Series Code: RQRA
Program Code: RQRA000024A
00:01 I don't understand.
00:04 Why did this have to happen to me?
00:08 I feel like I just can't make sense of things.
00:12 I need answers.
00:15 Where is God?
00:21 In 1781, British General Charles Cornwallis
00:25 formally surrenders 8,000 infantry men
00:29 and seamen to the American forces.
00:32 At this point, it was an incredible day
00:34 for the American Revolution
00:36 but a very sad day for the British.
00:41 When we think about surrender,
00:43 it's not necessarily a good thing
00:45 usually when we think about it.
00:47 It involves pain, bad stuff, right?
00:50 But when it comes to God and the things of heaven,
00:52 surrender is a very good thing,
00:54 and that's what we're going to be talking about today
00:55 with my co-hosts Dee Casper and Michelle Doucoumes.
00:58 My name is Mark Paden.
00:59 And welcome to Raw Questions Relevant Answers,
01:02 where we are endeavoring to give biblical answers
01:05 to difficult raw, real, painful questions
01:09 that young people have.
01:11 And what we want to do today is start off with a question
01:16 from a college student in Tennessee.
01:20 They ask, "How do I surrender to God?"
01:22 Very practical.
01:24 "No matter how much I try,
01:25 I can't seem to give my heart over
01:27 completely to God."
01:30 This is kind of a quote
01:32 that's been very helpful for me on the topic of surrender
01:34 that I think is somewhat relevant to the question.
01:36 It's from a book called Ministry of Healing,
01:38 it says, "Many who profess to be Christ's
01:40 followers have an anxious troubled heart
01:42 because they're afraid to trust themselves with God.
01:45 They do not make a complete surrender to Him,
01:47 for they shrink from the consequence
01:49 that such a surrender may involve..."
01:51 Sometimes we're afraid
01:52 of what God is going to ask us to give up,
01:54 so we don't surrender.
01:55 "But unless they do make this surrender,
01:57 they cannot find peace.
01:59 There are many whose hearts are aching under a load of care
02:01 because they seek to reach the world's standard.
02:04 They have chosen its service, accepted its perplexities,
02:06 and adopted its customs.
02:09 And thus their character is marred
02:10 and their life made a weariness."
02:11 It's exhausting.
02:13 "And that continual worry
02:14 is wearing out their life forces.
02:16 Our Lord desires them
02:17 to lay aside this yoke of bondage
02:20 and He invites them to accept His yoke.
02:22 He says, 'My yoke is easy, My burden is light.'
02:26 Worry is blind, it cannot discern the future.
02:28 But Jesus sees the end from the beginning.
02:30 And In every difficulty, He makes His way
02:33 prepared to bring relief.
02:34 And no good thing will He withhold from them
02:36 that walk uprightly."
02:39 Many times, our fear of surrenders
02:40 because we're just sure
02:41 that God is going to takes something off the table
02:43 that we want right now...
02:44 Or it's going to lead to something
02:45 that we don't want, at least, not right now.
02:48 And that kind of would be my introduction to that topic.
02:52 Many times, our fears of what if
02:55 prohibit us from making that initial surrender,
02:57 and it's because we don't know who He is as we could.
03:01 You know, I just want to throw something in here
03:03 because it reminds me of something
03:05 that happened in my life.
03:06 You know, growing up, I spent a lot of time
03:09 watching a lot of things
03:10 that in hindsight weren't that good,
03:12 that really went against biblical principles, right?
03:16 And when God was...
03:18 When God was working on my heart,
03:20 wooing me to Him, there came a point
03:22 where He just really called my heart and said,
03:25 "Mark, I want you to come to Me."
03:27 And at that point, you know, I wrestled for a minute
03:29 because I knew that to come to Him,
03:32 I would have to give those things up.
03:34 And He really made it clear to me
03:36 and I wrestled for a minute, but you know...
03:39 And praise the Lord I was willing to do that,
03:41 but it's been so incredible to me to see how...
03:45 When I was willing to give that up,
03:48 God really fulfilled the desires of my heart.
03:50 You know, I gave up those movies,
03:53 but now I'm a filmmaker.
03:54 You know what?
03:56 I spent my life working with cameras
03:57 and, I mean, flying all over the world filming,
04:00 and it's awesome, and it's all for Him.
04:05 And God brought around so many opportunities
04:08 basically immediately after I made that decision.
04:10 So, you know, we sometimes fear to surrender
04:13 because we're afraid of what we might have to lose in it,
04:16 but look at what we have to gain.
04:19 All we're leaving off is things that are really hurting us.
04:22 You know, with this, I do believe
04:25 there's a natural human aversion to that surrender
04:28 unfortunately as sinful beings.
04:30 The Apostle Paul talks about this in Romans 7
04:33 when he says, "O wretched man that I am!"
04:35 And he talks about how the things he wants to do,
04:37 he doesn't thinks he doesn't want to do, he does.
04:40 There's this battle with our humanity and God,
04:44 even Jesus experienced this to an extent.
04:46 We see Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane
04:48 in Matthew 26 having to go three times back to say,
04:52 "God, not my will but Your will be done."
