Why is it that we have such a hard time surrendering to Christ? We have enough faith to believe that he can provide us with eternal life, yet we don’t trust him enough to live a life Completely Surrendered to Him.
There are many people who want full control of their life. They refuse to surrender to the Lordship of Jesus Christ. When we don’t listen to God’s instruction in our lives …WE CRASH! If a ship’s Captain refuse to alter his course he could crash right into the rocks below a lighthouse.
If you refuse to surrender to the Gospel the Spirit, you will crash! Today the lost man refuses to surrender to Jesus for salvation. And many saved folk refuse to surrender to Jesus’ direction in their lives as well. A common phrase in the church today is “I am going to commit my life to Jesus”.You have heard it and I have said it! But when you really look at the word you will find that the word doesn’t go far enough.
We have enough commitment in the church today… we need surrender! Complete surrender to Jesus Christ.
You Must Submit Your Life To Jesus Luke 9:57 And it came to pass, that, as they went in the way, a certain man said unto him, Lord, I will follow thee whithersoever thou goest. 58 And Jesus said unto him, Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head.
In Matthew’s account of this event we are told that this man was a Scribe. A scribe was a “teacher of religious law”This event takes place shortly after Peter’s Mother in Law was healed. After this we read that “That evening many demon-possessed people were brought to Jesus. He cast out the evil spirits with a simple command, and he healed all the sick”. Matt 8:16 (NLT) It is possible that this “scribe” was among the great crowd that was with Jesus as He healed many.
He comes to Jesus and says “Lord, I will follow thee whithersoever thou goest”Jesus’ tells him – “Foxes have dens to live in, and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has no place even to lay his head.” Jesus wasn’t turning this man away, He was explaining to him the “cost of being a disciple” He makes it clear to the scribe that there was more to following Jesus than meets the eye. Many times you will find people who get caught up in the excitement of others. They see God moving and great things happening and they want in on it! They need help and they think that Jesus is the answer. And we know that Jesus is the answer, but the problem is that these people want to make a commitment instead of surrendering to Jesus.
Webster’s defines “Surrender” as – the action of yielding one’s person or giving up the possession of something especially into the power of another.
Surrender is illustrated in the actions of James & John after Jesus called them to be His disciples: Mark 1:19 And when he had gone a little further thence, he saw James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, who also were in the ship mending their nets. 20 And straightway he called them: and they left their father Zebedee in the ship with the hired servants, and went after him.
Jesus called James and John and they submitted their lives to him. They left their home, their family, their job, their life as they knew it to follow Christ. When Jesus calls your name you must SUBMIT to Him! You are to live a life of COMPLETE SURRENDER to the Savior! James, John, Peter, Andrew, Matthew and the others did not begin following Jesus and then go back. They didn’t go back to fishing or collecting taxes… they followed Jesus until the day they died for Jesus!! What about you? Have you fully surrendered your life to Christ of have you made a half hearted commitment? Have you given your all to Jesus and followed Him faithfully Or did you walk His way for a while and then return to what you were before? We will find out that “No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.”The biggest problem for many people when it comes to “Surrendering Their All” to Jesus is that they are to concerned with the things of this world.
In verses 59-60 we see that if you are going to “Surrender All” then you must deny this world.
You Must Deny This World – v59 And he said unto another, Follow me. But he said, Lord, suffer me first to go and bury my father. 60 Jesus said unto him, Let the dead bury their dead: but go thou and preach the kingdom of God.
Here we have the account of another individual. ……The 1st man made an offer to Jesus, this man receives an offer from Jesus. There Is An Opportunity To Follow Jesus – v 59a and he said unto another, Follow me.
Jesus now offers a man the opportunity to “Follow Him”. What a great privilege this man received. The same words Jesus said to the Peter, James, John, Andrew, Matthew,Thomas, and others He said to him. Jesus is still calling men and women to “follow Him” The last great invitation in the Bible says – Revelation 22:17 And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.Paul says in – Romans 10:13 for whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.The in Romans 10:9 …if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.Jesus may be calling you today! There remains an opportunity to follow Jesus, but in this verse we also see:
There Are Obstacles To Following Jesus – v59b But he said, Lord, suffer me first to go and bury my father. 60 Jesus said unto him, Let the dead bury their dead: but go thou and preach the kingdom of God.
