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« Free Speech | Main | Two Miles to Bethany »

Unconditional Surrender 

“And though I surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing.”  1 Corinthians 13:3 NIV 

Surrender means to give up.  Yield. Capitulate. Wave the white flag. In warfare, a soldier has not surrendered until he lays down his weapons and comes out with his hands raised.  Until he does that, he is fair game to shoot to kill. In the war on Afghanistan, the U. S. forces bombed the enemy lines and possessions incessantly for six weeks.  Finally, hundreds of Taliban troops streamed out of their stronghold.  The relentless bombing demoralized them.  Their only option was surrender.  Yet, surrendering is hard to do.  It goes against everything within one’s self.  For these militants, it meant giving up their resolve.  It meant eating their boastful words. It meant losing pride and respect.  It meant their god had failed them.  Superior military forces eliminated all other options. Surrender happens: 

When you recognize that you have lost to a superior force and further resistance is futile.  “Say to God, ‘How awesome are Your works! Through the greatness of Your Power Your enemies shall submit themselves to You.’” Psalm 66:3. Anybody in doubt only has to think about the attributes of God. 1. He is big, all-powerful and indestructible. (Omnipotent.) 2. He knows everything there is to know. (Omniscient.) 3. No one gets away from Him. (Omnipresent.) 4. He owns everything.  (Sovereign) 5. He will never change.  (Immutable.) 6. He will live forever.  (Eternal.) 7. He controls everything. (Absolute authority.) 

When you relinquish possession of something.  Some foolishly try to hold out, keep back, fudge a little, alter the terms.  “I’m going to make God think I’ve surrendered, but I have a knife in my pocket.  I’m going to surrender some things, but not everything. I’m sure that God doesn’t care about these little details. Surely God doesn’t expect me to just become a new person, does he?”  Equivocation never works with God. 

When you abandon all rights to something. Acceptance with God means a non-negotiable surrender to his terms.  Every time someone has tried to change the terms, they got in trouble. Pharaoh reneged on everything God instructed him to do. Moses struck the rock instead of speaking to it. Saul didn’t obey the command of God to slay all the Amalekites.  

When you yield to a strong belief or emotion. We are living on God’s turf.  He sets the conditions for acceptability. Here are a few of his terms:1) The soul that sins, shall die. 2) The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life. 3) Except you repent, you shall perish. 4) There is no other name, under heaven, given among men by which we are saved.  5) If any man does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is none of His. 

President Ulysses S. Grant said to Robert E. Lee, Commander of the Confederate Army, “No terms except unconditional and immediate surrender can be accepted.” His initials, U. S. Grant, came to stand for “unconditional surrender.”  But, the context of surrender to Jesus Christ must not be fear, but love.  In fact, love without surrendering is an impossibility. Without love, surrender means nothing to God. Surrendering your life to God because you love him means everything. 

“All to Jesus, I surrender, All to Him I freely give;

I will ever love and trust Him, In His presence daily live.

I surrender all, I surrender all,

All to Thee, my blessed Savior,

I surrender all.”

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