When I decided to quit being at war with God, (like a commander surrendering the city to an invader) I wanted to know what were the terms of surrender.
How about I give him 10% of my income and the rest his mine to use, however I want?
How about I give him Sunday morning and, since I am grateful, I will also give him Sunday evening, and maybe Wednesday evening. But the rest of my time is to use as I want?
How about I get to decide my career and just turn to him to let back me up, but I will keep most of the credit?
How about I retain control of who will be my friends, control of my reputation and what others think about me, and control of my comfort. In return he needs to guarantee for me and my family health, happiness, long life, career success, financial security, and acceptance by all.
Then God replied. “Sorry, I am looking for total surrender”, no conditions other than, “All to me, you must surrender, humbly at my feet to bow. Earthly treasures and pleasures all forsaken, nothing held in reserve.”
Wow, everything? How about I give you 90% and just keep 10%?
He replied, “I left my throne in glory, and counted it but loss, my hands were nailed in anger upon a cruel cross, I was despised and rejected and in turn I despised the earthly shame. I did it all for the hope that was set before me, the hope of you becoming mine, all mine. No the only thing that will work is for you to give me your all, completely, always, forever. If you keep 1%, the devil will use that, “Achilles tendon” to shoot you down. Besides, 100% of what you bring needs cleaning and perfecting so that what I take from you I can give back in a clean useful condition. True, just like Moses’ rod, it will be changed into the rod of God. It won’t be yours anymore but it will be available for you to wield in the battle and you won’t have the strain of maintaining it or perfecting it.”
“Besides, you are not a fool to let go of the mirage of control, of what you do not really have, (anything you think you have actually has you!) in order to gain all that I am and have!
So I went to the altar and laid my all on it, only to find out that there is a problem–the sacrifice keeps trying to climb off the altar. It turns out I must take up my cross daily. Each morning I get up and the Holy Spirit wants to know if I am willing to turn my will over to him today. Then moment by moment through the day things arise that I want to handle and must choose again to turn my will over to him and surrender this too.
I remember a lady who found a blessing from my teaching and was able to overcome her OCD. She said “I would like to give God 55% of the credit and I will give you 30% and just keep 15% for myself. She said if I am consequence when I resist God’s grace and fail then I should get some credit when I accept God’s grace.
I begged her to give God 100% of the credit that if she kept any of that for herself she would lose the benefits and go backward. She refused to stop coming to class and was soon back into her obsessions and misery.
Dear Lord I surrender all, help me to stay on the altar.