04:57 And so that there is something that can come up inside us,
04:59 it doesn't mean
05:01 that there's something wrong with you
05:02 because you struggle with surrender.
05:05 I remember a time in my life
05:06 where I really struggled with surrender
05:08 and I had something to do with what you said, Dee,
05:11 about knowing who we're surrendering to.
05:14 I realized I knew a lot about God,
05:17 but I didn't know God at a heart level,
05:20 and without that knowledge, it's really scary...
05:22 To surrender to someone that you don't know
05:25 or don't know very good things about.
05:28 There was a time when I remember
05:30 having to say to God,
05:31 "You know, I'm sorry that I'm not sorry."
05:35 And that sounds really crazy,
05:37 but that was when I got really raw with God myself
05:39 and said, "You know, to be honest,
05:42 I don't want to surrender to You.
05:44 But help me."
05:46 And it was crazy what happened.
05:48 That whole journey led me to a very real place with God
05:51 but also a place of starting to search out,
05:53 "Okay, well, I might not be fully ready for this,
05:57 but start showing me who You are.
05:59 Start giving me something with this."
06:02 And I started seeking God for myself
06:04 and to know God, and it's really interesting.
06:06 It's like God took me on a journey
06:09 that led to a surrender.
06:11 As I got to know Him, there did finally come a time
06:14 where I was like, "Okay, I want to give You a chance."
06:18 God takes the little that we can give to Him.
06:20 If your surrender is this much, give that much to God
06:23 and let Him start working in those places in your life.
06:27 You know, there's another verse
06:29 that I'm just trying to find here.
06:31 But it says...
06:33 I believe it's Peter talking to the multitude and he says...
06:37 He speaks about how God has come
06:40 to give repentance to Israel.
06:43 And I think part of the rest of this question
06:45 is they are struggling
06:47 because no matter how hard they try,
06:50 they just can't seem to give their heart over
06:52 completely to God.
06:54 You know, maybe that's the problem.
06:56 You're trying too hard to do what you can't do.
07:00 Our part of it is not to force ourselves
07:04 into becoming Christians.
07:06 Our part of it is to come to God
07:07 recognizing that we can't do it.
07:09 So if we're struggling with that,
07:10 claim that promise, come to Him and say,
07:12 "Lord, I don't have repentance.
07:14 I love my sin."
07:16 Kind of like what you're saying.
07:17 "You know, I don't want to give my life to You,
07:19 but I want to want to.
07:21 So, Lord, give me repentance and show me views of Jesus"
07:25 because it's only as we see those pictures of Christ
07:30 and Him crucified
07:32 that we will truly be willing to give all to Him.
07:34 Like Romans 2:4, right? Exactly.
07:36 "The goodness of God leads you to repentance."
07:38 And it's the goodness of God and the...
07:41 It's the divine initiative.
07:43 God is the one who takes the first step in pursuing us,
07:45 and we talked about this a few episodes ago
07:47 in Jeremiah 31,
07:48 He says, "I've loved you with an everlasting love.
07:50 Therefore with loving kindness have I drawn you to Me."
07:52 When we encounter the drawing love of Christ,
07:55 that goodness of God towards us,
07:57 when we don't deserve it, when we deserve it the least,
07:59 it causes our walls to come down,
08:01 it brings repentance into our experience.
08:03 And then what awakens in our heart
08:05 is a willingness to finally do it His way...
08:08 To respond how He wants us to respond.
08:10 And so surrender is the result of an encounter
08:13 with the goodness of God.
08:14 That's what leads to this process, not a...
08:17 And God's not even asking for you
08:19 to create your own surrender,
08:20 He is asking you to receive Christ's spirit of surrender,
08:23 and you can ask for that.
08:24 "My flesh doesn't want to,
08:26 but Jesus did surrender in my flesh.
08:29 Would You give Me His spirit of surrender
08:31 in this area of my life today?"
08:33 And you better believe He wants to.
08:34 Yeah. Amen.
08:36 Let's go ahead and move to the next question.
08:38 This is again from somebody 21 years old in Tennessee.
08:43 Sorry. Yes.
08:45 I got confused there for a second.
08:46 "How do we surrender?"
08:48 We've just been talking about that,
08:49 but then he continues,
08:51 "If victory over sin is possible,
08:52 why doesn't the church teach righteousness by faith
08:55 in a practical sense?"
08:58 It is an issue of concern because if we...
09:02 We believe in the Seventh-day Adventist Church
09:03 in the standards that maybe we feel
09:06 others have lost a zeal for
09:08 or maybe didn't know that God expects.
09:11 And so because of this, we've kind of become
09:12 these champions of reform, if you will,
09:15 on the things that God still expects.
09:17 And sometimes, our zeal for communicating
09:19 what God wants
09:20 comes at the expense of how God enables us to do what He wants.
09:25 And so in turn, our young people
09:26 and our members are wrestling
09:27 because there's this high expectation
09:29 of what God wants,
09:30 but I don't know how to get there.
09:32 Paul talks about this, you know,
09:33 that "I don't know how to get where I want to go."
09:34 I think it's Romans 7:20ish.
