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5. Drowning in the Will of the Almighty

Michael Dant
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Self is the problem. The Holy Spirit is the solution. Surrender is the key. But what is surrender? What does it look like, in practical terms, in our life?


Michael Dant

Embedded Computer Science Teacher at Southern Adventist University. 


  • April 29, 2016
    11:30 AM
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In the beginning there was only one will gods then Satan fell and there became two wills then God created man with free wills in the end after Satan is destroyed there will again be only one will but not like God's will in the beginning for it will be God's will and man's will perfectly blended into one will my friends that is what God is working to do right now he is working to blend our will into his will his working to align us as carefully as powerfully is possible to His perfect way we talk a lot about surrender but we often don't say a lot about it. What really is surrender. How does it work. What is the look like how can we become surrendered how can we know that we're surrendered how can we stay that way once we get there. All these questions about surrender that we don't often learn about let's look at some of these questions this morning even defining surrender can be difficult. Have you ever noticed that one of my favorite definitions of surrender comes from the story of Charleston who was a noted revivalist he was standing at the door of the church as people were filing out after a revival meeting and a man came up to him and handed him a piece of paper and later on as he looked at this piece of paper he realized that it was a legal document it was a stop claim deed. And what the man had done he had filled out this form and had stopped clinging to his life in favor of Christ he had relinquished all claim to his life to his possessions to his choices to everything in favor of Christ legally kind of a new way of thinking in that another one of my favorite definitions is drowning in the will of the Almighty. I like that definition because it's hard to drown. It's unpleasant to drown. But that's where we need to be we need to be fully drowned in the will of the Almighty. So there is not one little bubble. Self still in us another one of my favorite definitions for shredder is getting out of God's way so that God can be Almighty God in me because of our power of choice because of our free will we can stop God as he tries to bless us but surrender says no I'm going to give myself wholly to Christ. Let him be Almighty God in meaning perhaps a more complete definition of surrender is this one surrender is a Spirit inspired spirit enabled settled commitment to give God all my choices in every area of my life all the time surrender is a Spirit inspired spirit enabled settled commitment to give God all my choices in every area of my life all the time I like this definition because it highlights some very important things about surrender. One is only God can do it. Only we can let him write it is Spirit inspired and spirit enabled. The second thing I like about this definition is that surrender is a settled commitment. It's not something that we we do during an emotional high and then a few hours later we kind of forget about what we said in fact surrender is best done when we are stone cold sober emotionally when we go into it knowing exactly what we're getting ourselves into and we're willing to do it. It also talks about this definition also talks about our choices because surrender is all about choices giving God all of our choices and in every area of our life we don't hold back. Even the smallest one not even the smallest area of our life and not just here and there but all the time surrender is a Spirit inspired spirit enabled settled commitment to give Got all my choices in every area of my life all the time because it's a settled commitment. It doesn't come easily and go easily. It's hard fought hard won but when it comes it stays around. Surrender is drowning in the will of the Almighty. This is our key phrase this morning. It is a Spirit inspired Spirit able to settle commitment to give God every choice in every way area of my life all the time. Let's say that together shall we. Center under is drowning in the will of the Almighty and it is a Spirit inspired spirit enabled settled commitment to give God every choice in every area of my life all the time. One reason that surrender can be kind of difficult to define sometimes is that surrender is both an event and it's a process. It's an event in that there comes a point in our life where God brings us to the point where we are willing and able to commit all of our choices to him that is a hard fought hard won choice that we have to make but it is also a process because each day we have to recommit to that we daily take up our cross daily we are learning new areas there are a lot of that need to be surrendered daily we are giving those new things to God daily we are recommitting to him. It's a it's both an event and a process. If anyone wishes to come after me Jesus says he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me a good illustration of surrender his marriage marriage is also an event and a process the event of marriage is the ceremony where we get up and together in front of the church and we commit ourselves to each other until death do us part. That's the event but most people who've been married realize that that's not the necessarily even the hard part of marriage right. The process of marriage comes after that the process where you learn about each other we learn to work together we learn how to please each other and how to work together effectively as a team that's an important part of the marriage process. But my friend. Neither marriage nor surrender are a process in the sense that we commit adultery less and less let me say that again neither marriage nor surrender. Is