From Steps to Christ, 47, we read: “Many are
inquiring, ‘How am I to make the surrender of myself to God?’ You desire to give yourself to Him, but you
are weak in moral power, in slavery to doubt, and controlled by the habits of
your life of sin.” This is the condition
we are in! Mrs. White continues, “Your
promises and resolutions are like ropes of sand. You cannot control your thoughts, your
impulses, your affections. . . .
What you need to understand is the true force of the will. [Now, again, this is not talking about
willpower.] . . . Everything
depends on the right action of the will.”
What is the right action of the will? This is what we want to know. We do know it is not willpower.
“The power of choice God has given to men; it is theirs
to exercise. You cannot change your
heart, you cannot of yourself give to God its affections; but you can choose
to serve Him. You can give Him your
will; He will then work in you to will and to do according to His good
pleasure. . . .
“Desires for goodness and holiness are right as far as
they go; but if you stop here, they will avail nothing. Many will be lost while hoping and desiring
to be Christians. They do not come to
the point of yielding the will to God.
They do not now choose to be Christians.” Ibid., 47, 48.
We keep seeing that we need to yield the will, but we
have not found out how. We are going to
find out how shortly. Continuing on with
this quote, it says,
“Through the right exercise of the will, an entire
change may be made in your life. By
yielding up your will to Christ, you ally yourself with the power that is above
all principalities and powers. You will
have strength from above to hold you steadfast, and thus through constant
surrender to God you will be enabled to live the new life, even the life of
faith.” Ibid., 48.
This is a good promise, but we still do not know how
to do it.
The next Spirit of Prophecy quote is based on the
story of two worshippers, as recorded in Luke 18:9–14. You remember
that the Pharisee said, “Well, I am glad I am not like that character,”
referring to the publican. But the
publican beat on his chest and said, “Lord be merciful
to me a sinner.” Mrs. White says, “The
prayer of the publican was heard because it showed dependence reaching forth to
lay hold upon Omnipotence. Self to the
publican appeared nothing but shame.
Thus it must be seen by all who seek God. By faith—faith that renounces all
self-trust—the needy suppliant is to lay hold upon infinite power.
“No outward observances can take the place of simple
faith and entire renunciation of self.
But no man can empty himself of self.”
Christ’s Object Lessons, 159.
Is this not a real problem? You have to be emptied of self, but it says
that no man can do it. Now we are going
to find out how to surrender.
“We can only consent for Christ to accomplish the
work.” Ibid. What does consent mean? It means, “to give
permission.” If you go into the hospital
for surgery, you give the doctor permission to cut your body. You sign a consent form.
Then, she tells us exactly how to give that
permission; she even gives us the words to say: “Then the language of the soul
will be, Lord, take my heart; for I cannot give it. It is Thy property. Keep it pure, for I cannot keep it for
Thee. Save me in spite of myself, my
weak, unchristlike self. Mold me, fashion me, raise
me into a pure and holy atmosphere, where the rich current of Thy love can flow
through my soul.” Ibid.
In other words, you need to tell the Lord, “I want You to take my heart, my will. I cannot give you my heart, but I am giving You permission to come in and take it. Take my heart and purify it. Bring it into harmony with Your
will. Then, after You
clean it up for me, do not just give it back to me, because I will just mess it
up again. You will have to keep it for
When you decide to surrender your heart, your will, to
God, you need to do so verbally, first thing in the morning. Now, you can do it all day long. You can send up silent prayers every time you
run into a temptation or a problem or see anything that needs correcting. You can just tell Him, “Take my will, right
now.” You can do that silently, but at
least once a day, in the morning, you need to say it verbally, out loud, so the
whole on-looking universe can hear you give God that permission. There are rules to the great controversy, and
one of the rules is that supernatural powers cannot intervene in human affairs
without being given permission. You need
to give permission. This prayer is a
legal contract between you and God, and the whole universe needs to hear and
see it happen.
Step by Step
“It is not only at the beginning of the Christian life
that this renunciation of self is to be made.
At every advance step heavenward it is to be renewed. All our good works are dependent on a power
outside of ourselves. Therefore there
needs to be a continual reaching out of the heart after God, a continual,
earnest, heartbreaking confession of sin and humbling of the soul before
Him. Only by constant renunciation of
self and dependence on Christ can we walk safely.” Ibid., 159, 160.
“All true obedience comes from the heart. It was heart work with Christ. And if we consent, He will so identify
Himself with our thoughts and aims, so blend our hearts and minds into
conformity to His will, that when obeying Him we shall be but carrying out our
own impulses. The will, refined and
sanctified, will find its highest delight in doing His service. . . .
Sin will become hateful to us.” The Desire of Ages, 668.
Is this not
what you want?
“There were many in Christ’s day, as there are today,
over whom the control of Satan for the time seemed broken; through the grace of
God they were set free from the evil spirits that had held dominion over the
soul. They rejoiced in the love of God;
but, like the stony-ground hearers of the parable, they did not abide in His
love. They did not surrender themselves
to God daily. . . .
“When the soul surrenders itself to Christ, a new
power takes possession of the new heart.
A change is wrought which man can never accomplish for himself. It is a supernatural work, bringing a supernatural
element into human nature. The soul that
is yielded to Christ becomes His own fortress, which He holds in a revolted
world, and He intends that no authority shall be known in it but His own. A soul thus kept in possession by the
heavenly agencies is impregnable to the assaults of Satan. But unless we do yield ourselves to the
control of Christ, we shall be dominated by the wicked one. We must inevitably be under the control of
the one or the other of the two great powers that are contending for the
supremacy of the world.” Ibid., 323, 324.
Job is a good example of this. The representatives from the different worlds
came together for a council meeting.
When God called the roll and said, “Earth,” Satan answered, “Here.” He had taken dominion of the world when Adam
and Eve sinned. “And the Lord said unto Satan, Whence comest thou? Then Satan answered the Lord, and said, From
going to and fro in the earth, and from walking up and down in it. And the Lord
said unto Satan, Hast thou considered my servant Job, that [there is] none like
him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth
God, and escheweth evil?” Job 1:7, 8.
“Have you considered My
servant Job?” God asked. “He is down
there walking around in your kingdom, in your territory, but he is not one of
your subjects. He is one of Mine. You do not have
any authority in his heart; he is surrendered to Me.” This is the way you and I are to be. Job was a branch office of the kingdom of
When God shows you something in your life that needs
to be corrected, do not argue with Him.
Do not rebel against Him. Do not
ignore Him. Do not start using your
willpower or using your human strength.
Give Him your will. Surrender it
to Him, so He can change it. After you
have surrendered, then use it. That is
when you make an effort, and God supplies His power, and right where the two
come together is a point of victory—His power and your effort combined. You need to surrender your will and learn to
cooperate with Him. You need to learn
how to work with Him.
Matthew 24:14 says, “And this gospel of the kingdom shall be
preached in all the world for a witness unto all
nations; and then shall the end come.”
The good news is that you can be loyal and faithful to God, just as was
Job. The good news of the kingdom is the
kingdom of God within you, where Christ has complete and total
control and authority. This needs to be
preached in all the world, so people can decide in
which kingdom they want to be.
If it is your desire to be part of God’s kingdom and
quit trying to stand with one foot in Satan’s kingdom and the other foot in
God’s kingdom, ask Him to help you to surrender your will totally and
completely to Him today.