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The First Test of Full Surrender

Many Christians want more from their faith than to sit in the pew and hear someone else tell them how good it is to be used by God! However, to exercise the faith of God we need to step out into the deep and take a risk. Many people have been inspired by the possibilities of going deeper with God and when they ask what the price is, the answer is simple: Full surrender. Many preachers use various phrases to explain this experience, but the main objective is to fulfil the conditions of Romans 12:1, and to lay down one’s life before the Lord. ‘Therefore, I urge you…to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God’ (Romans 12:1).

Unconditional surrender to the Lord means living for Him, giving up one’s own hopes and dreams, and asking Him to live His life through us. Many Christians have come to the Lord and prayed, “I surrender all…I will serve You. I will follow wherever you lead!” However, to prove the sincerity of that prayer, the Lord will send His first test to find if we are serious. The first test of full surrender will be different for each person, but in essence the Lord will ask for something in our lives that will cost us. It could be money, a job, a hobby, an attitude, a friendship, a relationship or any other thing that is special to us. The point is this: We won’t want to give it up and our love for the Lord will be tested by our choice. Will we obey Him, or do we love this thing more than Him?

When the Lord asks us to lay something down, He does not tell us why. It is a test of faith! He is expecting us to believe that He is a good God and He only asks us to lay something down that in the end will be harmful to us and our call. Some people have likened giving up something for God like an investment. When the Lord tells us to give something up, it is hard because it seems like a good investment. But at a later date after we have obeyed, the ‘spiritual markets’ plummet and we realise it was a bad investment after all. Our obedience shielded us from its fall or collapse!

When the Lord speaks, if we behave like Abraham and go to the altar of the Lord and lay down what He has asked, the Lord will bless us. We will have passed the first test of full surrender and many other tests and blessings will be prepared for us in the future. However, if we are like Jonah and run away from the Lord, we will enter in the storms of life without Him. We may be saved, but we have lied to the Lord and our empty vow will haunt our future.

Those who have promised to surrender all to the Lord and later reject the call of God fall into the enemy’s snare. King Saul was called, anointed and appointed. He prophesied and led the Kingdom of Israel, but when He was forced to choose God’s will or his own, He rejected God and God then rejected him. This led him to a road which was further away from the Lord and in the end he was completely lost in sin and self. ‘But the Spirit of the Lord departed from Saul and a distressing spirit from the Lord troubled him’ (1 Samuel 16:14).

People that reject God’s will have always paid a great price for a life of sin and selfishness. The sinful person sometimes has everything outwardly, but they cannot foster that which belongs to God within them. Only God can restore one’s soul and spirit. Only God can release peace and heavenly joy.

King Saul had the Kingdom of Israel, but he was tormented within and without. Meanwhile David had very little, but he was anointed and received God’s peace and power. Before King Saul died, he understood all that he had lost because of his rebellion to God. King Saul acknowledged that he had lost the call and the Kingdom. He said to David, “I know indeed that you shall surely be King and that the Kingdom of Israel shall be established in your hand!” (1 Samuel 24:20). We can only guess if King Saul thought as he died, “What if?” We don’t have to be like him. Finally, David received all that King Saul had rejected and this obedient man took the Kingdom of Israel to its greatest heights so far. David was not a perfect man of God, but he was a man after God’s own heart.

The truth is that we all give everything in the end. Our decisions become the highway, or even the prison which shapes our lives. If we fill our lives with things outside of God’s will, we shall become imprisoned to and by them. They will guide our lives and lead us far from the destiny that God had for us. In the end, we will look back and say, “My choices cost me everything!” If this is true for everyone, why not pay the price for something eternal? Why not pay the price to be in God’s will? Why not give up all for a reward which will echo in eternity? Why not state like Ruth, “Wherever you go, I will go” (Ruth 1:16).

Paul Backholer


Paul's Books:
Jesus Today Go
Holy Spirit Power Go
The Exodus Evidence Go
The Ark of the Covenant Go
How Christianity Made the Modern World Go
Heaven - A Journey to Paradise and the Heavenly City Go