Sunday School 9:30 am
Worship Service 10:30 am
Bible Study/Small Group 5:00 pm
Worship 6:15 pm
Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own under-
standing; In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths. Proverbs 3:5-6
The above scripture has been my favorite verse since my senior year in high school. But today, as I read the verse in the NIV, it took on new meaning. I noticed that verse six says, “In all your ways submit to Him, and He will make your paths straight.” The King James Version and the New King James Version (the one I prefer reading) both use the word acknowledge. I’ve always known that I was to acknowledge God’s role in my life if I wanted to live a Christian life. But if I truly acknowledge Him, then I must submit to Him. (I know, Ladies. That’s tough for us sometimes.) In other words, I must surrender my life to Him. Let’s look at what Webster has to say about these two words.
surrender: to yield to the power, control, or possession of another upon
compulsion or demand
acknowledge: accept or admit the existence or truth of
In the case of surrendering to God, it must be a compulsion. God would never force Himself on us. It must be a voluntary surrender out of a heart of complete trust. Surrender is giving up all control. It is a daily surrender, and sometimes a moment-by-moment surrender. Satan is always trying to get us to doubt God’s ability to effectively handle everything in our lives. He wants us to doubt God’s goodness and the depth of His love for us. But, thankfully, God’s mercies are new every morning. (Lamentations 3:22-23)
So the message I received today is that I can’t just acknowledge God in the same way that I might acknowledge someone’s presence. Just to say, “I know you’re there, God,” isn’t enough. In knowing He is there, I must accept His Word as truth and accept His role in my life as the One who has complete control. Each day I have a new opportunity to surrender myself to whatever He has for me.
That reminds me of the old church hymn “I Surrender All.” After a quick Google search, I found out the song was written by Judson W. Van DeVenter. He was an American art teacher and musician. He tells the story of how he had struggled for quite some time between developing his talents in the field of art or going into full-time evangelism. He tells how a pivotal time in his life came, and he surrendered all. DeVenter said, “God had hidden a song in my heart, and touching a tender cord, He caused me to sing.” The song that came out of that surrender was “I Surrender All.” Following his decision to fully surrender his life to God, he traveled throughout the United States, England, and Scotland as an evangelist. He wrote more that 60 hymns in his lifetime, but “I Surrender All” is his most famous.
DeVenter is just one example of what God can do with a surrendered life. It makes me wonder what He might do in me and through me if I truly surrender ALL.