a process in the sense that we commit adultery less and less in other words if I stood at the all at the altar with my bride to be and I says Honey I commit myself to you. Eighty percent. How well would that go over any woman worth marrying would find the nearest exit right. It wouldn't do any good if I called after all how do you know OK. Ninety percent ninety percent without work without help. No it's one hundred percent. It's all or nothing. It's the same with the Christian life. We cannot knowingly hold back even one choice. We cannot say to the Lord Lord I know this is a bad choice but I like it so much. I'm just going to hold on to this from the out that's OK That's not what surrender is about the Bible says wash yourselves make yourselves clean remove the evil of your deeds from my sight cease to do evil learn to do good. What part of this verse is an event and what part of it is a process cease to do evil stuff that's the event learn and that's the process to do good at every stage of development we are told our life may be perfect. Yet if God's purpose for us is fulfilled. There will be what continual advancement the process of becoming more and more holy surrendered to Christ. Perhaps a parable can help us to understand this all or nothing surrender to Christ business. There was once this walled city that lived. That was situated at the bottom of this tall long valley. It was a very fertile area. It was safe. There were no enemies around there were very happy people very nicely situated dually problem with living. Here at this particular location was whatever it would rain farther up the valley that rain would be funneled down a valley and it would come in and it would flood the city at the bottom. Well this was a small price to pay and the citizens would get out the next day and they would just sweep away a little bit of dirt and they would be fine. That would be good but the problem came when little bit later on other people began to discover this fertile valley and they began to build their own cities farther up the power line and guess what happened then when it rained at the head of the valley. Because remember in those days their garbage dumps were stored outside the city walls. And so when this rain would come down and it was sluice through this valley. It would pick up these piles of putrid filthy rotting mess and it would inundate that poor little city at the bottom of the valley with the stinky filthy junk. When the first time this happened. People came out of their homes and they were barely able to keep their breakfast down it was so smelly so they put the clothes pins on their noses and they went to work but to their horror. They were not able to clean up this mess. It just stuck to the services like glue like the mint it was impossible to get rid of they tried everything about this time a traveling cleaner came to their their city and talked to the mayor and he says hey I think I can help you and I'll do it for free. The mayor says I doubt it but hey I can't beat the price you're willing to you're free to try. Amazingly this cleaner could clean up the mess he got those sidewalks and houses sparkling clean again were Oculus like the problem came when he was about halfway through cleaning up the city. It rained again in the valley up on top of the valley and once again the floods came down and picked up all those garbage piles and in piled them inundated the city with that stinky putrid mess. Well the cleaner says OK I'll just start over again. So he did well. This happened several times before the mayor says hey you know you know what there's a problem here no matter how much progress this great cleaner makes We're always going to have this problem. So we got his wise men together and he said let's have a council is find out what we can do about this we've got this great cleaner but he's not making a whole lot of progress because every time he starts making progress. The city gets flooded again. So they got together and after a couple hours of mostly useless ideas one guy stood up and says Hey let's close the city gate let's close the one right in the front where all that flood water comes down and the mayor said brilliant that that'll do it for the next day they got out all their chains and their levers and their pulleys and they close that gate it was hard. They never closed that gate before but they got exposed eventually. And that's all their problems were actually no it didn't because when it rained again in the floods came down just went through the other six gates hardly even noticed that one gate was closed. Well they got to get in council Guinness's Well that didn't help a lot. What else could we do so they said let's close two other gates the first of the one in the middle in one of the other side and that way. The rain will just go around us and we won't have any problems. So they did at didn't help the flood swirled around and found its way through the back. Gates Well about this time the citizens of the city were getting a little bit fed up with their leadership and saying hey we need a problem a solution to this problem. So we got together in one big convocation of all the city to try to brainstorm this problem and after several hours of mostly useless ideas a little child set up stood up and since that's closed the last city gate. We closed six of them. Let's close the last one. Well after the laughter died down the mayor said to the young man I'm sorry that we laughed at you. We don't mean to be so rude but you can't close the last. OK how do we get in and out already. This is a great inconvenience it has affected our commerce and our ability to get in and out of our city. What would happen if we closed all the gates. We have to build ramps over the walls what would people think about us when we saw the city with all the ramps over the walls we can't do that in fact the mayor said all of this closing Gates has done nothing but cause this inconvenience it hasn't done any good. I propose we open