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6. Called to Above and Beyond Surrender

Melody Mason

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How to prepare for the Latter Rain, and be faithful even in the daily details of life, for God’s honor and glory!

Presenter

Melody Mason

Coordinator of the United Prayer program and assists with the Revival and Reformation Initiatives at the General Conference

Conference

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  • December 31, 2016
    4:15 PM
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This message was presented at the G Y C twenty sixteen conference when all has been heard in Houston Texas for other resources like this visit us online who are OK well come back this afternoon. Has everyone doing. It's been a blessed day hasn't it. It's been a full day. Yeah. Well thank you for being here this afternoon any of you joining the seminar for the first time. Just today. OK Wow A Welcome. Glad to have you for this final seminar. Keys to personal revival and I'm going to be talking just specifically as you saw on your programs more about surrender and what that might look like in our daily lives. The called True above and beyond surrender faithfulness to God's call. So we'll go ahead and jump right in and we'll begin with a word of prayer. If you wouldn't mind betting your house your heads with me. Directly Father thank you so much for the Sabbath. And for the blessings that we've already experienced today in so many ways father. I just pray that we would know how to assimilate and take the things that we have been learning here at G Y C from the seminars to the main messages. Just show us how to apply these things to our lives father that we would be doing is of the word not just hears only we need your father to change our hearts and just to continue to work a deeper work and us Father thank you for hearing this prayer in your precious name Amen. I just want to remind you one more time for those of you. Maybe that are just joining for the P.D.F. notes on all my seminars. That would include all six of them. This is the sixth one you can go to daring to ask for more dot com daring to ask for more dot com and look under the above and beyond seminars and you can pick out the G Y C seminar and you can go back and look at the notes. So you don't have to worry about copying all the quotes that I use as quickly as I use them. I want to share a story to begin with some of you may have heard the story you may have read this book. It's called The Heavenly Man anybody read this book. Yeah. Several of you have this is a powerful powerful testimony it's been a little while since I've read the book but this this young man his life. It's a life of pursuit of God and dedication and surrender to the call like we don't really see a whole lot in our generation and this is somebody that still living in today's generation he's still alive today but he grew up in China in a very poor area in China. He had heard from his parents about God and what God had done in their lives but he'd never seen a Bible or they had had a Bible because it was safe for them to have that in fact if he had one and he was caught he could be killed. So it was very religiously oppressive but he had a really big burden in his heart he couldn't really read. But he had a big burden to have a Bible for himself. So that he could learn about God so that he could study God's word for himself and so he began praying and he actually started a hundred day fast praying and pleading that God would send him a by. Well and the fast wasn't a complete you know eating nothing basically from what I remember he didn't eat anything during the morning it was it was not until the evening he had a little bit of rice and water but he was very very restrictive on his diet and he was just pleading he was so desperate to receive a Bible because he wanted to learn about God for himself. You know I think about his dedication and how we grow up with so many Bibles in our home. You know we probably have multiple Bibles and how lax and lazy we are about really getting into God's word and studying. Anyway he continued fasting and praying his family actually thought he was losing his mind he was so intense on the hundred day. Actually right before that he had a dream that someone came to him in the middle of the night and they knocked on the door. And they gave him a loaf of bread. And then that loaf of bread How fitting. Was the Bible the Word of God the living bread right. Well not long after that on the hundredth day of the fast. That's what happened. In the middle of the night. Someone came and knocked on the door and they brought this Bible to him and they said that they had been told of God I think that they had received a dream as well to come and bring the Bible to him. Well he could not read very well but he began eating up that word of God and and reading and growing and he couldn't contain what he found in the Word of God himself he had to share it. So he started sharing it and started helping groups a little little groups of believers get started and as a result of that he began to be a hunted man because that was a permissible in this area where he was at the time and he began continuing I mean he kept he kept going and going and even when he was imprisoned. Even when these different things happened to him and kept going. Finally one point came on. Skipping a lot of story just kind of giving you a little summary he had escaped from prison and had so many very unusual things happen that they decided if they ever caught him again they're going to make sure he would never escape again. And so the thought is finally did catch him again and they broke his legs and smashed everything so there's no way. Thank you. There is no way that he could walk or that he could get out of here or anything. And so he basically had to be drug to the bathroom he had to be drug here or there and it really looked like you know this was the last time. After a period of time. He continued praying his faith was strong even though he was a cripple and he couldn't walk and one day just like what happened with Peter in prison he felt like God told him to get up walk out the door. He didn't even actually realized what he was doing he just responded to the invitation that God gave him and he stood up and he went towards the door and the door opened and he passed a guard guard in the hallway. They didn't see him he walked down the stairs another door opened and his inmates. You know fellow prisoners saw what was happening and there are the witnesses to the story and they watched they looked out the windows and saw him go into the main courtyard and go to the main gate and the gate opened and he walked out the front of this prison maximum security prison in China now and they never saw him there had never been anyone escaped from this prison before. God walked him out of the prison just like Peter and he was able to escape the country and just the man has a brother you know and he has so many amazing testimonies of what God has done for him and he's he's continuing to to win souls for the kingdom but the thing that just really I mean yeah. God healed his legs God open the doors everything you know he believed he believes in a god that is living in alive today and that's what I talked about the very first morning when we had the seminars here. You know we talk a lot about the Bible we talk about the things that God has done in the past we talk about what he's going to do in the future but what about today. Do we believe in God that's living in alive today and he did and he just held on and God honored that prayer. Now there's a lot of different stories that we could talk about both from people of modern times and people that have gone before us and how God has worked in their lives and the consecration in the surrender and I don't know about you but when I read some of these stories. I grew up reading the stories and I was just like man I want to have faith like that. I want to be that type of person that God could use and that he could speak through and and all these different things. You know we have these hair. What he called her ROIC type dream so we want to be able to live that life. But I