“‘You want peace? Surrender. You want change? Submit. You want to be used? Believe.’ ‘Do ‘this’… and God will do ‘that’ for you.’ People think submission or surrender or belief isn’t in the same category as a work, but I think it is… because you are, in fact, purchasing God actions by doing something yourself to initiate His response. He owes you. You surrendered, so He has no choice but to give you a spouse. You submitted, so He has no choice but to change you. You believed, so He has no choice but to work a miracle.” -a friend of mine
First of all, God is not purchased. He owes us nothing, but gave us the option to be co-heirs with Christ. He allows us to choose life, and He knows all those that are His. He has the choice to save you. You have the choice to accept His free gift of grace and through the acceptance of this gift to surrender your life to Him that He may grant you peace and everlasting, more abundant life, that you will desire to submit to His holy commands therewith changing you for the better through grace, love and patience having it’s perfect work, believing that He will use you and allow you to put on the whole armor of God [Eph. 6:10-18] exhorting you to good works when you accept this free gift He is offering. He is sovereign; He has the choice.
“Who [is] wise and understanding among you? Let him show by good conduct [that] his works [are done] in the meekness of wisdom. But if you have bitter envy and self-seeking in your hearts, do not boast and lie against the truth. This wisdom does not descend from above, but [is] earthly, sensual, demonic. For where envy and self-seeking [exist], confusion and every evil thing [are] there. But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy. And the harvest of righteousness (of conformity to God’s will in thought and deed) is [the fruit of the seed] sown in peace by those who work for and make peace [in themselves and in others, that peace which means concord, agreement, and harmony between individuals, with undisturbedness, in a peaceful mind free from fears and agitating passions and moral conflicts].” James 3: 13-18 [v. 18 amplified]
‘But if you have bitter envy and self-seeking in your hearts, do not boast and lie against the truth. ‘ You do not get to say that you are a Christian and then say that God’s holy, righteous, inspired, perfect Word is a lie-not even that pieces of it are. That is demonic. The wisdom that is from God is full of mercy and good fruits. ‘By those who WORK FOR and make peace in themselves’ Yeah, it doesn’t come naturally-you have to make conscious, never ceasing effort to change your heart and mind to be in line with God’s word. You have to think on whatever is true, pure, just, wise, noble, OF GOOD REPORT (God’s Word). Stop focusing on all the Christians who have stumbled and fallen away from their faith all the sins of man and the shortcomings of our race and put your eyes on JESUS. Or don’t. Or just sit stagnant in a self-proclaimed lack of faith, lack of real trying and lack of belief. I can’t make that choice for you.
Acquaint now yourself with Him [agree with God and show yourself to be conformed to His will] and be at peace; by that [you shall prosper and great] good shall come to you. Job 22:21
You will guard him and keep him in perfect and constant peace whose mind [both its inclination and its character] is stayed on You, because he commits himself to You, leans on You, and hopes confidently in You.
It is up to you to choose to hope confidently in Him. A great definition of hope is “to cherish a desire with expectation of fulfillment.” You will keep him in peace who’s mind is stayed on You BECAUSE he commits HIMSELF to You, BECAUSE he leans on You, BECAUSE he hopes confidently in You.
“God is not a man, that He should lie, Nor a son of man, that He should repent; Has He said, and will He not do it? Or has He spoken, and will He not make it good?” Numbers 23:19
‘From that time Jesus began to preach and say, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”‘ Matthew 4:17
“Repent therefore and return, that your sins may be wiped away, in order that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord;” Acts 3:19
“Repent therefore of this your wickedness, and pray God if perhaps the thought of your heart may be forgiven you. For I see that you are poisoned by bitterness and bound by iniquity.” -Acts 8:22-23
Jesus Himself commands that we repent. True repentance is not saying your sorry and never doing that thing again. That is foolishness! If that were true we would all need only to commit one of each sin and then we would be perfect.
Bible dictionary definition of repentance
There are three Greek words used in the New Testament to denote repentance.
The verb, metamelomai, is used of a change of mind, such as to produce regret or even remorse on account of sin, but not necessarily a change of heart.
This word is used with reference to the repentance of Judas (Matt. 27:3).
