirit of God to Come to Jesus:
1) Personal Aspirations..
There are some things in this life that we just want to accomplish. This applies to the saved and the lost. The problem is, we will never “Surrender All” if we let our personal aspirations get between us and God. There are places you want to go. Things you want to see… goals you want to reach, and because of these things you refuse to surrender ALL to Christ! You like the idea of peace and joy and eternal life but you want to live this life for yourself… THAT IS NOT HOW IT WORKS!!
Another issue that hinders many is:
2) Family Obligations.. Now we can understand where this man is coming from. His father has passed away and he wanted to go and bury him. The problem is not that he wanted to bury his Father. The problem is that he was giving Jesus a postponed commitment instead of complete surrender!!! So many people put their family in front of Jesus. They can’t serve or honor their responsibilities in the church because their children have so much going on. They can’t do Kingdom work because they put their relationship to their spouse before their relationship with Jesus! Jesus makes it clear that if you are going to be His disciple your family CANNOT COME BETWEEN YOU AND HIM.
Another issue that hinders many is: 3) Social Expectations
I wonder if this man thought to himself “what will my friends and neighbors think if I don’t bury my father?” Too many people are concerned with what the world is going to think about them if they get saved. Too many Christians are worried about what the world will think if they “Surrender All” to the Lord. If you seek to SURRENDER ALL to Jesus …This world, your family, your aspirations and desires cannot come before Jesus
Listen to what the Apostle John had to say in – 1 John 2:15-17 Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. 17 And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.
Do you desire to “Surrender All to Jesus?” Then you must deny this world!!
In verses 61-62 we find the third thing that must be done in order to surrender all:
III. You Must Focus On The Kingdom -v61 And another also said, Lord, I will follow thee; but let me first go bid them farewell, which are at home at my house. 62 And Jesus said unto him, No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.
After submitting to the Lord and denying the world, then our lives will be Christ’s not our own. Remember what Paul said in – Romans 12:1 ¶I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. 2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
This Involves Correct Priorities – v61 And another also said, Lord, I will follow thee; but let me first go bid them farewell, which are at home at my house.
This man gives Jesus a promise that came with some conditions. He says “Jesus I will follow you after I tell everyone goodbye” He wanted to set his affairs in order. Jesus perceived that this man had too much attachment to this world. This is a common issue in the lives of many today… MISPLACED PRIORITIES!! Our priorities must be in order or we will never be where God wants us to be.
So many lost people have the mindset that they will surrender to Jesus when they feel the time is right… when they finish sowing their wild oats… after they have taken care of certain things or until they “clean themselves up“. So many Christians fail to give their all because their priorities are NOT IN ORDER! Will you surrender all to Jesus? THEN YOU MUST HAVE CORRECT PRIORITIES.
- This Involves A Clear Perception – v62 And Jesus said unto him, No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.
When plowing, a farmer had to keep his eye on the work at hand. If he were to turn his eyes away the field would be marred instantly. This “looking back” that Jesus is speaking of refers to a reluctance to break with the world’ Those who would look back do not have their mind properly directed towards the Kingdom of God. This type of person is also not fit to show the way to others. We must have a clear perception of the goals that God has given to us. So many have put their hand to the plow and then turned and looked back and lost their way.
Notice Jesus didn’t say went back, “he says looking back”. When we look back we WILL face the temptation to go back to what we knew, to go back to what seems comfortable. What is the answer…. FOCUS ON THE KINGDOM!!!!
Bruce Larson tells how he helped people struggling to surrender their lives to Christ: For many years he worked in New York City and counseled numbers of people who were wrestling with the yes-or-no decision concerning Christ. Often he would suggest they walk with him to the RCA Building on Fifth Avenue. In the entrance of that building is a gigantic statue of Atlas, a beautifully proportioned man who, with all his muscles straining, is holding the world upon his shoulders. There he is, the most powerfully built man in the world, and he can barely stand up under this burden. ‘Now that’s one way to live,’ he would point out, ‘trying to carry the world on your shoulders. But now come across the street with me.’ “On the other side of Fifth Avenue is Saint Patrick’s Cathedral, and there behind the high altar is a little shrine of the boy Jesus, perhaps eight or nine years old, and with no effort he is holding the world in one hand. His point was illustrated graphically. “We have a choice. We can carry the world on our shoulders, or we can say, ‘I give up, Lord; here’s my life. I give you my world, the whole world.‘” This sermon is illustrated so well in the beloved hymn, I Surrender All:
ALL TO JESUS I SURRENDER, HUMBLY AT HIS FEET I BOW
WORLDLY PLEASURES ALL FOR SAKEN
TAKE ME JESUS, TAKE ME NOW. ALL TO JESUS I SURRENDER. MAKE ME SAVIOR WHOLLY THINE
LET ME FEEL THE HOLY SPIRIT
TRULY KNOW THAT THOU ARE MINE
ALL TO JESUS I SURRENDER, LORD I GIVE MYSELF TO THEE. FILL ME WITH THY LOVE AND POWER…
LET THY BLESSING FALL ON ME
I SURRENDER ALL, I SURRENDER ALL
ALL TO THEE MY BLESSED SAVIOR
I SURRENDER ALL.
Do We Win When We Surrender? Yes you win, if you have truly surrendered ALL to the Savior. If you haven’t you can right now.
1) Submit to Jesus
2) Deny This World
3) Focus On The Kingdom