“I say it again, God will bless you. You have been praying for blessing. But do remember, there must be absolute surrender. At every tea-table you see it. Why is tea poured into that cup? Because it is empty, and given up for the tea. But put ink, or vinegar, or wine into it, and will they pour the tea into the vessel? And can God fill you, can God bless you if you are not absolutely surrendered to Him? He cannot. Let us believe God has wonderful blessings for us, if we will but stand up for God, and say, be it with a trembling will, yet with a believing heart: ‘O God, I accept Thy demands. I am thine and all that I have. Absolute surrender is what my soul yields to Thee by divine grace.’”
I read this the other day in Andrew Murray's book, Absolute Surrender. This quote is behind the journey my family and I are embarking on very soon.
Many of you know that Amy and I have sensed the Lord guiding us over the past few months to make a huge move out west. We've seen many confirmations that we're moving in the right direction. But ultimately, it's all about absolute surrender. I can understand why Paul says in Phil. 3:13. "I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead . . ." I question if people can be "absolutely surrendered" to Jesus – but that's what believers are moving toward. I know I want to move toward that.
When a person considers the cost of following Jesus (Luke 14:25-34), one has to ask, "How is this possible?" How can one attain what Jesus wants: absolute surrender? It's in the quote. I think it has to do with recognition of what we were made for. Murray would say that a pen is made for writing. It can't write correctly if two hands are on it. It can only be given up for writing if a single hand is guiding it.
This past year has been a process of me taking an honest assessment of my motives, my passions and how they line up with what God wants for my life. The result: I saw there were other "hands" on the pen of my life. The hand of job security, the hand of health insurance, the hand of a great church and the hand of a great neighborhood. Those things aren't bad, but when they become ultimate and end up standing in the way of the call of God, they need to be demoted to their proper place.
I haven't attained absolute surrender, but I'm on the way. What kinds of things do you need to surrender? Give yourself up to the master. Let him be the hand that guides your life, and you'll find yourself on a journey, and if you ever come back, you'll be transformed so much that it's like you never really came back. Like Murray says, "Let us believe God has wonderful blessings for us, if we will but stand up for God, and say, be it with a trembling will, yet with a believing heart: 'O God, I accept Thy demands. I am thine and all that I have. Absolute surrender is what my soul yields to Thee by divine grace.'"
It's been a wonderful experience working at Florida Hospital Church. Thanks for a great journey!
Follow the Achata’s adventures: http://gowithoutknowing.tumblr.com