have really seen in God has really been impressing in my heart over the years. If he's ever going to use us in a more whatever significant way like this it has to start with the face fullness in the little details that has to start with the faithfulness in the little details. And I just want to share. A testimony that might actually hit home. With with some of you. I remember one time a little while back. This was you know maybe two or three years back. A friend of mine gave me a pair of long jeans pants. If you haven't noticed I'm tall. And it's hard to find pants that are long enough. It's hard to find skirts that are long enough so when I find them. I hold on to them anyway so she she gave me this pair of pants it was really nice they were a little. You know decorative in their design and they were expensive. I would never be able to pay for these type of things and I thought was really cool. You know I'm a country girl by the way. At Heart. I grew up climbing trees and running in the fields and building forts and it's only been my going away to school and beginning to work with church and ministry that God Thankfully taught me how to be a lady because I was very much. Whatever. And I still I love to get my feet dirty and I love to be out there in the country. So I probably would still be climbing trees of the opportunity. My mother does by the way and I thought wow if I'm still climbing trees when I'm her age. This is going to be awesome. Anyway that's all whole diversion there. So my friend gives me these pants and I'm so excited because they're long they're comfortable in their queue and they're nice pants I would never pay for on my own. And then after wearing them a couple times I washed them and I noticed there was some grey lining in the pockets and I looked at a little bit more and there was some there was some patterns on that grey lining and I was like What is this you know what the pattern was it was actually schools and crossbones schools and crossbones and I'm like why did they have to destroy these pants with this fabric inside right I mean like this is what who sign is that is that God sign skulls and crossbones is the sign of death right. And so I instantly knew what it was but even though I knew this little battle goes on in my mind and I'm like well it's inside my pockets. Right. It doesn't matter because no one sees and after all God knows what's in my heart right. He knows that I don't ascribe to these things so it doesn't really matter. So you have this conflict going back in your in your mind you know like found these perfect things that were given to me. I mean do I give them back to I throw them. Way do I do. I just I mean. And then it's not a big deal. You know it's like the devil keeps on it's not a big deal. Well I knew what the voice was you know I'm saying. And so I'm struggling with this and I'm. How can I embrace something even in the littlest way if this is something that has caused Christ pain and suffering and that is against his kingdom. So I had the battle in my mind but I ended up giving it back to my friend and. I'm not sure that she really understood why because again the nature but God really was convicting me and he has been continuing to convict me that if we are not surrender in the little Mundine details in daily life. How can we expect to be faithful in those bigger challenges than those the bigger responsibilities that God gives to us in our lives. This is this is the big challenge. There's a book. By Reese how Actually it's by Norman grub It's called Rhys Howells intercessor and I actually refer to some of these stories in daring to ask for more research how he was just an incredible man of faith and prayer he actually established a Bible college in Wales back in one nine hundred twenty four right during World War two And during this time at the Bible College they started basically a school of prayer and you can read more about this in daring to ask but I'll just share this point. During some of the hardest times of battle when Hitler and the troops and all these things were attacking. Rees and his students at the school recognize this is not just a physical battle where we're losing territory or they might take over you know England or this sort of that this is a spiritual battle. This is. Is just tracting from from the Gospel being able to be shared with with God's people. And so they began praying and praying and praying that God would overrule and it's really interesting because at the end of the war there were four specific blunders that this news commentator wrote about. And those four blunders that Hitler made were for specific battles and that Reese and his bible college group had prayed that God would intervene and would stop. You know you heard about the fact that the bombers and all were coming against. Great Britain England there and they were coming and coming and coming and they stopped five minutes before they would have surrendered. And Rhys Howells and his students in that prayer college were praying that God would overrule and that's what happened that day. Anyway the stories go on and on the testimony of his life is really really inspired me but I just want to share a little bit behind the scenes the struggle that Reese wint through this comes from the book the intercessor the Holy Spirit said to me he was convicted to surrender and this is the struggle that was happening in his mind. It's not like he was hearing voices this is a struggle in his mind as a Savior had a body so I do well in the cleanse temple of the believer I am a person I am God and I come to ask you to give your body to me that I may work through it. I need a body for my temple but it must belong to me without reserve for two persons with different wills can never live in the same body will you give me yours. But if I come in. I come as God and you must go out I will not mix myself with yourself. And so for five days research was wrestling and struggling and we've been talking about this topic already throughout the seminar. And throughout do you. I see how do we surrender self. He said I had received a sentence of death as really as a prisoner in the dock I had lived in my body for twenty six years. Could I easily give it up. He says I wept for days. I lost seven pounds. Nothing is more real to me than the process. I went through for that week the Holy Spirit went on dealing with me. Exposing the root of my nature which was self and you can only get out of a thing. What is in its root it wasn't just sin he was dealing with it was self the root of sin and finally at the end of that week. Reese recognized that he could not crucify self because self would not allow it. He could only allow Christ to do this and when he did that when he had the victory and the same is with our lives today. You know John Wesley made the statement that God can do more with one man who is one hundred percent committed to him than with a whole army of men who are ninety nine percent committed. Would you want to be with well I'm not going jump ahead of mice my story there. Let me share another story. This is a testimony actually that happened a few years ago here at G Y C. We had a prayer room going and many people were coming through and this is probably four or five years ago now and someone brought to us a watch that had been left on one of the chairs and when we got the watch we thought someone had forgotten it or had accidently left it. But this is really interesting because this is what we found with the watch there was a note. This watch has not been forgotten but is being surrendered. I knew better and should never have bought it. It has become an idol to me there have been many layers. In my heart between me and God But now there is one layer less praise the Lord and they included the references the kill thirty six twenty six which says a new heart will I give you and the new spirit will I put within you. You know I don't know the struggles that you have we all have different struggles in our hearts and lives in the enemy is attacking us. In different ways because he knows our weak points he knows where we are most vulnerable. It might be in the area of fashion it might be in the area of money. It might be in the area of intertainment or diet or who