walk in the word
Category: Your Walk With God
“Behold your bondslave. May it be to me according to your Word.” Luke 1:38
What do you think of when you hear the word surrender? I think of “Come out with your hands up!” Maybe you picture a waving, white flag.
But the biggest battle in our world today is not some military thing. The real war goes on inside people. Today we’re going to talk about one of the biggest conflicts we face—giving up our will in favor of God’s will. If there’s anything that we can learn from the woman whom God chose to be Jesus’ mother, it’s in this matter of surrender.
You know the familiar Christmas scene from Luke 1:26-38. An angel appeared to Mary and announced God’s amazing plan to her. I think the best verse in that whole passage is Luke 1:38 because it summarizes everything that God is trying to teach us through Mary’s life. Her first and only response to the angel was surrender. “And Mary said, “Behold, the bondslave of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your Word.” That’s a phenomenal thing. That’s a life of complete and utter submission to God.
Mary surrendered to God’s will even though it was difficult. How easy it would have been for her to be distracted by the difficult thing God was asking her to do. How many of us would have liked to have said, “Mary, it’s not going to be easy. There is going to be a lot of false accusation and misunderstanding.” But she said, “May it be to me according to Your Word.” “Mary, are you listening? You’re going to have some really dark days. Your heart will break as you watch your Son suffer and die.” “Behold your bondslave. May it be to me according to Your Word.”
Mary surrendered to God’s will even though she was doubtful. Mary was not 100% sure in that first moment. She had questions and wrestlings. I’m sure she had to pray it through. Scripture says that she kept pondering these things in her heart. “What was said to me? What does it mean? What is coming?”
Mary surrendered to God’s will not knowing all of the details. That is my issue right there. If you had been Mary, wouldn’t you have wanted someone to fill in the big picture? Like, when is He going to know that He is God’s Son? How is Joseph going to handle this? Is He going to be God’s Son right off the bat? What about miracles? What’s my role in this going to be? Where is all this headed?” I could think of a thousand questions but here’s the thing: God wouldn’t have told her anyway because she couldn’t have handled it. God doesn’t work like that. God doesn’t say, “Here is everything you’re going to go through for the rest of your life.” God loves us. He would never reveal all of that to us–it would be too hard to take. If you have been saying, “I’m going to surrender to God when I have all of the information together,” give it up to God now and be in partnership with Him in that thing that has been burdening your heart.
Mary surrendered to God’s will by faith. It always comes back to trusting God and believing that He has your best interest at heart. Like we say around our church, “faith is believing the Word of God and acting upon it no matter how I feel because God promises a good result.” That’s what Mary did. She believed she was who God said she was—highly favored. Mary said, “God, I believe that You are extending grace to me.” Secondly, she believed that what God said would happen, would happen. She surrendered to God’s will by faith.
What are the matters God is asking you to surrender to Him? Maybe you’re faced with that first moment of surrender when you recognize your sinfulness and your need for forgiveness. Have you done that? Have you bowed your knee to Jesus Christ the Lord and embraced Him by faith? Turn to Christ by faith and receive Him for your own forgiveness and the hope of eternal life. Let Christmas 2003 be the season when you are changed forever.
Or maybe having made that decision you’ve come to realize that life is many repeated surrenders to God. Maybe you’ve been wrestling with Him, “Lord, how did I get myself in this spot? Is this where You want me? Lord, I surrender to Your will in regards to my future, whatever that means. Be it unto me according to Your Word. I am Your bondslave. I give myself afresh to You, O God.”
Pray from your heart, “Lord, what is it? What is the matter about which You would have me surrender to You? Don’t let me agree with this biblical concept and miss the specifics that You have for me. Lord, I belong to You. My highest purposes are in living for You.” Let me just encourage you to invite the Lord to be specific with you.
This life is for a moment. God has placed you in a circumstance; perhaps it’s a very difficult place. This is your opportunity to display the superiority of the life lived in God. Take hold of it. Seize it like Mary did and say from your heart, “Behold, the bondslave of the Lord. May it be unto me according to Your Word.” There is such joy in that surrender. How much heartache, turmoil, and difficulty in 2003 was rooted in wrestling with God and refusing to embrace with your whole heart what God has allowed? God is a good and loving God and He wants to get glory through your life.
All of that flows from this matter of surrender. Wave the white flag!
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