Make the Full Surrender

Mak The ‘Full Surrender’

Chapter Two

Make The 'Full Surrender'
Selling It All 26 Steps To Full Surrender 34
Egocentricity – The Central Problem 28 A Working Way To Live 36
Various Methods In Dealing With 'Self' 30 Discussion Questions 38
The Benefits Of Self-Surrender 32 Discussion Questions (Continued) 39

Matthew 13:44-45; Matthew 19:16-29

Selling It All

For many, these verses inspire feeling of dread and guilt, or perhaps resistance: "He 'sold everything he had'! I don't want to do that. That seems so unreasonable, so unrealistic, so scary"! Forgetting the story is a parable, we take it too literally, or uncomfortable with the concept of "selling everything", we shrug it off too easily. Both perspectives prevent us from really exploring what Jesus is saying and what it should mean in our lives.

Look at Matthew 13:44 again: in his joy he went… In both parables the man sold all he had in order to buy what he had found because it was so much better than the things he had owned up until that point. His previous possessions became of little value to him compared to the treasure he had found. There was no question about what to do – the pearl was of such great value it was obvious that he needed to sell everything else in order to have it.

No consider another man in Scripture: the rich young ruler of Matthew 19:16-29. He chose not to sell everything to buy the pearl. He thought the junk he had was of greater value than what Jesus offered. Have you ever wondered what the young man's life would have been like if he had followed Jesus. He would have had all his needs provided for, been able to participate in something more glorious than he could ever have imagined, and been more fulfilled then he ever thought possible.

You and I, too, have struggled like that young man, and let our affection settle on incredibly inferior, imitation treasure! In one of his books, George MacDonald likens us to children playing in the sewer in front of a grand and beautiful house that belongs to our father. Our father calls us to come in to the house and be filled and made clean, but we are so taken with the poor, broken bits of things in the sewage, that we refuse to turn and go in.

What little bits of broken things are we taken with? Is something from the sewage delighting your eyes and keeping your thoughts preoccupied? The things the Lord calls us to release to Him are of no value compared to what He will give as we come into His house.

I believe these verses are to be taken quite seriously, and some things, literally. What things do you need to sell? What is hindering? Most significantly, have you and I adopted a life attitude that says, "Nothing I own or am is of any importance compared to being in fellowship with Christ"? That is selling it all: making myself and my things utterly available to the living God. It does sound risky, doesn't it? Yet, it is only because our faith is small that the risk bothers us, for what God is offering is truly much better than what we now have. Who will follow? Who will sell everything else for the riches to be found in Jesus? Who will buy the pearl?

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"Lord, I need you to show me the things in my life that need to be released to you. You know that is frightening for me, but I don't want to hold anything back. Take it all, Lord, and me as well. I am only your servant. Amen?"

AFFIRMATION FOR THE DAY: God offers me a life of fulfillment, purpose, joy, and wholeness culminating in an eternity with Him.

- Erik Ritschard –

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Acts 27:13-26

Egocentricity – The Central Problem

The central problem behind all problems is the problem of egocentricity – that is, putting one's self at the center of the universe.

"There's a Jewish legend about a group of people in a lifeboat. One of them began to saw a hole in the part of the boat directly below his seat. The others yelled at him to stop. He said, defiantly, 'This is my place; I can do what I want with it.' They answered, 'Yes, but if you do what you what, we'll all drown.'" (Canadian Free Methodist Herald; May 1979; Donald Bastain)

That legend reminds me of the person who is living a self-centered life, oblivious to the needs and rights of others. The self-centered person, like the individual in the legend who wanted to saw a hole in the boat, is a person who is on a course of self-destruction. And while he destroys himself, he can destroy others who are depending upon him.

'Self' in control rather than Christ in control is the cause of all real problems. When several were asked what their greatest need was, here are the answers of several: "I am so full of needs. My greatest need is to surrender myself – lose myself in Christ. I take a handful of pills. I seem to be running away from something." A pastor said: I'm a self-belie' – I'm addicted to myself." A Swedish woman: "I came here with a self I don't like, and yet I have to live with myself." A skeptic said:; "I'm glad I don't believe in eternal life. I wouldn't want to live with myself forever." (Victory Through Surrender; E.S. Jones; pg. 11, 12)

"Someone asked the head of a mental institution: 'I suppose these people in here are beside themselves'? 'Oh no,' he replied, 'they are very much themselves. That's why they are here.'" (Ibid; pg. 14)