knows but he knows how to attack and that's why we need to be on our knees and just pleading the Lord. Show me one of those things in my life that are coming between me and you how how do you want me to surrender. He wants us to surrender but he has to give us the strength to do so we're told in fifth testimonies page fifty three even one wrong trait of character one sinful desire cherished. Will eventually neutralize all the power of the gospel. Is it worth losing our eternal salvation over a watch or over a pair of jeans or over you know some different thing. You know. But we have to pray that God will help us and you know the struggles that I'm talking about. Their struggles that I've had to I totally understand. I remember one time you know I've been really praying over the years. This isn't something just recent but just Lord help me to honor you with my spending habits help me the honor you with with my wardrobe and and all these different things and I was at the store one time and I picked up a piece of clothing and. In my mind I remember this little by. You know how you have the Holy Spirit talking to you and. You don't need to buy that. What are you doing. Put that back. You don't need to buy that. So anyway but I liked it so I'm walking around with it and heading to the cafe or the cash register and then I'm like. I don't want to go home of this battle. OK so I go and put it back so I put it back on the clothes. So a few days pass and I'm back in that same store. Do you know that I went and picked up that same piece of clothes again and carried it around and I think that time I actually did buy it. And I took it home but had the Holy Spirit changed its mind about whether or not this was no I mean it was it was a battle between me and God I knew in my heart he had told me you don't need that you're wasting money you don't have very much money right now. You don't need to be spending it on this. But here I wrestled and wrestle and then put it back and then I go back again and then I buy it and I take it home and then it sits on my closet for a while and I'm like I can't wear this. And so I take it back and I return it. Do you know that I went back and I bought it a second time. You know I mean it's like that's ridiculous. Why do we do these things. Why do we do these things I'm embarrassed to say I think the second time I bought it. I didn't keep it in my closet for a while I think maybe hoping that that whatever that I was struggling with my head would go away and then I would be able to enjoy it but by the time I again came back to Lord please forgive me and try to take it back. I think it was too late to take it back electric couldn't return it. So I had just ended up giving it away or getting rid of it because I couldn't wear it but this was a real thing you know that's happened to me and I've actually had some more struggles I'm going to share that it happened more recently along the similar line. These are things that we're constantly battling with appetite this that whatever and we have to constantly. Be Going back to God and saying Lord help me help me die to self today help me to be surrendered today and again remember like I talked about the other day. This is not about just oh OK I'm just determined I'm just gritting my teeth. I'm going to do this you know this is not about grit and determination because we are always going to fall if we are approaches approaching obedience that way you know the only thing that's going to give us victory is that abiding relationship and keeping our eyes on Christ and keeping our focus on him and as we keep looking to him and as you keep immersing yourself in the word and as you're spending time in prayer. He is able to soften our hearts and break our hearts and we don't want to do anything that hurts him but when we begin to grow distant and we're not eating spiritually like we talked about yesterday we're not feeding ourselves then these things begin to grasp a hold of us and our vision is growing dim of Christ. You know we're told this is the compilation of prayer. We are never called upon to make a real sacrifice for God many things he asks us to yield to him but in doing this we're about giving up that which hinders us in the have and Word way even when called upon to surrender those things which in themselves are good. We may be sure that God is working out for us some higher good. There are things that our lives that are not bad in and of themselves but they at times take. Affection and become an idol to us away from God and we have to ask that he would not allow that to happen. I was reading some old stories a little while back that I came across and I just found this heartbreaking story he was sharing how they they have this mission. I think it was actually in my room are Burma and Japanese are different troops are coming in and they had to flee the interesting thing was there was this very wealthy woman in the area in the village where they had this mission house set up and they had gone to her and they had asked her if she would help support the mission or she would donate she was basically someone that led by herself and she had all this stuff and she was like No no you know she just wasn't interested in sharing. Well when everything began to fall apart and they were leaving and I'm sorry I don't remember the locations and the names where this happened. But as they were packing up and getting ready to flee along with all of the local people. This woman came to them and she's like I have this and I have that you know I'm having to leave. Could you use this for your mission and I'm sorry I didn't give this earlier. Could you use this and she was crying and please take this and he's like I'm so sorry it's too late. We can't use it now we're all leaving. It's too late and she was just broken hearted all if only I put it to good use sooner now it's all going to be burned up they're going to trash you know all these different things and he was sharing how along the flight as they were leaving that region different people were coming to them saying the same thing he had someone else that stopped him along the road and you guys were studying with us several weeks ago and you asked us if we wanted to be baptized. But we weren't ready. We couldn't you know could could you come back and bow ties us now. And he had to say I'm sorry we all have to leave. We can't come back. Now we have to go you know and all these people like oh it's too late. It's too late and I think wow you know this is just a little picture. Can you imagine getting to the end of the road and finding you know we're carrying all these treasures and things along with us that we thought we desperately needed that we did not surrender we did not send our treasure. You know ahead of us to heaven and finding out Lord. It's too late. Why didn't I surrender will I could. Why didn't I let go. Well I could. A friend actually wrote me an email. Earlier this year he wrote a question hit me this morning while I was having my devotions with the Lord what would be the biggest tragedy in the life of a Christian at the end of time after much thought and prayer the answer came to me the biggest tragedy would be losing heaven losing eternal life losing the chance to be with our God for eternal ages because I only gave him ninety nine percent because I kept back one percent from myself I was reminded this morning when the final accounts are reckons the either all or nothing with God He gave His all when he gave me Jesus which caused me to give him my all in return full surrender all to him. You know it's interesting though because the battle to give God our full surrender is not easy. It's not easy for any of us you know we're willing to accept Christ as our Savior. We're thankful that it covers our sense. But to surrender or to let go of our desires plants and possessions and live only for him. This is a different question. And yet it is just this question that caused the rich young ruler to turn away from Christ. One author writes in The Surrendered life. Perhaps the most astonishing fact of the religious life today is the number of men and women who thinking they are saved by Christ are yet unwilling to yield to him and to live. No longer to themselves but to him. The