Metanoeo, meaning to change one’s mind and purpose, as the result of after knowledge.
This verb, with the cognate noun, metanoia, is used of true repentance, a change of mind and purpose and life, to which remission of sin is promised.
Evangelical repentance consists of a true sense of one’s own guilt and sinfulness; an apprehension of God’s mercy in Christ;
an actual hatred of sin (Ps. 119:128; Job 42:5, 6; 2 Cor.7:10)
and turning from it to God;
and a persistent endeavour after a holy life in a walking with God in the way of his commandments.
The true penitent is conscious of guilt (Ps. 51:4,9),
of pollution (51:5, 7, 10),
and of helplessness (51:11; 109:21,22).
Thus he apprehends himself to be just what God has always seen him to be and declares him to be.
But repentance comprehends not only such a sense of sin, but also an apprehension of mercy, without which there can be no true repentance (Ps. 51:1; 130:4).
Romans 8:7 Because the carnal mind [is] enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be.
Romans 10: 9-10 ‘that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.’
paired with: James 2:19
Mark 1:15 and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the Kingdom of God is at hand! Repent, and Believe in the Good News.”
Mark 9:23 Jesus said to him, “If you can Believe, all things are possible to him who Believes.”
Mark 11:24 Therefore I tell you, all things whatever you pray and ask for, Believe that you have received them, and you shall have them.
John 4:48 Jesus therefore said to him, “Unless you see signs and wonders, you will in no way Believe.”
John 5:38 You don’t have his word living in you; because you don’t Believe him whom he sent.
John 10:26 But you don’t Believe, because you are not of my sheep, as I told you.
John 10:37 If I don’t do the works of my Father, don’t Believe me.
Jesus Himself calls us to repentance and BELIEF. Believe! Believe! Believe! He says it over and over again, He commands repentance and belief in order to prosper in His new life.
God is going to use you one way or another.
Does not the potter have power over the clay, from the same lump to make one vessel for honor and another for dishonor?
2 Timothy 2:20-21 “But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and silver, but also of wood and clay, some for honor and some for dishonor. Therefore if anyone cleanses himself from the latter, he will be a vessel for honor, sanctified and useful for the Master, prepared for every good work.”
The Bible itself says “IF anyone cleanses himself”! Meaning, YES. You have to put forth effort. You have to have faith, you have to believe, you have to repent, you have to surrender, you have to bear fruit. Like it says in James- faith without works is dead. Trying doesn’t allow for failure, trying demands success. If you ‘try’ and give up then you never tried. God doesn’t work in your time. He calls you to follow His Words and believe in Him, and furthermore to have faith, to believe with your WHOLE heart, mind and soul. God doesn’t take half-assed lukewarm ‘believers’. It’s all or nothing. So if you believe the Bible and if you believe what God says in His Word, you believe that He is the Son of God sent to die an excruciating death for your sins and mine, then believe it! If you don’t believe it then damn it. Stop saying you do. You don’t get to ‘believe’ bits and pieces and call yourself a Christian. You don’t get to proclaim the name of Christ and in the next breath call God a liar! YOU DON’T. You don’t get to say that God’s word is a lie and profess to have faith. It doesn’t work like that. You don’t get to blaspheme and hereticate from the same mouth you claim the promises of God with. Stop. Make a choice.
“This double duty of Christians — negative and positive — is the consistent, reiterated teaching of Scripture. Thus, we are to deny ourselves and to follow Christ. We are to put off what belongs to our old life and to put on what belongs to our new life. We are to put to death our earthly members and to set our minds on heavenly things. We are to crucify the flesh and to walk in the Spirit. It is the ruthless rejection of the one, in combination with the relentless pursuit of the other, which Scripture enjoins upon us as the secret of holiness. [Holiness is wholeness; being what we were intended to be — useful instruments in God’s hands.] Only so can we hope to be fit for the Master’s use. If the promise is to be inherited (‘he will be a vessel for noble use’), the condition must be fulfilled (‘if anyone purifies himself from what is ignoble’).” -John Stott
*for the topic ‘Surrender’ see previous post-“Surrender for Our Lives”