up the gates again. So that's what they did the next day they got out there with all their crowbars and all their police and all their levers. But they didn't need them because it turns out that opening the city gate is really easy closing one is very hard. A few weeks later the mayor called the cleaner into his office and says you know what we really appreciate what you've done for us. You are a miraculous cleaner but we really can't make any progress because the floods keep on coming. And so we're not going to need your services any more. And besides it doesn't really smell that bad after all my friends those open gates represent poor choices in our lives every poor choice in our lives that we know about that we are making is an opening for the devil to come in and undo much of the good work that God is trying to do in our lives lukewarm Christianity is all about giving God Much of our choices or even most of our choices but what God is asking of us is all surrender all or nothing. This almost whole hearted problem that we see in the world today is not just a modern problem. God fought it throughout history. In fact I remember reading in the Old Testament about the Kings the visual you had the good kings and you did and the bad kings you know this king did good in the side of the Lord disk you can get evilness I learned when I read those I remember enjoying the good kings. But you know what. Even the good kings were not wholeheartedly committed to God they had this little sin and this little sin is recorded in the Book of Kings the Bible says the sons. Israel did things secretly which were not right against the Lord their God. Moreover they built for themselves high places in all their towns from watch town to fortified city. Now this was a terrible sin because when God had instituted the sanctuary service. He had said there is going to be one temple and you need to worship in this one place only he told him I do not want you to worship in your towns and cities in your gross and high places because he did not want them to fall into idolatry like the people around them who had all of their their idolatrous high places and yet they fell into this problem. They said to themselves you know it's such an inconvenience to go all the way to the temple. I could pray more I could worship God more if you were just closer and so they started to make these groups in high places. Joseph as an example of this says Joseph that walked in all the ways of his father he did not turn aside from doing right in the sight of the Lord. However. Oh what a terrible word. However the high places were not taken away the people still sacrificed and Bert incenses on the high places and it wasn't just the House of hat. Joe as did right in the side of the Lord only the high places were not taken away as a riot did right in the sight of the Lord only. The high places were not taken away the people still sacrificed to burn incense on the high places. Jotham do what was right in the sight of the Lord only the high places were not taken away. Emma Zion did right in the side of the Lord only the high places were not taken away in all of these kings there was a however a but an only thing. What an insidious word but there was one King. It did not have this word and for our sake I'm glad that we had this record his name was a son a subdued good and right in the sight of the Lord his God for He removed the foreign altars and hype. Places toward down the sacred pillars cut down the ash rim and commanded you to seek the Lord. There are other fathers look out of their fathers and to observe the law and the commandment. He also removes the high places and the incense altars from all the cities the Drew Judah and the kingdom was undisturbed under him he said did good and right with the whole heart. The only thing that we saw that did that of these kings and the kingdom was undisturbed under him. Isn't that great promise. God wants to bless us beyond our dreams and his blessing don't always easy and comfortable but there always. Good God wants to bless us if we would just let him by giving ourselves wholly to him. God is longing to bless what the Bible says for the eyes of the Lord range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are what. Fully committed to him My friends are our hearts fully committed to God Can we say like the Psalmist whom have I in heaven but you. And besides you. I desire that nothing on earth surrender is all or nothing at all or once all at once we don't close to the gate here in a city gate there in a city gate there. We give God all of our choices in every area or area of our life all the time someone months once made the starting the obvious statement that a large canyon is not crossed by a series of small jumps. Can you just picture in your mind a man standing at the edge of this large Canyon and say OK I'm going to do a series of small jumps to get past the cannon and he makes the first small jump then what happens. It's all over you don't cross canyons that way and same way with surrender surrender is a leap of faith it is one hundred percent all or nothing. All at once. There are some who seem to be always seeking for the heavenly protocol but they do not make an entire surrender of the wrong happened. They do not die to self the Christ may live in them. Therefore they do not find the precious pearl they have not overcome unholy ambition and their love for worldly attractions. She goes on they do not take up the cross and follow Christ in the paths of self-denial and sacrifice all my Christian and she says yet not fully Christians they seem near the kingdom of heaven but they cannot enter there almost but not a holy saved. Means to Be not almost but wholly lost almost but not wholly saved means to be not almost but wholly lost in February one two thousand and three the space shuttle Columbia disintegrated as it was reentering the Earth's atmosphere over Texas and Louisiana and the reason why it disintegrated was because during launch