SURRENDERING TO VICTORY # 1
TITLE: ABSOLUTE SURRENDER
TEXT: 1 KINGS 20:1-4
CENTRAL THOUGHT: Whenever we fully surrender to the perfect will of God, He accomplishes more than we could possibly dream about.
Many years ago, when Denise and I were looking to find a church, we went visiting to a church outside of Doylestown, Pennsylvania. Our friends were looking, also. They went there once before, and the church appealed to the young and modern crowd. (Then we were young and modern,also.) We suspected that we were out of place when a woman wearing a black leotard did an interpretative dance. We KNEW we were out of place when the song she danced to was Frank Sinatra’s song, "I did it my way."
As we grew in the Lord, we realized that there were some people in the churches professing themselves to be Christians, still maintained that they did things their own way with little thought for what God said about it in His Bible. As a result, they have grown little in the last few years. Some of them, insisting on their own ways have either quenched the Holy Spirit if God or grieved Him so much that He has stopped working in the individual Christian altogether. Much of their problems can be traced to the fact that they trust themselves more than they trust God. This is sad, for anyone who looks at them can easily see that their self-reliance has led them to their present miserable condition.
The only way to a victorious Christian life is to give to God the same thing that wicked King Ahab gave to God’s prophet: absolute surrender. This is because any true successes we obtain can only be attributed to God, not us, our intelligence, our good looks, or our hard work. CENTRAL THOUGHT
Here is the story of one of Israel’s most wicked kings, Ahab. We will see successes when he surrendered to God, and disaster when he doesn’t
GOD EXPECTS YOUR SURRENDER
Read to verse 12
From the perspective of Ahab, all was lost, his knees were trembling, and he was ready to give away his wives, his children and his money to keep himself alive. Then God intervened, sending Ahab a prophet. You see that is the way it is with salvation; God makes the first move, called grace. He does not intervene because we are good people but because he loves all of us, and wants to redeem us, even if we are as wicked as King Ahab. CENTRAL THOUGHT
GOD GLORIFIES HIMSELF IN OUR SURRENDER
Read to verse 15
Ahab says to the prophet, “You gotta be kidding! Look at the numbers. They do not match up. I will be dead, and Israel looted.”
Look at several things here. First the timing. It was the exact moment that BenHadad sent out the chariots and horses, like ancient tanks against foot soldiers of Israel. Talk about a lopsided battle! Second is the purpose. The prophet said, “And you’ll know, beyond the shadow of a doubt, that I am GOD.”
Your situation today may look like Ahab against BenHadad, hopeless, overwhelming odds opposing you, you are swimming against the current, you are up to your eyeballs, bobbing in troubled water, getting a breath only when your efforts get your mouth above the surface, but look at what God did FOR Ahab, Look at WHY he did it to Ahab. God did that in his own time, and for his own pleasure. Can he not do the same for you, oh child of God?
Surrender is another word for dedication, and by this, we mean that for something to function correctly, it needs to be dedicated or surrendered to its one purpose. In the theological realm, we learn that the chief end or purpose of man is to be with God and to enjoy His presence continually. Only by Ahab’s listening to and obeying the prophet did God accomplish his will for the country. CENTRAL THOUGHT
ONE EARTHLY VICTORY DOES NOT MEAN PERMANENT VICTORY
The enemy rebounded
Read to verse 25
The enemy does not understand spiritual principles. They thought our God was a limited God
GOD’S PURPOSE FOR OUR SURRENDER DOES NOT CHANGE
SURRENDERING TO GODLY MERCY REQUIRES A GODLY RESPONSE
Read 31 to end
God moved a mighty army to accomplish his will, and to protect his people, but Ahab did the same thing as King Saul did earlier. Saul was to kill all of God’s enemies, but he didn’t. Likewise was Ahab to do the same. Neither obeyed, both fell for a ruse. Sometimes we snatch defeat from the hand of victory by listening to the sulfurous lies of the Enemy rather than to the sweet-smelling words of God. Then we are like both Saul and Ahab
Many of us have what can be delicately called, excess baggage. We have tried and tried to keep all sorts of resolutions. If we are honest, there are many that we have not kept. Oh, it isn’t like we haven’t tried, but we tried the wrong way. The way we tried to do our resolution is to make our own rules to accomplish the task. Yet how many of us who are in a hard spot ask God to intervene? Look at what it says in Philippians 2: 13 "It is God who works within you both to will and to do His good pleasure." God does not seek to have our perfect surrender in our own strength, nor by the strength of our sheer will power. No, He wants us to give Him the permission to make the surrender possible. God does not want us to take back our surrender when the going gets rough. Neither does he want a surrender with strings attached to it. He wants an absolute, unconditional surrender.
How many of us are actually singing Frank Sinatra’s song, "I did it My Way"? Most likely, we sometimes wonder why things in our lives are so chaotic. We treat our relationship with God just like the people who walk into Burger King for a meal. We want it our way, right away. Don’t we get a little upset if we have to wait for them to cook up a fresh batch of fries? The simple fact of the matter is that our way is not God’s way. Since He is the Creator of time, and we are creatures of time, time is irrelevant to Him.
How many of us heard someone say or we ourselves said "Oh, if I had only waited?" This is a true saying in the natural world, and it is doubly true in the spiritual realm. Friends, God does have His perfect plan for you. But He will not accomplish it unless and until we allow Him to do as He wishes. If we continually take back the things we say we give over to Him, then He can’t do things His way. We do it our way. CENTRAL THOUGHT