reality is that multitudes of professed followers are walking happily with the Lord as long as his plans are pleasing We talked about this yesterday right as long as his plans are pleasing and acceptable to them and they think that this is enough but once the Lord asked them to walk in the dark or did start doing something against their will or natural desires they break down at their point of greatest weakness a point of some secret cherish reservation to the whole will of God. However it is just here that a definite. To surrender to God and whatever the circumstance is of such value. That's why we say when we get married for better or for worse. We don't know what's going to happen but we are committing to that relationship and the same thing with God we are committing to this relationship with him. No matter what he asks no matter where he asks us to go if Jesus is truly our Lord if we only surrender when things is Jesus truly our Lord if we only surrender when things are comfortable in pleasing. Is he truly our Lord if we only surrender. When he asks us to do what we want to do anyway. No. He's not our Lord unless we're really willing to follow him all the way. I want to tell you another love story. It's not mine. The surprise after the honeymoon. There was a couple that are known each other how to beautiful love story got married went on their honeymoon they came back and this was back when we're in the digital age now but they still had. You know they get their pictures back from the wedding in their prince. It's not all digital on the computer as it's Prince and they're going through their prints and so they were so excited they got their pictures back from the wedding and they were beautiful and then they ordered certain large amounts they want and they got them and they started hanging them and specific locations around the house and. After a little period of time I don't remember how long it was the husband came back one day from work. His wife was home cooking he came back and you know sort of something different in the house when he came in and he was it took him a few seconds to figure out but he big he began looking around the house around the walls and he saw in between these pictures of him and his wife. There were these little smaller pictures and they were actually pictures of a. They're men. And he was like looking at the swith consternation like what in the world and then his wife comes out of the kitchen and she sees a look on his face and she's like Todd. Don't worry. You know I want you to know you are the most important person in my life. You're my husband. But I've been thinking about some of those boyfriends that I used to have those guys that I dated previously and I just wanted to see their pictures again so I put them up on the wall. Now do you think that really happened. OK I know this is a made up story. This is a made up story. This is not really happened. I try to keep a straight face though so you think it's real but the reason I share this illustration think about what happens in our in our walk with Jesus because so often we commit to give our lives to Him and to pledge our love to him and it's like he is our Lord and our Savior and we recognize what he has done for us and we are surrendering all we make those decisions but the a little time goes by and we start thinking about the other lovers that we've had in our life and we start pulling them back into the picture. Now this would not ever survive in a normal romantic relationship right. They'd be done. You're not going to be having to pictures or or pictures of all these other guys boyfriends girlfriends whatever in your life you're committing to that one person. If we are supposed to do that in our earthly relationships how much more with our Heavenly Love think about it. You know I used to wonder I remember hearing verses about the fact that God is jealous. He's a jealous God and I remember thinking. How can he be jealous. I mean he tells us not to be jealous. He's jealous of our love you know in my childish mind I didn't really. Grasp what is the point of god being jealous he says I'm jealous over you with a godly jealousy for I have a spouse you know one husband that I may present you as a chase version to Christ. Why is it right for him to be jealous and this is what brought it together. You see when we commit to give our heart to God He has exclusive rights over us rights that he will not share with another just like when we're married our husband or wife is jealous for our exclusive affection God says you are mine. I will not share you with other lovers or with other gods I will fight for you because I love you. The degree of His holy jealousy actually shows the degree of His holy love the greater the love the greater the anger when that love is violated. Gone has a holy shell the sea over us and he's trying to protect us. He loves us so dearly. Christ object lessons page one thousand almost Christians yet not fully Christians they seem they are the kingdom but they cannot enter there almost but not wholly saved means to be almost but not wholly lost. There was a walled in SEA and Pastor living back during the time when the walls and ceilings were being persecuted and attacked in the hills where they were hiding and this man and his family had been hunted for a while and finally the soldiers came in and found them and they told the wall then seen pastor. If you do not recall your face you know what's going to happen to you. And they began to describe the torture and the different things that would happen to him and you know what the wild insane pastor told these people that were threatening this and they were going to kill him. He said ten thousand deaths would be too few for me to die. I in this manner because of the love that I have for Christ. You could do this to me ten thousand times. And I still would not recant because of my love for Christ and how can we be robbed. If we have that type of relationship with God We're not going to be right. We're not going to be robbed of that and that man did die along with his wife and along with his children. Think about that. Again we want to have the surrender in our lives that will stand the test when the time comes we know that we're nearing a time a time when there's going to be trouble. There's going to be test people are actually going to be taken to death. We don't know when but we know what time of trouble is coming such as it never has been seen. Will we have the strength to stand like this. We sing. When we go to church all to Jesus. I surrender all to him I freely give I would ever love and trust Him in His presence daily live yet actually you know what it seems like we're singing. If the truth were told some to Jesus. I surrender some to him I has the telly give. I will sometimes love and serve him but in his presence. I'm not sure I want to live. That hurts but so often by the reality of our daily lives. That's where we are and we have to ask Jesus and cling to him and plead with him help us teach us what it means to be truly surrendered. In the details because you know the Bible verse I didn't include here he that is faithful now which is least is faithful also in much. And that's what it really comes down to when I talk about called to above and beyond surrender. You know you think Oh. I want to sign up. And you know we've had these calls for missions and different things that have been going out today and last night I want to sign up and go be a missionary. You know maybe somewhere in the Middle East. I might even lose my life but I mean that's an exciting adventure some. You know and we need to be willing to accept those calls. But the challenge that I want to make to you today is you have to start with surrender where you are now in the daily details with your family when no one is looking. That the biggest test of real surrender is if you are going to be faithful to God when no one's looking. When they can pat you on the back when they can't say you did your job right. You were honest. Your thoughts were pure your motives were seeking for God That's when the rubber really meets the road in our lives are we face full when no one knows. And God is really convicted me that we as Christians are very good at surrendering