Today was amazing! John and I went to Lakeview Baptist Church to hear Gold City. When we were there a couple weeks ago to see Tony Perkins we heard they would be in town and singing at that worship service. It’s a good thing we didn’t know this special service was starting at 10:30 instead of 11:00 because I had to teach Sunday School at our church, which goes until 10:40, so I know I would have decided not to go.
And then we would have missed it!
Gold City is a Southern Gospel Group that is outstanding. Gold City
The congregation was on its feet most of the time. Then a pastor visiting from Puerto Rico, Pastor Carlos, preached and it was the most wonderful service ever. I have never been so moved at any church service in my life!
He challenged the congregation to let go of all the things they were holding on to that were getting in the way of God’s blessing. He talked about surrendering everything to God and how Paul had said he died daily to self. How we were all tired of trying so hard. That God has plans for us and they are good.
This was what I talked about in my Sunday School class today! So I know for sure He was talking to me and I was there for a purpose! I've been teaching on "The Purpose Driven Life" by Rick Warren. Here's part of what I said: Surrendering to God doesn’t weaken us; it puts Him in our corner. It adds His strength to our pitiful little strength. And surrendered people are the ones God uses. Mary said, “I am the Lord’s servant and I’m willing to accept whatever He wants.” And she became the mother of Jesus!
Warren also says that we all eventually surrender to something and it’s much better for us if it’s God! Because otherwise it’s: other people’s opinions or expectations, or it’s money, fear, pride, ego…and he says that while we are free to choose what we surrender to, we aren’t free from the consequences of that choice. He says surrendering to God is the best way to live. All other approaches lead to frustration, disappointment and self-destruction. He wrote, “Your wisest moments will be those when you say yes to God.” He also wrote, “Sometimes it takes years, but eventually you discover that the greatest hindrance to God’s blessing in your life is not others, it is yourself: your self will, stubborn pride and personal ambition. You cannot fulfill God’s purposes for your life while focusing on your own plan. But, don’t be afraid; nothing under His control can ever be out of control. Mastered by Christ, you can handle anything.”
He goes on to say that surrendering to God isn’t a one-time event. Paul wrote, “I die daily.”
There’s a moment of surrender and there is a practice of surrender, which is moment by moment and life long. We may have to resurrender ourselves 50x a day. But, if that’s what it takes, we just keep doing it. Because when we live a surrendered life our decision will be tested. It will mean inconvenience, being unpopular, it will cost us and often it will be doing exactly the opposite of what we feel like doing. We need to think about what areas of our lives we are holding back from God and give them to Him. God will bless our lives when we do that.