I was sitting at a funeral dinner with the grown children of a dear woman whose service I had just conducted. One of her sons was talking about adding a patio to the back of his house. Her daughter was talking about doing some work on her home. I thought to myself, “This mother has just died and her children are talking about everything but her! I don’t even have kids, just think how quickly I will be forgotten when I die!” I started getting depressed thinking about how quickly I will be forgotten.
As the family talked on, not necessarily to me, I discreetly checked my Facebook on my phone beneath the table. I was stunned when I read one of the first status updates from a friend. It read, “Living my life so that people will remember me after I die is too small a cause to live for.” I felt like I had just been hit between the eyes with a 2 X 4! That day I realized, even though I had been baptized long ago, that I still needed to make a full surrender. Just because I told people I had surrendered all, and even sang the song with tears in my eyes, did not necessarily mean anything had actually been surrendered. Full surrender is an action not a profession.
Many times we think diet and dress reform and other topics are important issues, but what they all boil down to is one primary issue, the issue of a full surrender. I have met people who are proud of their extravagant wardrobe and I have met people who are proud of their simplicity. On both sides of the issue there is a pride problem! There is need for full surrender.
Jesus met and conquered the self and pride for us when He made a full surrender in Gethsemane. He cried out, “If it is possible, let this cup of suffering be taken away from me.” Matthew 26:39 NLT
Here Jesus was praying in His humanity the plea that all humanity has prayed. Is there a way for me to get around this issue other than a full surrender? Hebrews 5:8 says Jesus learned obedience by suffering. His flesh, like ours, suffered when it did not get its own way. In describing the destruction of the wicked, Obadiah (1:16 NLT) says they will “disappear from history.” That was my fear at the funeral dinner, and Jesus faced this fear for me and overcame it, when He made a full surrender and prayed, “Yet I want your will to be done, not mine.” Matthew 26:39 NLT
Whatever issue we face, we can try to skirt around it with all kinds of human reasoning and logic as to why we don’t need to make a full surrender, but surrender is the only solution no matter what the issue may be.
Surrender is the key to being anointed when we are sick.
Are any of you sick? You should call for the elders of the church to come and pray over you, anointing you with oil in the name of the Lord. Such a prayer offered in faith will heal the sick, and the Lord will make you well. And if you have committed any sins, you will be forgiven. James 5:14-15 NLT
The sick person is the property of God. The sickness is now God’s problem and not the individual’s, who has made a full surrender and has given everything to God including all his or her sins and diseases. God may heal by removing the sickness right then, or He may heal through a recovery process that will reveal God’s love and power day by day. Or God may let them go to sleep and heal them in the resurrection. The KJV of James 5:15 reads, “And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up”
Jesus may raise the person up that very moment, or He may heal them by letting them sleep, and “raise him up” at the resurrection. The key to this passage of Scripture is that sins are forgiven and there is salvation when one has been anointed and become fully surrendered.
Full surrender simplifies life on this planet, as we surrender the complications to God.