for over one hundred fifty years after this believe us have been living set apart from the world as it were going to church on the seventh day paying ties sending their children to Christian schools supporting missions. You know these things these are sacrifices we've been praying passionately for the outpouring of the Holy Spirit to fall on our church yet all the while we continue to harbor hollow hard feelings toward each other we are filled with pride and self. We compromise and small secrets of justifying ourselves that we really are often we look around at what others are doing around us. We wonder why the latter rain has fallen yet while God is wondering why we aren't willing to be emptied of self so he can fill us. There is a story some of you may have heard of the story back in the genocide that happened in Rwanda. I think this was back in one. Thousand nine hundred four a number of people were killed but there was actually an admin a scrip of believers that were huddled in a church praying as all these atrocities were going on and this group actually broke into their church and they were all praying and one of the leaders said who's the leader here in the group and the pastor stood up the pastor he says I am and the man ran forward and basically put a machete right through his head and killed him and and then they began to slaughter all the people in the church just horrific. We can't even comprehend some of the things that our brothers and sisters have dealt with on the other side of the world. So a couple days after this. Some of the remaining believers had survived came back and began to clean up. So the bodies and take them away and when they did they found somebody under the bodies that was still breathing very very badly injured but still breathing. And it actually happened to be the wife of the pastor that was first killed. So they took her to the hospital. It took about six months through hospital and rehab and all these different things before she was able to leave and go back to to life again. But she her mind was intact and she when she recognized what had happened immediately began praying Lord teach me and show me how to love and forgive those that have killed my husband can you imagine having such a love and forgiveness in your heart that you could say you know it doesn't you know it's not that it doesn't matter. That's not the right term but if your family had been killed that you could say you know what I'm still going to forgive you. We cannot produce that type of forgiveness. We don't have it on us. I mean I get angry in my heart when one of my best friends is treated wrongly by you know someone else saw her you know and their cause. And everything and I'm just like that right. Frustrating the Lord help me to surrender. Help me to surrender you. You say you will take care of things you say all things work together for good. This lady healed was back at home began praying how she could minister to those ahead of her and she found out that some of the men that had been involved in this had actually been put into a nearby prison. They had been caught and captured and put into prison. So she began to bake special items and goods and went to the prison and asked if she could minister to them and their family. And I think the prisoner the prison guards were quite sure what she was doing you know if she is coming to poison them our way. But then they realized you know that she was genuine. She really wanted to do something for these men and so she ministered to them and became friends with some of these prisoners. And just showed them Jesus' love. And one day this this young man came up to her and he knelt at her feet and miss you know. Jermaine. Could you please forgive me. And he says I was actually the one that murdered your husband. And she says are ready forgave you. Long ago. You're forgiven. They both cried. But she extended that arm of forgiveness a time when on those prisoners were eventually released and I remember the circumstance where but they were unable to keep holding them they release them. But you know what this man who killed her husband his family had also been killed in the genocide. So he had no family to go back to so he went to this woman's house and knocked on her door and said well I'm out of prison now. And I just wanted to come and see you before I left the area and she's like you know where are you going to go. Do you have family you know no I don't. Well why don't you come and live with me. You'll be my family. You'll be my son and we'll wait together for Jesus to come and to resurrect our loved ones and that. Happened and they began to live together as a mother and son I think that you can actually if you google you could probably find their testimony. Some of their testimony on You Tube But can you imagine. A surrender that would allow such a forgiveness in their hearts. Now we've all been wronged in our lives in some way. I don't know the stories but looking out across the room. I know all of you have some in your life that you could you could hold grudge. You could hold on forgiveness for. But I just want to challenge you to lay that at the foot of the cross to say Lord take this. I can't handle this bitterness it actually puts me in a prison. I can't handle this in my heart. It's actually keeping me from growing in my walk with you. You know that actually is a roadblock to growing you know we want to experience personal revival sometimes it's those bitterness those grudges those grievances that we're holding onto that are actually holding us from growing back they're like chains that hold us down. We cannot forgive in our own strength I can't just tell you today. You know just forget pretend like it never happened. You know there are scars. I have scars in my life as well we have scars. But God wants to heal us and he will if we will allow him to if we will surrender. You know surrender is actually a prerequisite to us receiving the outpouring of the Holy Spirit and I'm not going to go into this and in great detail but I just wanted to share a couple quotes here we're told that the Lord actually showed this already. I think today but I'll show it again here the Lord can do more in one hour than we can do in a whole life time and when he sees that his people are fully consecrated let me tell you a great work will be done in a short time. The message of truth will be carried into the dark places of the earth where it has never been proclaimed. It is our work by confession humiliation repentance an earnest prayer to. All the conditions upon which God has promised to grant us his blessing God cannot reveal himself until those who profess to be Christians are doors of his word in their private lives till there is one this with Christ. I want to share a testimony of something that happened just a little bit more recently with me just happened. Back in September. This is a very long ago. I was struggling with a few different things in my life and sometimes when we struggle with these different issues. We can work ourselves up into a little bit of a pity party mode you know. I was kind of feeling I got myself feeling just like poor me this isn't working out and this isn't working and I was just allowing myself instead of looking to Christ. Instead of dying to self and saying Lord help me term as to you turn my focus to you. I do what I was dwelling on it and I got myself into this little melancholy depressive state. I was thinking you know like they say why don't you just go crawl in a hole in the worms type of thing. Yes. So you get yourself in this and I was struggling and so I head. Yeah. So I'm struggling and it was a Friday and I went to just thinking of something else that I've been wanting to do hadn't worked out and I'm like well I'm just going to go to town and do a few things run a few errands. But then I went and did a few things that I didn't need to do like splurging on some things that I didn't need to buy splurging on some food that I didn't need to eat and do you think I came back feeling in a bought her that when I left. Now I was even more miserable right I went to take care of myself and and poor melody such and such but I came back feeling even more miserable and. That night I went to bed the next morning