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Never Give Up
Location: BlogsWCFS Newsletter    
Posted by: Newsletter Editor 7/2/2008
Never Give Up by Abby M. Frierson Popular today is the theme, "Never give up." It is used in a variety of circumstances, from sports to dream-seeking. The basic illustration it confers is the stubborn determination to suck all you can from this life, from yourself, from others; it emphasizes the power of self over hardship and obstacles. It is used in Christian circles as well, but there the focus is clinging to God, not ourselves. We are to never give up seeking God and His will never to fall away from pursuing His glory and praise in our lives. But is this the catchphrase God would choose for us? Surely He never wants us to fall away from following Him, but He does command us to give ourselves up for His service. He calls us to lives of ultimate surrender. Total, unembellished submission to Him, and His will, is something He requires of us. In the Bible, this kind of surrender has several different forms, such as yielding(or submitting), humility, and sacrifice. All of these illustrate the main idea of letting go, letting God, and denying self. Each facet of surrender has many glorious spiritual truths, and is worth studying in great detail. Marvel at the amazing design God has for just one act, and how the doing of it is manifest in so many other characteristics and blessings. What does it mean to yield? And who should you yield to? Second Chronicles commands, "Yield yourselves unto the LORD," and Romans further defines the act by stating that we need to yield to God, not sin. So what is yielding? Again, we find the answer in Romans, which declares "to whom ye yield yourselves...his servants ye are..." That means that when you yield, you are surrendering the reins to a higher authority, and when you submit to God, you are humbling yourself as His servant. But giving in to sin makes you its slave. Another benefit of yielding is found in Ecclesiastes: "yielding pacifieth great offences." So, when you yield or let go of your side of an argument or disagreement, submitting to the other party, many wounds are healed, and joy and fellowship is often restored. However, so often we give in to sin, finding that easier than submission to our Father. Yielding to God is never easy, yet great rewards follow when we " God," as James 4:7 states. The hardest part about yielding is humility. As proud, selfish human beings, we hate accepting any kind of defeat of our wills, and are constantly "fightin' for our rights." But as Christians, we need to be humble before God, remembering that even He "humbleth Himself to behold the things that are in heaven, and in the earth." He doesn't hesitate to lower Himself for us because of His great love; can't we make the effort to submit to our Father? Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is the most humble person Who ever lived, and He is God, sinless and all-powerful. Yet we continually exalt ourselves, thinking we know better than our Creator! Thankfully, He is so patient with us; it took 40 years "to humble" the Israelites, and He was faithful the whole time! As stated in Isaiah, He abides with the "contrite and humble spirit," and promises, "the humble shall be exalted"(Luke 14:11). There are so many blessings associated with humility: Proverbs proclaims that "before honor is humility," and "by humility...are riches." It's tough to be humble, but the rewards are definitely worth the trouble! In the Old Testament, sacrifice was required to cover sin. But what did that mean? Basically, the guilty one surrendered an animal, and the animal itself, although unknowingly, sacrificed its own life for the sins of that person. The animal gave its blood to allow the sinner to have fellowship with God again. How does that apply to our lives today? We don't have to sacrifice animals any more, thanks to the ultimate sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the cross. But there are still sacrifices we need to make: ourselves. Yet another facet of surrender is sacrifice, giving our lives to God. What does this mean? Instead of animal sacrifices, the "sacrifices of God are a broken spirit"(Psalm 51:17) and our "bodies are a living sacrifice"(Romans 12:1). So we sacrifice ourselves to God when we yield our agendas and lives to Him, humble ourselves, and trust that He has a perfect plan for our lives. Knowing that His plans are better than ours, we offer "sacrifice(s) of praise to God"(Hebrews 13:15), and rejoice in His wisdom and love! What do we get out of this deal? Sacrificing to God brings righteousness and joy, as it says in the Psalms, and when we surrender our plans to God, and trust Him, we don't have to be concerned with a man-made agenda, but are free, knowing He is in control. Sacrifice is often painful, and requires death to self, but God rewards all those who surrender with joy and peace in His perfect timing. In the Bible, God has laid out His roadmap of history. He begins with the absence of sin "in the beginning," and follows the horrible effects of sin through the generations of His people. We can see the attempts of men to take charge, to destroy sin, and to restore themselves to righteousness. But it's obvious that only through surrender lives are changed, and joy is found. None of the crusades of history resulted in wiping away sin; most of them only added problems to the world. Only the surrender of Jesus Christ on the cross succeeded in paying our sin-debt to God, and set us free from the curse we pulled onto ourselves in Eden. No other heroic act could do what one act of submission by our humble Savior accomplished in sacrificing Himself for us. Today let us follow in our Jesus' blood-stained footprints and live lives worthy of Him, lives of surrender and humility. Truly the benefits are astonishing; as Jesus proclaimed in Matthew, "whosoever therefore shall humble himself...the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven." Humility is the key facet of surrender, though it is the hardest to live up to. But we don't have to go it alone. "God...GIVETH GRACE UNTO THE HUMBLE"(James 4:6). Surrender is foreign and repulsive to our "Never give up" world, but is essential in the Christian life. And we adopt our own version of this catchphrase upon our decision to follow Christ: we choose to "Never give up on God," knowing He will never give up on us.
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