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19 March, 2013

Surrendering on a case by case basis

First of all, I have to give credit where credit is due. While I like using the phrase "surrendering on a case by case basis", but I did not coin it. I read it in Pastor’s Stanley “Intouch magazine” on Tuesday September 2nd 2008. The devotion was titled “choosing an obedient lifestyle and the verse was Romans 6:16-18. Pastor Stanley said:

Though God is sovereign and omnipotent, many believers don’t trust Him to guide them. Instead they think about obedience on a case-by-case basis, evaluating how the consequences of various choices might affect their life. But the Lord desires followers whose lifestyle is submissive—in other words, people who've made a deliberate decision to surrender to His will in every circumstance.

When confronted with the idea of absolute submission, many of us are assaulted by anxious thoughts: What if the Lord wants me to do something I can’t? Or, What if I don’t want to do what He asks? We fear we wouldn't have the strength, wisdom, or faith to carry out commands He might give. And we’d be right—if we relied upon our own resources. But if we commit to obedience, God equips us at the right moment to follow where He leads.”

Last time I posted about this, I talked more about the surrendered life. Today, I am using the same quote from Pastor Stanley, but this time to talk about how the surrender on a case by case basis affects us.

When we surrender on a case by case basis what we are really doing is living a Christian life where we fluctuate between God’s plan for our lives and our own plans. Inwardly, we are unstable we are like those people who practice double mindedness, and we are also plagued by doubt in Him. (James 1:7-8)

The consequences of living this double life are unimaginable. It is not like we will not grow spiritually, but the Holy Spirit is limited to work in us only when we are on track with His plan. Once we jump on the other side where we live independently of Him, we are on our own and block the Spirit’s work. Furthermore, every day becomes a battle of the mind because there is a fight between the need to live independently according to our own plans and the need to live out God’s plans. This battle of the mind is ideal for Satan to perform his work and gain more and more ground to establish himself in your life and influence your thinking pattern and behaviour.

Another danger of surrendering on a case by case basis is that you forfeit your daily walk in the Spirit and replace it with a life of daily illusion and most of the time you are striving through your own abilities. May God give us the strength we need to get out of Satan’s claws and place ourselves under His direction and leading.