fifteen days before a small chunk of film had fallen off of the external booster tank and had struck the leading edge of the space shuttle and created a small hole. This happened. Eighty two seconds after launch. And when the space shuttle was reentering there is that his fear the decompressed gases and the heat of reentry was actually allowed to enter into the earth and that a hole in it became a blowtorch essentially and melted the wing from the inside and the space shuttle disintegrated. The real tragedy is that NASA knew that these chunks of foam were falling off. It happened four times before on four previous space shuttle flights and yet they still kept doing it and you'd think that NASA would learn their lesson because seventeen years earlier the space shuttle Challenger had been destroyed on takeoff on launch because of an O. ring problem and O. ring problem that was a new moon. Problem that had happened several times on previous flights and they said well you know it's burning through a little bit but it didn't burn all the way through. So we're OK until they weren't until they already did burn through all the way and the space shuttle was destroyed a sociologist studying the Challenger explosion the culture at NASA coined this phrase normalization of deviance In other words something was wrong it was a deviation from the plan but it hadn't caused any problems yet. So let's make it normal. It's OK Don't worry about it it's normal until it's not my friends in our lukewarm way of thinking then times we often also have the same normalization of deviance we often say you know it's just a little thing. It's not that big of a deal right. And yet the truly surrendered life has to have every gate closed not the smallest one can be left open the smallest crack will let the desert the devils live there through and undo a lot of the good work that God is trying to do in us how we can become nonchalant with our choices. How we come to the point where we make choices not because we consider God's will but because our peers do it in our parents do it and even our pastors may do it. My friends there is no little bad choice in this rendered life. We cannot fall into this normalization of deviance that is what makes lukewarm Christianity. You know we have sometimes become so unbalanced that when one of us getting caught gets through to one of us and he finally realigns us to his true balance that person looks unbalanced to us but God is wanting to bring us back to his. Balance. He's wanting us to realize that little bad things are not normal. They're not acceptable. They will destroy us. Someone has once said that God is not Lord of all he's not Lord at all and that is so true. I don't why put it this way we do not belong to Christ. Unless we are here is holy let none deceive themselves with the belief that they can become holy while willfully violating one of God's requirements the commission of eighteen known sin silences the witnessing voice of the spirit and separates the soul from God My friends if we want to delight in the Almighty. If we want that relationship with God to be strong where we are close to him and joining him delighting in him we can't let anything anything. God separate us from God We must give God all of our lives all at once it was this one misunderstanding of surrender. This normalisation of deviants that caused me spiritual poverty all my life I thought it was OK I thought it was normal to have bad problems you know I got my big problems but these little things you know will work on these later. Well I didn't realize was that until God got the little things he was powerless to be able to give me victory over the big things. There is no such thing as a little bad choice in the Christian life. A seven year old boy whose name was ironically Christian once emailed Santa and he said How bad can I be and still lose my presence. We smile at that but do we say that same thing to gone. Do we ask how much can I get away with or do we say Lord I want to give you my best choice in every decision that I make surrender is drowning in the will of the Almighty. It is a Spirit inspired spirit enabled settled commitment to give God every choice in every area of my life. All the time surrender is both an event and a process we come to God gets us to the place where we are willing and able to commit all her choices to him. That's the event. It's a process and in that God is continually showing us new areas of our light that needs to be surrendered. It's a process and that God is is enabling us to see these new areas enabling us enabling us to continually give them to him surrender is all or nothing. It's all at once. It includes the little things all the little things. My friends do you want to be surrendered. If you haven't already experienced this all or nothing. All at once giving in to god of a choice is would you like to do that would you like for the Holy Spirit to come and well in you an empty you of yourself and fill you with himself. You can have that experience right now it's your choice. It's your choice. Let's pray Heavenly Father gone. Thank you so much for sure. Under the privilege of getting out of your way I was hoping you'd be Almighty God in us. Thank you so much Heavenly Father that you are willing and able to get us to the point where we commit all of our choices to you and that you are willing and able to get us through the process of daily recommitting all of our choices to you in every area of our life father pray that you will help us to shun even the little bad choices. Anything that will in any way hinder our love relationship with you. We pray for these things we thank you for them. Jesus' name in this video was brought to you by God. Verse a website dedicated to spreading God's word through free sermon audio and much more if you would like to know more about audio verse. If you would like to listen to more sermons leader Visit W W W audio verse or.


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