February 6, 2023
1 Kings 17:8-24
As I stood by our church pew singing the old hymn, “I Surrender All,” little did I comprehend true surrender, nor the impact of this word on my life in years to come.
To surrender means to abandon, to yield, to give power, control or possession to another.
This one word makes me speechless.
Surrender is a hard word to say, and an even tougher concept to live out; it’s a complex and difficult action in real life.
Let’s go a bit further and define self-sufficiency. The dictionary puts it this way: enough, adequacy, supply, and plenty, but I believe this definition drives home the point of biblical surrender. Consider that Self Sufficiency is the ability to maintain oneself or itself without outside aid.
Growing up, I understood what it meant to “honor your father and mother.” (Exodus 20:12) It wasn’t until I was going off to college that I strayed from this commandment. Thinking I knew better, and feeling the emotional roller coaster of love, I turned my back on stability and fled into a whirlwind of disobedience. “He loves me, he loves me not” was whistling in my ear. Oh, I thought a boy loved me, so I jumped on and went round and round, up and down for many years.
I wanted to be self-sufficient, able to maintain my life without anyone’s help. Does this seem prideful? Yes, in retrospect, I understand not allowing our Provider, Sustainer, Supplier, and Satisfier into my life was sin. How I needed His ultimate sustaining power at this crossroad!
The early years of my first marriage were a roller coaster. I never knew what to expect. As I stepped inside my front door, I wondered if I should walk on eggshells or be myself? Would I march into condemnation, ridicule, and name-calling or would it seem to be a bed of roses? More often than not, it would be condemnation.
Until I realized I needed to accept help, pray for God’s strength to allow help, and then fully surrender to His will and plan for my life, I would continue to struggle on my own. (1 Corinthians 1:8) He sent “reminders” to me through others, through His Word, and by seeing His constant hand in my life. Over time, He truly became my Sustainer, my Supplier, and my Satisfier just like the widow, the disciples, and Joseph (Barnabas).
Sustainer 1 Kings 17:8-24
A little flour, a little oil
For our last supper.
To bake the leaven
To sustain our lives,
Supplier Luke 5:1-11; Luke 18:24-30
The fishermen left
To wash their nets.
Their boats, empty.
For upon their return,
The Master spoke.
Standing on the boat
While others heard:
“Throw aside your nets
To catch even more”
How truly absurd!
The disciple did say
We’ve been fishing all night, and all day.
But what a huge haul
No more fishing drought.
What’s impossible for us,
Is Possible with God.
Satisfier Acts 4:36-37
Not much to mention
But a parcel of land
Owned by a Levite
And at his own hand,
He laid it all down
Only to sacrifice
His life, not his own!
Surrendering our will to His will, knowing He is sovereign over all, and His ways are higher is how we begin to exchange our frail, limited self-sufficiency for His unending sufficiency. When we reach the end of ourselves, we find He is more than enough. (2 Corinthians 1:8-10)
When we were enslaved to our sins, He came to bring us spiritual freedom and new life. (Romans 6:6-11) Through His death and resurrection, He has gifted to us what we could never supply for ourselves: redemption.
“And you were dead in your trespasses and sins in which you previously walked [. . .] But God, who is rich in mercy, because of his great love that he had for us, made us alive with Christ[.]” (Ephesians 2:1, 4-5)
In our own daily lives, He longs to be our Sustainer, Supplier, Satisfier; He can make something beautiful in His own time, for He makes all things new. (Revelation 21:5)
Sweet friends, He is making something beautiful in you! If you do not believe me, maybe these lyrics will help in understanding His love towards us.
Something beautiful, something good
All my confusion He understood
All I had to offer Him was brokenness and strife
But He made something beautiful of my life.
If there ever were dreams
That were lofty and noble
They were my dreams at the start
And hope for life’s best were the hopes
That I harbor down deep in my heart
But my dreams turned to ashes
And my castles all crumbled, my fortune turned to loss
So I wrapped it all in the rags of life
And laid it at the cross.(Something Beautiful Gaither Vocal Band, Bill Gaither Trio)
I love this description of Jesus’ work for us!
Jesus didn’t go to the cross so we didn’t have to, He went to the cross to show us HOW.
“If anyone wants to follow me, let him deny himself daily, take up his cross, and follow me.” (Luke 9:23)
Let us surrender our self-sufficiency, take up our cross, and follow Him!
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