Insert the sound of a heart shattering here.
My heart broke as I heard these words. What a miserable life to live. What a terrible misconception of the power of God’s salvation in a sinner’s life. What a disappointing application of God’s mercy and grace.
Yes, there are things like AA and Celebrate Recovery, but nothing can deliver someone completely from drugs and alcohol like the blood of Jesus. A person can decide they want to be a better person, live a better life, treat others differently, but it is only the grace and mercy of God that can truly cause a 180 degree turn in a person’s life.
The person that said those things to me lived a completely bound and miserable life at the time. Now, he’s headed down the exact same, dead-end path that God tried to deliver him from. He never found freedom. He never accepted the power of Jesus’ blood. He never surrendered.
A few years ago a girl I knew told me a story about her Dad who is a Pastor and does prison ministry. There was one man in the prison who had prayed a couple of times here and there but remained hard and cold, never accepting God’s salvation. One day as the Pastor was preaching he felt God leading him toward the calloused man. He told all of the men that he wanted them to get down with toes, stomachs, and noses touching the ground. As they did so, he told them that this was an act of complete submission to God — it was time to surrender. As he did so, the man who remained hard and calloused began to weep and finally accepted Christ as his Savior that day. Months later, he got out of prison and started attending the Pastor’s church. One day the Pastor asked, “What was different about that day? What was it that finally reached you?” The man replied, “I never knew I had to raise the white flag.”
This story has stuck with me for almost three years and still gives me chills every time I think of it. What a beautiful journey to finding God. What better way to begin your relationship with God than in complete submission and surrender to Him? What better act of complete submission than raising the white flag of surrender?
The way to true, complete freedom in Christ is through face-down, heart-abandoned surrender.
The most difficult and wonderful moments in a Christian’s life are the moments of complete surrender. That is the key to true, sincere, authentic, purpose-driven Christianity. Surrendering all to God; the good, the bad, the beautiful, and the horrific. The moments of success and heartbreaking regret. The strengths and victories; the weaknesses and addictions.
Anything that we surrender to God, He will work for our good according to His purpose. If it is our strength and talent, He will show us how to use it for Him and multiply the glory that it brings to Him. If it is the bad, we will turn every mistake into a testimony of His goodness and show us just how strong He really is.
You can choose to live a life of disappointment, always trying to be enough on your own, or you can choose to raise the white flag of surrender and allow God to show you that He is more than enough. Hold nothing back. Bow before His glory. Yield to His power. Raise the white flag.
Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow, Forever; I choose Jesus.
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