Good Morning Brothers…
Hunting is filled with lots of theory, whether passed down from Dad, or from the infamous “they”…our methods, or tactics, in the field are largely a by-product of theory. It is not uncommon to engage in conversations in-season, or out of season, about deer behavior, moon phases, weather patterns, etc. Most hunters (I say most) have no problem executing the shot. This is something easily practiced. Whether we are practicing at the range, or in our yard, the mechanics of the shot…should become an automatic thing. Something we can do while concentrating on other things. When I draw on a deer, I don’t think about the bow, the release, the string, any of that…I’m thinking about arrow placement, wind direction, the alertness of the animal, etc. Hunting theory is subjective. Our walk with Christ is very much objective. Hunting does not have an all-knowing book, in which to discern information on “How To”. Our walk does have such a book.
Unfortunately, satan has been very successful in turning this objective book…into a book perceived as being subjective. The long list of different denominations is a testament to satan’s success in dividing us along theological lines. One thing we can all agree on…is the importance of surrendering our will to Him.
Ephesians 4: 22-27 says, “that, in reference to your former manner of life, you lay aside the old self, which is being corrupted in accordance with the lusts of deceit, and that you be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and put on the new self, which in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth. Therefore, laying aside falsehood, SPEAK TRUTH EACH ONE of you WITH HIS NEIGHBOR, for we are members of one another. BE ANGRY, AND yet DO NOT SIN; do not let the sun go down on your anger, and do notgive the devil an opportunity.”
Our old self is filled with the lusts of deceit, filled with falsehood, filled with opportunity for the devil to have his way with us. This new self, on the other hand, has a renewed spirit, which has been created in righteousness, holiness, and truth. Which, in fact, is the likeness of God.
Colossians 3: 9-10 says, “Do not lie to one another, since you laid aside the old self with its evil practices, and have put on the new self who is being renewed to a true knowledge according to the image of the One who created him”
Our new spirit, which is in the likeness of God, is continually being renewed to a true knowledge…according to the image of the One who created him. This means that the continual renewal of our spirit is intended for us to become more like Christ…more like Jesus. Whoa…I want some of that…in fact, I want as much of that as I can take. How do I do that…? Oh yeah, I have to surrender. Um…how do I do that again?
OK…remember when we talked about theory? Surrender isn’t theory, surrender should be as automatic as the hunter executing the mechanics of the shot. I do not mean there is a dogmatic way to surrender…I do mean all Christians should know how “they” do it. If I said we were going to take the next 30 minutes to pray…do you have a visual of that? If I said we were going to take the next 30 minutes to praise and worship God through song…do you have a visual of that? What if I said we were going to take the next 30 minutes to surrender ourselves before God Almighty…can you picture that? Sadly, many Christians can’t picture that, whatever their denomination.
Jesus said over and over in the Gospels, “Not My will, but My Fathers”. Jesus continually sent His disciples on, while He found a quiet place to pray. Jesus did this…! Our savior, the Son of God, set aside His will for the Fathers…and sought His Fathers will through solitude and prayer. He is our example. Jesus was completely surrendered to His Father…to our Father. If we are to “put on the new self”…to become more like Jesus through a renewing of our spirit, in the likeness of God…we must learn “how” to surrender.
Here is how. Find that place, your “prayer closet”, where the outside world falls away, where the list of things needing done is forgotten, where your emotional bumps and bruises become obsolete…and ask God to communicate with you there. Find your “holy ground”…and ask God to show you the parts of your life that need addressed. Ask God to convict you of the things still in need of repentance. Ask God to show you His lead. Ask God to give you strength to follow the lead. Ask God to strip away your will and to replace it with His will. In short….pray for “surrender” in your life. Surrender is a life long practice. The more you enter into a “state of surrender”, the easier it will become.
Romans 12:2 says, “And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.”
Men living “surrendered” lives will prove, through their actions, thoughts, and motives…what the will of God is…that which is good, acceptable, and perfect. Theory or truth…? Truth with a capital “J”…!