I woke up at Sabbath morning and I woke up about five o'clock. My devotions. Church but when I try to have my devotions and I try to have my prayer time and my praise time I could not do it. I don't know if you've ever had times where you're trying to talk to God I tend to since I live alone and I'm not interrupting anybody I like to pray out loud and just speak our prayers to God as I pray the word and all of that so I began talking to him but then it's just like but the thoughts would not come. It was just like. And I was like Lord I need to have this time with you. I know that. Why can I not pray there was a SPLOG so I was praying about it and thinking about it just in my head for a few minutes and then I felt the Holy Spirit say you're not surrendered. You've got yourself in this little pity party because of these different issues you're struggling with there were relational things I was struggling with I was struggling with work at the time. Some things weren't working out as quickly as I wanted as you know I work with the per ministry is that the General Conference and we've been working on some projects and sometimes it takes longer than you would hope for different things to work out and so I was just frustrated and thinking maybe I should just go and do something different. You have these little things that sometimes come to your mind and you have to rebuke those things but when we don't they lead us down a path that we should not be on so I'm struggling with these things that I'm being very very vulnerable and open with you because I'm not proud about the fact that I have the struggle but it's really I'm sharing this for a point. So God's convicting me through the Holy Spirit. I mean. Look at that close item in your closet you just bought talk about the fact that I struggled with clothes a little while back with an item. Well I had gone and purchased something else and it was just you know like I don't need it. I just purchased it because I want to do something for poor melody because things weren't working out for her you know. And so I see that I was like oh lord. I don't want to go down this path again are you seriously going to going to ask me to take that back so I was struggling with. And then I'm trying to pray and it's not going anywhere. I'm trying to pray and it just hits me it's like melody. You know better than this. What you doing. You know you talk about surrender you're teaching people about surrender and prayer and removing the breaches and roadblocks. Is it really worth cutting off your communication with me for a couple days until you surrender. You know you're going to have to because you can't go on. I cannot function in my life if I feel that there's dissidents between me and God does that mean every area in my life has been resolved it needs to be resolved. No gods growing me just like he's growing all of us. But if I know there's something. I mean I will still because I'm a rebellious sinful human being. I'll go through my times where I'm still fighting him and I'm just like a high don't want to I don't want to surrender this I want to let go and I'll fight it but I can't fight it forever. I have to be surrendered. I cannot go forward in my walk with him if I don't feel like he has my complete surrender and allegiance. So I'm struggling I don't want to let this go. And I'm just like Is this worth fighting over for a couple days and not having this close walk with God Is this worth losing my salvation over because of you know so I'm thinking these things and then as I'm thinking this I began to think of some other areas of my life that I hadn't surrendered I had surrendered but I had taken them back which we tend to do we surrender and we take back and surrender and take bag and so I was just convicted. Lord please forgive me. I don't want there to be anything between me and you please forgive me. This was a really really really big struggle and so I said Lord please change my heart. I don't have the desire to do what's right. Right now because I'm feeling selfish and I'm feeling sorry for myself I'm feeling sad but I'm asking you to change my heart and I choose to give you my will you know God has given us the power of choice. He says choose to serve me choose to give me your will and then I will do what needs to have. Often in your life and so at that moment I was like God and I wrote down the list right then. Actually I got off on my bed and I went and took the clothes out of the closet and put them in the sack with the receipt it was Sabbath morning. I'm like OK On Sunday I'll take them back. And then I wrote this receipt this is the journal I was journaling and I was like OK. Lord forgive me for taking this back forgive me for taking the speck I surrender this to you. I surrender and I just went through this whole thing until there was nothing that I could think of in my heart that was not surrendered and I gave it to him and I said lord take it and when I did that it's like the floodgates opened and the Holy Spirit's there and I can pray and I began praying and crying and and praising God and it was just a beautiful beautiful worship of time with God but it didn't come until I remove the roadblock. But you know in that prayer. I was praying Lord help me change my heart I don't have the heart but I choose to give you my will. At the end of that time of devotion. I received a text message from somebody. I just finished my devotions I received a text message from somebody. And her name is Nina. We'd exchanged phone numbers earlier she had actually read the book on prayer and we had become friends but we weren't close friends she had no idea of the struggles I was having in my life or or anything that I might have been going through at that moment we hadn't even exchange messages but we had exchanged phone numbers out of the blue. She text messages me. And this is what she texted me. Happy Sabbath melody. I woke up this morning from a dream where God asked me to pray for you. I was doing so in my dream when I woke up. I've continued praying now for you to have courage strength and peace that passes understanding and the knowledge that God is on your side. I didn't feel like God was on my side the kind of felt like I was a little bit forgotten because some things weren't working out as I would. Wanting them to I was discouraged. I needed courage I needed strength. She says this is never happened to me before but I had to reach out and let you know that I am praying for you this morning and I will continue to pray for you throughout the day. Then she included the Bible verse from Psalms eight hundred two the Lord is my rock and my fortress my deliverer my God my strength in whom I will trust my shield and the Horn of my salvation and my stronghold. And then she sent me a second text. I must also tell you that my dream revolved around both personal and work challenges but the biggest part that was God wanted to encourage you to continue in your important work. Not to grow weary at this time because he has called you to this was I just struggling with my whole work situation and thinking you know things aren't working as quickly as I would like and maybe I should go and do some more things independent. I'm working with the worldwide church and I'm praise God for what he's doing in the things that he's he's doing is just amazing. But sometimes it gets frustrating working with the system and you think I could just do it better if I taught my own right. Just to be frankly honest don't tell any of the leaders that. But anyway I'm struggling because I'm in this this pity party mode and at the time that I'm struggling in this was a severe struggle that I was having. I was praying Lord change my heart I give you my will and at the same time that I was wrestling. God gave her the dream the said Pray for melody and not only did he give her the dream. He gave her the message that I needed to hear. But there was one more thing that he did you know I shared some of my testimony yesterday was that yesterday. Daring to have a face above and beyond their. There was a specific song that really has meant a lot to me over the years. Sometimes God brings different songs into our life and it's just kind of like it's your song this is what God keeps bringing