Jesus gave this man an invitation and the man wanted to accept it, but he had something that was important to him that he wanted to attend to. He said “Lord, let me go and bury my Father and then I am yours” This man’s Father was either dead or at the point of death. There was a custom for the Jew that if he had duty to perform concerning the dead he was exempt from any other responsibility or duty. This may sound like an honorable request but the greater point is found in Jesus’ response to this man’s request.
1) Natural death – the separation of the body and soul.
2) Spiritual death – the separation of God and the soul.
Jesus is telling this man to let the spiritually dead bury the natural dead. What would hinder you from surrendering all to Jesus today? There are three things that may be hindering you from surrendering today:
a) Personal Aspirations
b) Family Obligations
c) Social Expectations
These three things hindered this man and they may be hindering you. Consider:
1) Personal Aspirations
There are some things in this life that we just want to accomplish. This applies to the saved and the lost. The problem is we will never “Surrender All” if we let our personal aspirations get between us and God.There are places you want to go.Things you want to see,, goals you ant to reach, And because of these things you refuse to surrender ALL to Christ! You like the idea of peace and joy and eternal life but you want to live this life for yourself… THAT IS NOT HOW IT WORKS!!
Another issue that would hinder many is:
2) Family Obligations
Now we can understand where this man is coming from. His father has passed away and he wanted to go and bury him. The problem is not that he wanted to bury his Father. The problem is that he was giving Jesus a postponed commitment instead of complete surrender!!! So many people put their family in front of Jesus. They can’t serve or honor their responsibilities in the church because their children have so much going on. They can’t do Kingdom work because they put their relationship to their spouse before their relationship with Jesus! Jesus makes it clear that if you are going to be His disciple your family CANNOT COME BETWEEN YOU AND HIM – Luke 14:26 If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple.
3) Social Expectations
I wonder if this man thought to himself “what will my friends and neighbors think if I don’t bury my father?”Too many people are concerned with what the world is going to think about them if the get saved.Too many Christians are worried about what the world will think if they “Surrender All” to the Lord.If you seek to SURRENDER ALL to Jesus …This world, your family, your aspirations and desires cannot come before Jesus
Listen to what the Apostle John had to say in – 1 John 2:15 Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. 17 And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.
Do you desire to “Surrender All to Jesus?” then you must deny this world!!
In verses 61-62 we find the third thing that must be done in order to surrender all:
You Must Focus On The Kingdom -v61 And another also said, Lord, I will follow thee; but let me first go bid them farewell, which are at home at my house. 62 And Jesus said unto him, No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.
After submitting to the Lord and denying the word then our lives will be Christ’s not our own. Remember what Paul said in – Romans 12:1 beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. 2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
This Involves Correct Priorities – v61 And another also said, Lord, I will follow thee; but let me first go bid them farewell, which are at home at my house.
This man gives Jesus a promise that came with some conditions. He says “Jesus I will follow you after I tell everyone goodbye”He wanted to set his affairs in order. We have an Old Testament illustration of this in the life of Elisha. (I Kings 19 Jesus perceived that this man had too much attachment to this world. This is a common issue in the lives of many today… MISPLACED PRIORITIES!! Our priorities must be straight or we will never be where God wants us to be.
So many lost people have the mindset that they will surrender to Jesus:
When they feel the time is right
When they finish sowing their wild oats
After they have taken care of certain things
After they clean themselves up
So many Christians fail to give their all because their priorities are NOT IN ORDER! Will you surrender all to Jesus? THEN YOU MUST HAVE CORRECT PRIORITIES.
This Involves A Clear Perception – v62 And Jesus said unto him, No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.
When ploughing a farmer had to keep his eye on the work at hand. If he were to turn his eyes away the field would be marred instantly. This “looking back” that Jesus is speaking of refers to a reluctance to break with the world’ Those who would look back do not have their mind properly directed towards the Kingdom of God. This type of person person is also not fit to show the way to others. We must have a clear perception of the goals that God has given to us. So many have put their hand to the plow and then turned and looked back.
Notice Jesus didn’t say went back, “he says looking back”. When we look back we WILL face the temptation to go back to what we know, to go back to what is comfortable. What is the answer…. FOCUS ON THE KINGDOM!!!!
Lost person what is hindering you from surrendering your soul to Jesus? Saved person, have you truly surrendered ALL to the Saviour?
If you haven’t you can right now.
1) Submit to Jesus
2) Deny This World
3) Focus On The Kingdom