"Just as my fingers are rooted in the palm of my hand, so all these outer sins are rooted in the unsurrendered self. Why do we get angry and 'blow our top'? Because someone has crossed the self. Why do we lie? Because we think it will be some advantage to the self. Why are we dishonest? Same reason. Why are we impure? Because we think it will be some pleasure to the self. Why are we jealous and envious? Because someone is getting ahead of the self. All these outer sins are only fruit – the unsurrendered self is the disease." (Victory Through Surrender; E.S. Jones; pg. 30,31)

"Father, to center on myself is to lose myself; to lose myself in your person and plans is to find myself. Help me to make a complete surrender, barring nothing! In Jesus' name. Amen".

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AFFIRMATION FOR THE DAY: If I surrender all to the Lord of life, I will receive all from the Lord of life, for I will receive all from the Lord of life, for self-surrender leads to self-realization!

- Ron Christian –

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Proverbs 14:12, Matthew 16:24-25

Various Methods In Dealing With 'Self'

There are many ways to deal with the 'Self'. Depending upon the way we deal with the 'Self' we will get either negative consequences or positive results.

There are many inadequate ways to deal with the 'Self'. (1) Eliminate the 'self'. But this is impossible, for to eliminate self would be to extinguish personal existence. (2) Know thyself. But only through knowledge of Christ can one have knowledge of himself. There is a great identity crisis in modern times – people trying to know themselves. Some use drugs as a means of unlocking their inner self. Who is able to reveal the inner identity of man but the Creator of man? (3) Accept Thyself. But how can you accept an unacceptable self, one that is full of conflicts, guilts, frustrations, inferiorities, inhibitions, cynicism, self-loathing? To accept that kind of self is to become unacceptable to one's self. Many feel that they are one big bundle of contradictions, and to ask someone to accept that kind of self is to ask one to become a contradictory person – frustrated completely. Most don't like a lot of things about themselves. (4) Express Thyself. This is not satisfactory, for when many persons are expressing themselves they are expressing carnal, competitive, unconverted, self-centered selves. This sets the stage for clash, confusion, jealousy, and strife. Hell can be defined as a group of self-centered people, all expressing themselves! One cannot cure the disease of self-centeredness by advising all to express their unconverted selves! (5) Center Upon Thyself. To center on self is to frustrate man's altruistic capacity. Man is made to center on Christ and others; to center primarily on self is to be off-center, hence deep frustration. The frustrated self is a self which is alienated from others, alienated because people don't like self-centered persons. People who center upon self, "start out to draw life to themselves – its joy, its thrills – and they succeed in drawing to themselves is sadness and disillusionment and sickness – spiritual, mental, and physical". (Abundant Living; E.S. Jones; pg. 45) (6) Defend Thyself. But constantly to be guarding and defending oneself is to dissipate energy which should be spent relating redemptively to others. Such a person is oversensitive, and oversensitive people are critical people and unproductive and non-creative.

Each of these six methods which the world offers, leaves the 'Self in the center, a 'Self' that is divided and frustrated. They all lead to bondage, not freedom.

"Father, there are ways that seem right unto the world, but the end of those ways is spiritual death. Surrendering my "Self" to you totally enables me to know myself truly. to accept myself gladly, to express myself lovingly. To center on myself is to lose myself inevitable. I choose to make you Lord of my "Self", In Jesus' name. Amen".

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AFFIRMATION FOR THE DAY: A purified 'Self' is a 'Self' set free to realize its fullest potential in Christ!

- Ron Christian -

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John 12:24-26, Galatians 2:29

The Benefits Of Self-Surrender

There is only one way adequately to deal with self-centeredness and pride. That way is the way of self-surrender. "Then said Jesus unto his disciples, if any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lost it; and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it". (Matthew 16:24-25)

Surrender to Christ leads to a right relationship with God, with yourself, and with others.

First, you are freed from the bondage of self-worship to worship of God alone. The irony is this: The more you worship yourself, the more you loath yourself, for you are not made to worship yourself. You are made to worship God alone. Self-worship leads to self-loathing!

