Elizabeth Eliot, a woman who lived a surrendered life, always talks about one woman who influenced her life. Her name is Betty Scot Stam. Betty wrote a powerful prayer when she was eight, which Elizabeth read and copied into her Bible.
As I listened to the words of that prayer, it pierced through my heart so much that I copied it and pasted on my room wall, beside my mirror (I needed to read it always). Here is the prayer:
Lord, I give up my own plans and purposes, all my own desires, hopes and ambitions, and I accept Thy will for my life. I give up myself, my life, my all, utterly to Thee, to be Thine forever. I hand over to Thy keeping all of my friendships; all the people whom I love are to take second place in my heart. Fill me now and seal me with Thy Spirit. Work out Thy whole will in my life at any cost, for to me to live is Christ. Amen.
What a surrendered prayer!
This is the kind of surrender that God expects and demands from His children.
A surrendered life is more than just reciting some prayers at an altar call.
When you surrender, you throw yourself into reckless abandon. You hands up and give up. And in doing that, sometimes, your plan gets interrupted. It’s never in vain, as we see in the life of Moses.
Moses, the man whose face was Radiant, lived a surrendered life. From his life, I discovered seven things that happen when you surrender:
- God sets you apart for His use: Moses busied himself with tending his father-in-law’s animals till he encountered God that day on Mount Horeb. After his despairing cries of “who am I…”, “I am not eloquent…”, he surrendered to God’s word and work, and in Exodus 4:20, took his family on the journey back to Egypt. You want to be a vessel in God’s hand? You want your life to be radiant? Be willing to always say, yes Lord, “I am your handmaid, be it unto me according to thy word.” That was Mary’s response to the message brought to her from the angel.
2. God Supplies For Your Assignment: Did you notice God’s response to all Moses “excusing requests and questions”? ‘Who am I that I should go unto Pharoah…? And God said, “Certainly, I will go with thee”. “O my Lord, I am not eloquent… but slow of speech…”. And God said, “I will be with thy mouth, and teach thee what thou shalt say.” God won’t leave you without fishing hooks when He sends you out to fish Whatever you do – at home, work, ministry, community – in God’s name, keep trusting Him for an all-round support. He is too faithful to fail you.
3. God Strengthens You for the Work: Imagine having to storm in and out of Pharoah’s house, talking and demonstrating, pressing him over and over to “Let my people go”. It wasn’t an easy task, but God’s grace strengthened Moses for it. You remember His word in Isaiah 40:29 – He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might, He increaseth strength. Even when you get to your wit end like Elijah, if He needs to send the angel to come feed you, He will. (1 Kings 19: 3-8)
4. God Separates You For An Encounter: Are we willing to have a true encounter with God? Moses’ surrendered life has something to teach us: In Exodus 24:12, “the Lord said unto Moses, Come up to me into the mount, and be there: and I will give thee tables of stone, and a law, and commandments which I have written; that thou mayest teach them”. What an encounter Moses was to have. Latter verses tell us what happens… Exodus 24: 15-16 – And Moses went up into the mount, and a cloud covered the mount. And the glory of the Lord abode upon mount Sinai, and the cloud covered it six days: and the seventh day He called unto Moses out of the midst of the cloud.” Then God went on to commune with Moses, and gave him the commandments written with God’s fingers – Moses was on that mount for 40 days and forty nights – in the presence of God. No one can get this close without surrender; without learning to come unto God and be there. Waiting on God. Moses waited for six days before God appeared on the seventh. An unsurrendered person won’t be patient enough to wait on God, neither will he have the privilege to hear directly and receive glorious blessings that come with encountering God.
5. God Signals You When Things Go Amiss: God went on to give Moses those great laws, till chapter 32 – the people had sinned. God was about to pour His wrath on them. But how will He keep this away from Moses? You remember the case of Abraham too? God was about to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah, but He wouldn’t do it without telling His friend, Abraham, and discussing it with him (Genesis 18: 17-33). If you are close to God’s heart, He won’t allow things to go wrong without giving you a hint. Maybe not the full details, but something will prompt you to pray, or take some sort of decision, or maybe prepare your muscles to carry the weight. Something.
6. God Saves Men Through You: Moses dashed down the mount and met the eyesore. He started interceding, pleading with God to have mercy and forgive. He didn’t just stop there, he pitched a tabernacle where people can come and seek the Lord. (Exodus 33:7). He as well exemplified a life of worship to God – the people saw him as he entered the tabernacle, and worshipped. (Exodus 33: 8-10). What an influential life. May God make us the Moses of our time, in Jesus name.
7. God Saturates You With His Glory: This part… Oh, Moses! He was never tired of having more of God. After fourty days on the mount with God, he still went to worship in the tabernacle, and even when he was out, he kept thirsting for more… “That I may know thee…” (Exodus 33:13), “Show me thy glory…” (Exodus 33:18). Did God answer these massive requests of Moses? Yes. See God’s reply after that request:
19 And he said, I will make all my goodness pass before thee, and I will proclaim the name of the Lord before thee; and will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will shew mercy on whom I will shew mercy.
20 And he said, Thou canst not see my face: for there shall no man see me, and live.
21 And the Lord said, Behold, there is a place by me, and thou shalt stand upon a rock:
22 And it shall come to pass, while my glory passeth by, that I will put thee in a clift of the rock, and will cover thee with my hand while I pass by:
23 And I will take away mine hand, and thou shalt see my back parts: but my face shall not be seen.
oh, the bountiful blessings When You Surrender.
Let God have your life; He can do more with it than you can (D.L. Moody).