back to you and years ago back when my heart was first broken and I was really really struggling. If you don't know what I'm talking about you have to go listen to the recording from yesterday because that's the whole testimony from yesterday from the last half. But anyway I was really struggling. When part number one in my life went to another direction and God gave me the song and it was still my soul. And just listen to the words Be still my soul the Lord is on the side bear patiently the cross of grief or pain leave to God God to order and provide in every change he faithful will remain Be still my soul divest that I have only friend through thorny ways leads to a joyful and be still my soul by God to undertake to guide the future as he has the past that I hope that I confidence let nothing shake all now mysterious Shelby bright at last be still my soul the waves and wind still know his voice who ruled them while he too well below. Now God has brought this song back to me when and when this first happened. This was back in two thousand and two and I actually wrote it out and I put it in the back of my Bible and here's the original thing that I wrote in two thousand and two in the back of my Bible and over the years I have struggled and different things in my life all go back to the song and I like god you said their story ways leads to joyful and you said you know are you still with me in the storm because I don't feel like you're with me in the storm right now I feel a little alone is this still true. And I'll go back and ask God and the summer I was going through that things hadn't come back together yet. In my relationship story and so I was struggling like Lord and I had been. Crying and looking at the song just like a week or two before and then I come back I had actually been doing a person in our in other country when that happened and then I came back and the things kind of went downhill because I was struggling with with some work situations and everything kind of came together. So this day. This girl has this dream she text message me the message at the right time. The right message and then she told me at the end of her message. She says there was also a song playing in my dream and she says Click on this youtube to see the song. And I clicked on the youtube and do you know what the song was it was Be still my soul. Now do you think that was just a random dream that that girl had no that was NOT do you think that when she gave me that message and I clicked on that youtube and I saw that song and the message that I needed to hear and she had no idea what was going on. Do you think that I wanted to keep doing what I was doing and feel sorry for myself. No I mean I have no idea why God went to such efforts to show me and to reassure me. Melanie I'm with you. I see be faithful. Hold on have courage Be still my soul I am with you. The thorny ways lead to joyful land. It was actually one month after that things turned around and you heard that story yesterday Be still my soul that was his signature on the dream. You know many of us are like the tiny sea shell on the ocean shore clutching our little pool of water or self inside. We're afraid to yield it up for fear that there will not be enough water to refill it. That's the way we are. I don't want to let go of what I have I don't know if I'm going to get something better. I don't know what is going to do what does he have in store and yet God has a. Infinite ocean of blessings just waiting to pour upon us and to refill our lives and hearts with if we will only let go and be emptied of self impede our little pool of stagnant water and surrender all to him again if we don't know how to let go. What do we do. The only defense against evil is the end welling of Christ in the heart through faith in His righteousness. We have to be vitally connected. We have to be surrendering day by day moment by moment its look to Jesus turn your eyes upon Jesus when once the gazes fixed upon Christ the life finds its center. And this is the key. This is the key to everything that I've been sharing the keys to personal revival and above and beyond living. It's needle link at the foot of the cross. It's kneeling in human. Turning our gaze upon Jesus the enthusiasm the generous devotion the passion ardor of youth find here their true object duty becomes a delight and sacrifice a pleasure to honor Christ to become like Him His life's highest joy. And greatest ambition. You know when I looked at my life in earlier years as a teenager and then a young adult as I shared earlier I had different dreams and visions of how I thought I wanted my life to go. But I want to share again with you today. God's plans are infinitely better. I thought I knew who I wanted to marry. I thought I knew the job that I wanted to have or where I wanted to go as a missionary and you know what God has done different than I thought but his plans are better. I'm looking back now and I'm thinking wow I would not change anything. You know when things really began to turn around for me back in two thousand and six two thousand and seven when I began daring to ask for more and I was just like Lord I'm not content with the with the with the spiritual relationship by Pat I want to deeper experience I don't want to superficial Christianity more I want to go deeper. I want you to really be real in my life. You say you're real in the Bible. I see all these promises but I want to see them real in my life when I started claiming these promises and just holding on. So more my life is yours working as a nurse right now in the hospital and I'd like to be on the mission field somewhere but use me today where I am you know it's like supernatural things started happening. I remember I was still living in Loma Linda at the time working in Riverside California at a hospital and I was prying I began opening up myself to just pray for the Lord's will to happen and I remember going into the hospital to work one day and I got my eyes report on my group of patients and then they moved me up stairs. Well that was kind of frustrating has already got reported I had to move but I went upstairs. I got report on a second batch of patients and then they decided I was a traveler a spy the way they decided they had too many nurses up stairs that were travel nurses and I needed to go back downstairs again. So I went back downstairs but the nurse that I'd given my patients to she was already off and running for the day and so I got the group that still had not inherited a nurse I got to be their nurse and that group had a girl that the night before had tried to commit suicide. And I was like OK Lord I think I know why you switched me around and why I needed to be here. She was so violent that they actually had guards with her in the room. And I began praying it's like Lord. I've given you my heart and I've just asked you to help me make a difference in the lives of you know so show me how to reach this girl Today Show me. And so you know the day goes on. It's very busy but there came a point where I had a. By the time I went into her room and I started talking to her and I said I'll call her Tracey. I asked the guard to step out and I said it's OK I just like to talk with her by myself for a few minutes and so they did and I said you know Tracy I believe that there is a reason that you did not succeed in taking your life. And that's because God has a special plan and a purpose for you and she's kind of like you know she would look at me initially like what you know like God has a plan for me you know you could just see what she thought of herself and battered and scarred and bruised and just and I said yes and then shared with her I said you know I've been in dark places in my life where I didn't have hope and I didn't want to live either but I said you know God has totally changed my life. He's turned my life around. You know the Bible tells us that he comes to give us life and life more abundant to taste and see that he's good and I shared some of my testimony with her about God walking me out of the dark darkness in my life that I had sunk into a high giving me a new life and as I'm talking tears began to roll down her cheeks and she began to cry and I say Would you be willing to give God a chance