Summary: When we talk about surrendering to God we think of those who give Him one tenth of their income, or who become foreign missionaries. This account of Abraham reveals that God desires every believer to surrender everything - even their very life.
I SURRENDER ALL? PART 1
God desires absolute surrender from every believer.
Illustration: Don’t Argue With A Lighthouse
There was an officer in the navy who had always dreamed of commanding a battleship. He finally achieved that dream and was given commission of the newest and proudest ship in the fleet. One stormy night, as the ship plowed through the seas, the captain was on duty on the bridge when off to the port he spotted a strange light rapidly closing with his own vessel. Immediately he ordered the signalman to flash the message to the unidentified craft, "Alter your course ten degrees to the south."
Only a moment had passed before the reply came: "Alter your course ten degrees to the north."
Determined that his ship would take a backseat to no other, the captain snapped out the order to be sent: "Alter course ten degrees--I am the CAPTAIN!"
The response beamed back, "Alter your course ten degrees--I am Seaman Third Class Jones."
Now infuriated, the captain grabbed the signal light with his own hands and fired off: "Alter course, I am a battleship."
The reply came back. "Alter your course, I am a lighthouse."
No matter how big or important any of us think we are, God’s Word stands forth as an unchanging beacon. All other courses must be altered to His.
SOURCE: James S. Hewett, Illustrations Unlimited (Wheaton: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc, 1988) p. 208.
I. GOD DESIRES ABSOLUTE SURRENDER.
1 Now it came to pass after these things that God tested Abraham, and said to him, "Abraham!" And he said, "Here I am." 2 And He said, "Take now your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I shall tell you."
A. We Learn Absolute Surrender By Facing A Crisis.
1. Abraham’s first crisis came when God called him to leave his home.
2. His second crisis came when he had to separate from Lot.
3. The third crisis involved sending away Hagar, and his son Ishmael, whom he also loved.
4. This present crisis called for the sacrifice of his only other son, the promised seed, Isaac.
26 If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes, and his own life also, he cannot be My disciple. 27 And whoever does not bear his cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple.
B. We Learn Absolute Surrender When God Asks For That Which We Love The Most.
Illustration: I Have A Dollar!
The Junior Sunday School Teacher asked her eight eager 10-year-olds if they would give $1,000,000 to the missionaries.
"YES!" they all screamed!!
"Would you give $1,000?" Again they shouted, "YES!"
"How about $100?" "Oh, YES we would!" they all agreed!!
"Would you give just a dollar to the missionaries?" she asked.
The boys exclaimed "YES!" just as before except for Johnnie.
"Johnnie," the teacher said as she noticed the boy clutching his pocket, "why didn’t you say ’YES’ this time?"
"Well," he stammered, "I HAVE a dollar."
5 And Abraham said to his young men, "Stay here with the donkey; the lad and I will go yonder and worship, and we will come back to you."
19 concluding that God was able to raise him up, even from the dead, from which he also received him in a figurative sense.
1. God tests us, not that we might prove ourselves to God, but that we might come to know our own heart.
2. When we absolutely surrender to God, we have the testimony before the world that we can love God supremely.
3. When we surrender ourselves to God (all that we are and all that we have), God can take care of us, no matter what may confront us.
C. We Learn Absolute Surrender As We Develop A Personal Relationship With God.
1. God wants us to know Him personally.
Note: The Hebrew name for God used here is Ha ‘Elohim. The name stresses the personal, true God. Elohim was the general name used for God. Ha ‘Elohim is much more personal.
20 Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me.
2. God desires for us to love Him supremely, even before our own family.
37 Jesus said to him, " ’You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’
3. He wants us to glorify Him above all else.