09:36 He's like, "I don't understand how to get to the area
09:39 where God's wanting me to go."
09:41 And I believe righteousness by faith provides that answer.
09:44 There's a beautiful definition that I've heard on this idea,
09:47 they say, "What is justification by faith?
09:49 It's the work of God in laying the glory of man in the dust
09:53 and doing for a man that which it is not in his power
09:55 to do for himself.
09:57 And when men see their nothingness,
09:59 they're prepared to be close
10:00 with the righteousness of Christ."
10:02 There's high expectations from God
10:04 and there's zero potential in human flesh without God.
10:08 And we need to find a marriage between these two things,
10:10 and I believe the answer is the power of the Holy Spirit.
10:12 Yeah. And I...
10:14 To be sadly honest, the person is asking
10:16 why isn't this taught more?
10:18 Sometimes maybe it's not taught
10:20 because we don't teach what we haven't experienced.
10:23 It's hard to teach what we haven't experienced.
10:25 And that is the sad reality is that
10:28 we as a church need revival.
10:31 And if you are a young person who is asking for that,
10:35 then please, seek that and pursue that
10:39 because our church needs people
10:41 who are really looking to God and experiencing God.
10:45 We can't teach what we don't have.
10:47 And I think too that this is a call for us,
10:50 who are starting to understand it
10:52 or who do understand it, to share.
10:57 You know, if God has shown you
10:59 the beauty in the power of the gospel, share it.
11:04 You know, it's a beautiful thing.
11:07 In Romans 8, Paul says that
11:08 "For what the law could not do..."
11:10 Romans 8:3, meaning, save us.
11:11 "What the law could not do, save us,
11:13 and it was weak through the flesh..."
11:14 'Cause our flesh can't keep the law.
11:16 He says, "God did by sending His own Son
11:19 in the likeness of sinful flesh..."
11:20 Flesh like ours.
11:22 "And on account of sin, He condemned sin in the flesh."
11:24 He overcame sin in the flesh, and here's why in verse 4.
11:27 "That the righteous requirement of the law
11:29 might be fulfilled in us
11:30 who do not walk according to the flesh
11:32 but according to the Spirit."
11:33 So God sent Jesus to do for you what you can't do,
11:36 maybe you've never heard this story before
11:38 or this principle before, that's it,
11:40 and that we can receive that through the power of His Spirit
11:43 to have that obedient life.
11:44 And when you encounter this amazing offer from God,
11:48 if He's willing to do that much for me,
11:50 the least I can do is respond when convicted.
11:53 To surrender when convicted.
11:55 It's a logical response to the gospel, surrender is,
11:58 otherwise it feels like legalism or a hopeless venture.
12:01 But in response to the gospel, surrender makes sense.
12:04 Let's hit one final question
12:06 before we have to end for today.
12:09 This is a question saying,
12:11 "How can I know when I am fully surrendered?"
12:14 And one thing that I want to just mention
12:16 here on this one is we sometimes feel...
12:19 When we feel our need that we do need to surrender,
12:21 it's easy to get in this rut of like,
12:25 "I don't know if I'm surrendered enough.
12:26 I don't know if I'm surrendered enough."
12:28 And we almost get paranoid that we're not surrendered enough.
12:30 On the other side of the spectrum,
12:33 you know, we can get in this rut of feeling like,
12:35 "You know, I'm all right.
12:36 I surrendered once like a couple months ago,
12:40 I'm good now, you know?"
12:41 But honestly, surrender is a daily experience.
12:44 But here's a couple metrics
12:45 that I would like to propose in this.
12:48 First of all, is there anything
12:51 that you are currently doing
12:52 that you know you shouldn't be doing?
12:54 If you are, there's a good chance
12:57 you're not surrendered, right?
12:58 If you are doing something
13:00 that you know goes against God's word,
13:02 you probably haven't surrendered it all.
13:05 That doesn't mean you haven't ever,
13:06 it just means that
13:07 now is your chance to go back to God
13:09 and really lay it all at the foot of the cross.
13:11 And then the other metric, too, that I would propose is
13:14 are you daily communing with God
13:17 and asking Him to search your heart?
13:19 Are you, on a daily basis, looking to see...
13:23 I know it's sometimes painful to look into our own hearts
13:26 and see all the mess that's inside,
13:27 but it's a very vital part of our Christian experience
13:31 to look at that and to really see
13:35 where we are at with God.
13:38 Do you have anything you want to add really quickly?
13:40 We only have a few seconds left.
13:41 In Romans 8:5,
13:43 "For those who live according to the flesh,
13:44 set their minds on the things of the flesh,
13:46 those who live according to the Spirit,
13:47 the things of the Spirit."
13:48 Look to Jesus.
13:50 Look to the Spirit of Christ, He'll show us.
13:52 Being surrender doesn't mean we won't struggle.
13:55 There is still a struggle going on,
13:57 but that struggle means that there is life.
13:58 Absolutely. Because we are seeking Christ.
14:00 So if you're struggling,
14:02 keep struggling and really seek God.
14:04 If you have any other questions,
14:06 feel free to submit them to us on Facebook RQRA3ABN.
14:10 God bless.