in your life would be you be willing to try and she nodded her head that she would. And so we prayed together that day and after that day they were able to dismiss the guards because she did not need them anymore. She was there. I don't know how much longer but I took care of her a few more times and I did something at the end of her stay what you're not supposed to do in the medical field but I don't always keep the rules. I gave her my contact information and I said you know you're going to drug rehab and I'd like to hear from you when you're out and I'm going to be praying for you. Let me know how you're doing and so at the end of the summer a couple months later I get this call from Tracy on the phone and she tells me. You know I'm getting out and such and such. Praise God and things were going good. And then was asking her where she was going or what the plan was and she says well I really don't have a good plan because all my friends do drugs and my mom's overdosed and practically killed herself and I don't have family to go to and. Just what I just don't know I don't know. You know something to work out. I didn't even pray about this even think about it. I was just like do you want to come and live with me. It just came out I felt the Holy Spirit prompting me in my head and she was quite shocked as you can imagine and she's like Are you serious. And I said well yeah if you come and live with me. You have to do everything I do you have to eat what I eat you have to go to church with me have to exercise with me I'm thinking depression recovery program right I'm going to put her through this program. All these different things. And she's like OK. She had no idea what she was getting into she didn't even know what the Seventh Day Adventists was or anything she comes to my house and she's having computer T.V. with drawls because I have no you know T.V. or movies or any of the stuff but do you know for the months that she lived with me God really began to turn her around and I saw her thrive under the love I remember I took her to church hope if you were there you may have remembered I brought her in and we had this choir and she had all these days. You know everywhere and I'm not just talking normal jewelry I'm talking multiples piercings and nose ring and everything and we're coming up to the choir. I was singing in the choir that day and she's like can I think with you in the choir and I was like Dear Lord help nobody to say anything. I take Europe with me and she's reading the words with me and singing even though she didn't really know the. Songs and I praise God because that group just embraced her and loved her and she ended up moving on. She is not a Seventh Day Adventist at this time but I have seen God continue to grow her life she's married now has children and she's been from what I understand out of the drug world for like the last six or seven years. And so it's amazing seeing what God did but that's just one illustration as I moved forward and just was saying. Lord I remember praying this and this is really this is really crazy. I don't know I'm supposed to end. At five thirty or do you know. Oh five fifteen. OK I was thinking I still had time so I was sharing a few more of the stories. You know as I surrendered I was praying Lord I don't know how to reach people that have drug issues or the issues here that issue but I'm open if you want me to do you know why he brought people to my door he brought people to me that had these issues. I didn't know how to deal with them. I had another girl come in live with me. That was needing help getting off of drugs I went through her with withdrawals I prayed with her through the night and she only had withdrawals that one night and she was clear. You know I saw God bring people open doors. You know lead I'm going into ministry working as a nurse I felt like God was calling me into full time ministry and I was like do I walk away from this income just to do full time ministry how am I going to pay the bills what's going to happen and you know what I God is telling me as I'm surrendering and I'm giving my life to him and I'm surrendering he says I promise to take care of you I promise to provide for four years I walked away from nursing for four years I live basically without any steady income or paycheck month by month God brought the bills he paid for me. He took care of me. He provided this and that I can tell you testimony after testimony. God has worked and miraculously worked in answer to my just looking to his promises and saying Lord I don't know how to do this but I'm looking. To you and I surrender and he provided and he worked again and again and again. I don't know what the areas are in your life but I want to challenge you as he's knocking on your door. We like to let people into our living room and our house. We're a little bit more hesitant to let them into our kitchen or into our bedroom or into those secret places because that's our private place but Jesus he comes the says I want the whole house not just the living room not just the kitchen not just the bedroom. I want the basement I want every part will we surrender the keys to him. Will we open the door. What do we give when we give all the sin polluted soul for Jesus to purified to cleanse by His blood and saved from death by his matchless love. And yet I see I saw it writes that some thought it was hard to give up all. God didn't just fulfill my dreams he's given me so much better and I've shared that with you don't we think. The God of tender compassionate unchangeable and limitless love he's proved that a million times over. Don't we think that he is worthy of our limitless trust. I want to encourage you. We're going to close the seminar to stay at the foot of the cross and as you go forward ask God how He wants you to move forward how he wants you to to follow him you know I was going to talk more about how to find his will in your life but if you fast and pray and you seek Him with all your heart. He's going to show you what that is I can't show you I can't tell you can come up with a melody What should I do. Should I do this or that I would say fast and pray God's going to show you the way that you should go. I was going to ask what keys are you still holding on to. He said Give me the keys to your heart and you know when we give him the keys to our he gives us an exchange and you know what the exchanges. He says and I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven. What God is. Giving us in exchange for our surrender is infinitely above and beyond anything that we can imagine or think. So that's my encouragement to you. I pray that can help and inspire you. In some way and my prayers are with you as you go forward as you leave G Y C. You're going to have challenges and test to the decisions that you've made here you come off the mountain and go into the valley. But keep your eyes on Jesus don't let yourself get swept up in the feelings or in the peer pressure that surround you and God's going to help you to be victorious our heads for per family Father thank you once again for the opportunity to talk about you and your love your matchless goodness and. Father we just praise you say taste and see that God is good. I could share so many so many testimonies of how you have shown in my own life that you are good. The amazing adventure of living with you and trusting you and seeing how you tenderly care for me and for for each one of us fathers just amazing and you want to do the same for each one this and this room. I'm not a special case that other speakers and teachers here are not special cases father this is the experience that you want to give each one of us you died life and life more abundant So teach us how to grasp a hold of it and teach us how to surrender so that you may fill us with your spirit. Thank you for hearing this prayer in your precious name Amen. This message was presented at the G Y C twenty sixteen conference when all has been heard in Houston Texas a supporting ministry at the Seventh Day Adventist Church seeks to inspire young people to be bible based Christ centered and so winning Christians for other resources like this visit us online at W W W G Y C.

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