A Christian’s Greatest Problem is Surrendering

Christians were asked in a poll: What keeps you from witnessing more?  The unexpected answer was: I am not proud of the way I live and I don’t want to come across as a hypocrite.  I might suppose if we were aware of the way many Christian leaders live we wouldn’t be surprised at the answer.  Over the years I have witnessed Christians doing things that would make one wonder if they were even saved.

Who ever said living a Christian life would be easy?  The Apostle Paul having written much of the New Testament said in Romans 7:15 – 16 – “I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do.  And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good.”

We must never underestimate the power of sin and never try to fight it without the power of the Holy Spirit.  We must understand we are surrounded by Christians trying to live up to Christ’s teachings and standards in their own strength, frustrated, disillusioned, depressed and close to giving up.

Romans 7:17 – 20 –  “As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me.  For I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature.  For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out.  For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing.  Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it.”

It is so much easier to trust in our own strength, which is our comfort zone, than trusting in Christ.  Too often we fail to rely upon the power of the Holy Spirit within.

Ephesians 1:13 – 14 – “And you also were included in Christ when you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation. When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession—to the praise of his glory.”

When we are saved our proof is being sealed by the Holy Spirit.  It is our guarantee that we have been forgiven, redeemed and have become adopted into the family of God.  If we do not have the Spirit of God within us we do not belong to Christ.  The Spirit is the guarantee of coming immortality, a guarantee of our inheritance and the pledge given to believers by God to assure them that the glory of the life to come, promised in the gospel, will actually happen.

John 15:4 – 5 –  “Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.  “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.”

Many people try to live a moral, good and honest life.  However, Scripture says the only way this can be done is by following Christ and live as He taught.  We must be connected into Christ for our nourishment.  If not we could be missing the special gifts that He has available for us.  We are told we cannot, in most situations, live a holy and righteous life in our own strength.  It requires the Holy Spirit.  We are told without the Spirit we can do nothing.  It is not possible to live a Christian life on our own.  There are millions who have proved this Scripture to be true.

Unfortunately, not everyone who accepts the Holy Spirit accepts Him without reservations and conditions. Many believers are not willing to stop living as the world lives. And this includes the workplace. We receive the Holy Spirit but are unwilling to allow Him control over our lives. When the Holy Spirit checks us, too often we ignore Him, for what He’s bringing to our attention that needs changing interferes with our lifestyles. When we want something, we deliberately do not pray about it because we don’t want to be told no. For example, a person buying a home in 2005 that they could not afford in 2009.  Then, when crises come, they wonder why God allowed the crises to happen. The Bible says we must develop the mind of Jesus and live as He instructed. That is not possible if we refuse to accept the Holy Spirit’s checks and guidance.

I have mentioned that over the past eleven years our Bible study group meets every Friday.  We often discuss how difficult it is to stay in constant communication with the Holy Spirit.  Our self-centeredness assures us that we can make decisions on our own.  In fact, it seems we have a tendency to ignore the Holy Spirit except during daily prayer time.  Yet, we realize that God gave us a Helper to live life as God intended.  There are numerous Scriptures that tell us of the power of the Holy Spirit that is within us.  Then what seems to be the problem that allows us to ignore or refuse to ask the Holy Spirit for help throughout the day?  We believe it is either the unwillingness or inability to surrender and completely allow the power of the Holy Spirit to control.

What must we surrender?  It is our self-centered nature that is capable of sinning.  We are constantly struggling with, should we do it my way or God’s way?  Our battle is whether we rely on our strength or trust in the Spirit that is within us.

Surrendering our self-centeredness is not something that is instantaneous as raising a white flag on the battlefield.  Surrender seems to become a daily struggle.  If there is such a thing as a complete surrender to the Holy Spirit it comes only when one becomes spiritually mature.  It would be like believing we no longer are self-centered.

I have met Christians who seemed to have totally surrendered. They appear to have a life of hope, joy and peace.  No situation seems to distress them.  They totally rely upon the Holy Spirit to meet their every need.  They never seem to worry.  They believe that all things work to the glory of God.  Whatever hand is dealt to them, they feel confident to play it out knowing God has a plan.

If you are struggling with life in general, you may want to assess whether you are surrendering daily to selfishness and instead accept the Holy Spirit’s guidance. Surrendering may be the hardest part of living a Christian life.

Matthew 6:33 – 34 – “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.  Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”

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1 Comment

  1. Ken

     /  June 14, 2011

    Are they a Christian if they do not Surrender?
    Are they a Christian if they do not do “All that I have told you”?
    Are they a Christian if they do not ask for forgiveness even for sins commited that they are unaware of?
    Are we false teachers, prophets, ministers, pastors if we do not tell and teach them all of the above things before we ask the do you believe and want to become a Christian?


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