Second, when you transfer your worship from self to God alone, you automatically find that you have a new love for yourself. Loving God supremely, you find that you love yourself subordinately. So surrender to Christ gives you a freedom from self-despising and enables you wholesomely to love yourself. "Since you are able to live with God, you are able to live with yourself. To be at home with yourself and rather like yourself. For loving someone beyond yourself, and more than yourself, you are now free to love yourself." (How To Be A Transformed Person; E.S. Jones; pg. 196)

Third, a full surrender to Christ sets up a right relationship to people. On the one hand you are delivered from self-preoccupation. On the other hand, you are delivered form herd bondage – bondage to the group. You are delivered from yourself, in order that you may serve God. You are delivered from peer pressure in order that you may serve people. "The herd urge, hitherto fastened on the futilities of allegiance to society around, is now cleansed from that enslaving bondage and fastened on the fruitfulness of the Kingdom of God. You do not become unsocial, but loving God supremely you can love others subordinately, but with a love intensified, you love others with His love." (A Song of Ascents; E.S. Jones; pg. 54)

"The surrender which seems downward, laying down your arms, is actually a surrender upwards. It is a surrender to creative love … it is a paradox, but you are never so much your own than when you are most His. Bound to Him you walk the earth free. Low at His feet you stand straight before everything else. You suddenly realize that you have aligned yourself with the creative forces of the universe so you are free – free to create and free to love, free to live at your maximum, free to be, to be all He will you to be.

"Father, as the loose wire surrenders itself to the dynamo, as the paint surrenders itself to the artist, as the marble surrenders itself to the sculptor, and as the ink surrenders itself to the writer, so enable me, a mere man, to surrender myself to the Almighty Christ. Then I shall

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find myself throbbing with divine energy, creating, creating love movements wherever I go"!

AFFIRMATION FOR THE DAY: Surrendering the 'title deed' of my life to Christ makes me feel truly 'at home' with myself!

- Ron Christian -

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Philippians 3:7-14

Steps To Full Surrender

First, recognize that God is the Center and not you. The humanistic mood of our day puts man at the center of life, with a consequent denial or neglect of God Almighty. You must remember that you are creature, not Creator; son, not Father; subject, not Master; steward, not Lord; man, not God! You must determine that God shall have the same place in your life as He has everywhere else in His vast universe – Center!

Second, draw near to God, and determine with your will to make a full surrender of yourself to God, in spite of your hesitation and fears. Remember, when you surrender to God you are surrendering to a Christlike God. You are surrendering to God who is all-loving, that is, to a God who want what is best for you. You are surrendering to a God who is all-wise, that is, to a God who knows what is best for you. You are surrendering to a God who is all-powerful, that is, to a God who is able to give what is best for you. Such a God can be trusted, and such a God is worthy of being your Master. You have nothing to fear when you place yourself in the care and keeping of a loving Master!

Third, surrender yourself fully to God's cleansing and creative love. Your 'self has been frustrated because you have tried to accept an unacceptable self. Now accept yourself as a cleansed self-cleansed of guilt, frustrations, inferiorities, cynicism, fears, etc. Your self is cleansed by Jesus! There is power in the blood of Christ – power to cleanse the deepest stains of self-centeredness form your soul! You can accept a new self which increasingly is becoming Christlike.

Your 'self has been frustrated because you have expressed your 'self in a social setting which has been competitive and comparative. This has led to jealousy and strife. Now accept yourself, no longer in horizontal competition with your peers, but as a self which is in the process of vertical development – upward and onward toward the unique standard which God has designed for you. You no longer need to compare and to compete with others – outwardly. God is now your standard, not others. Now you grow and develop with God – upwardly. The fact that God is your standard, releases you, on the one hand, form the contentious and contemptuous atmosphere of peer competition and stress. The fact that God is your standard releases you, on the other hand, from the complacent attitude of self-sufficiency and easy contentment with your present attainments. You are delivered from the stress of carnal competitions, and -delivered to the creative pursuits of divinely-given goals.

"Father, cleanse me from all self-centered living, in order that I may be creative in God-centered living. Cleanse me from the negative in my carnal selfhood, in order that I may be creative in your consecrated selfhood. Release me from all horizontal competition and give me your energy to pursue God-given goals. In Jesus' name. Amen."

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AFFIRMATION FOR THE DAY: What Christ cleanses, He also fills. Cleanses from sin, and fills with Himself!

- Ron Christian –

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1 John 1:7-22

A Working Way To Live

We continue with the steps to full surrender.

Fourth, after you have given yourself fully to Christ, be bold to take Christ fully as the Lord of your entire life. When you surrender all, the Spirit of God cleanses all. When you surrender all, the Spirit begins creatively to work through you to glorify God, to benefit others, and to bless you. "God will take you as you are and begin to make you what you ought to be. Through identification with him you now begin to learn to take from Him. You are strong in His strength, pure in His purity, loving in His love, victorious in His victory. You live no longer on the unit principle, but on the cooperative plan. You supply willingness and He supplies power." (Victory Through Surrenders; E.S. Jones; pg. 109)

Fifth, surrender daily to Christ's love, and allow Him to work in you as He wills. "You have said' All' to Him and He has said' All' to you. But there are a lot of little 'ails' under the big 'All'. They will come up day by day and little surrenders will have to be made, made about things and issues you did not realize would be involved. So the surrender is a blanket once-for-all surrender, but also an unfolding surrender. As you have given all you know and all you don't know, the 'don't knows' have to be dealt with as they arise. How? By a continual surrender. You do not fight or suppress the issue, you turn it over to Him and say: 'I am Yours and this thing concerns me, so this is Yours, too. I surrender it. Tell me what to do about it.' That keeps problems and issues from piling up and making you tense and burdened. It is a continual catharsis. You are saved from the tension that comes from suppressing things and driving them into the subconscious sphere where they fester, and also from evading the issues in which case they nag us from the margin of consciousness. You are fulfilling that verse, 'But if we walk in light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin'. (1 John 1:7) By walking in the light, holding nothing back, you have continuous fellowship with Christ and a continuous cleansing of your problems and sins. It is a working way to live." (Victory Through Surrender: E.S. Jones, pg. 110)

Surrendering to the lordship of Christ leads to unlimited freedom – freedom to be your true self, freedom to be fulfilled, freedom from fear, freedom to serve people without being in bondage to people, freedom to be relaxed, freedom to live in harmony with the Universe!

"Father, I see that I have only one true freedom in life – the freedom to choose the Master of my life. How I exercise that freedom determines my destiny – for time and eternity! If I refuse to surrender to You, I choose to surrender to pessimism, to hopelessness, to negativism, to futility, to self-destruction"!

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AFFIRMATION FOR THE DAY: I choose to make a once-and-for-all 'blanket' surrender to Christ, and then to learn daily to surrender every new detail of my life to the lordship of Christ!

- Ron Christian –

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Discussion Questions

  1. Share your personal (inner) reaction or response to the following lines of poetry (from a popular song):

    "Is your all on the altar of consecration laid, 
    Your heart does the Spirit control? 
    You cannot have peace and sweet rest 
    Until your all on the altar is laid"! 
  2. In "exchange" for your "full surrender of your self' to Almighty God, what will you receive from God in return?

  3. To the "best of your knowledge", do you believe that you have surrendered all you are and all you have to the Living God, for Him to use in His "Kingdom Service" as Be chooses best? (Matthew 13:44-45; Matthew 9:16-20; Philippians 3:7-11)

  4. Why do you think that many professing Christians know much more about the secular culture and about the popular Hollywood "stars" and sports celebrities than they do about the Bible's disciples and prophets and apostles or even Jesus Christ Himself?

  5. How can a professing Christian (a "carnal believer") be "delivered" from a rebellious mind, impure thoughts, self-pitying emotions, self-centered attitudes, destructive habits, half-hearted devotion, divided will, covetous desires, lukewarm indifference to spiritual disciplines such as regular Bible reading and prayer and loving service?

  6. Tell to what degree you agree (or disagree) with the following statement: "The central problem behind all problems is the problem of egocentricity – that is, putting one's self at the center of his universe".

  7. Why is the self-centered person the individual who is on a. course of self-destruction?

  8. Explain (and concretely illustrate) what is meant by the following statement: "Just as my fingers are rooted in the palm of my hand, so all these outer sins are rooted in the unsurrendered self'.

  9. Tell specifically why the following ways of "dealing" with Self are inadequate and even destructive:

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    Discussion Questions (Continued)

    1. Eliminate thy "Self."

    2. Know thy "Self'.

    3. Accept thy "Self".

    4. Express thy "Self".

    5. Center upon thy "Self".

    6. Defend thy "Self".

  10. From your understanding of Scriptures, and from your personal experience, and from your observation of Spirit-filled Christians whom you have known, share some of the "Benefits" of Self-Surrender to Christ.

  11. List the specific "Steps" which you (or any other believer) must take to make a "full surrender" to Christ, in order to be "filled with the Holy Spirit".

  12. Why is it "proper" (Biblical) to say that your surrender to Christ is both a "blanket once-for-all surrender" and also an "unfolding surrender"? (Note 1 John 1:7)

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