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FROM POWERLESSNESS TO SURRENDER TO TRUE FAITH
Series: The Church in Transition
Sun am 31st May 2015 – Pastor Kobus Swart
Col. 1:13-22; Gen. 1:1-2, 27-31; Isa. 34:11; Jer. 4:23-27; Rom. 8:19-22, 28-30; Ps. 6:6-7;
(Rom. 12:1-2); (Eph. 4:23); Matt. 6:25 (MSG); Heb. 11:6; (Col. 3:2); (Rev. 8:1-5); (Jude 1:12)
For He rescued us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things have been created through Him and for Him. He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together. He is also head of the body, the church; and He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that He Himself will come to have first place in everything. For it was the Father’s good pleasure for all the fullness to dwell in Him, and through Him to reconcile all things to Himself, having made peace through the blood of His cross; through Him, I say, whether things on earth or things in heaven. And although you were formerly alienated and hostile in mind, engaged in evil deeds, yet He has now reconciled you in His fleshly body through death, in order to present you before Him holy and blameless and beyond reproach (Col. 1:13-22). He was the first born of all creation; the Christ, the Eternal One. I want you to absorb the amazing role and place the Son of God has. In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth (Gen. 1:1). Let me show you how God creates things and what the result is, and the quality of His creation. God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. God blessed them; and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it; and rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over every living thing that moves on the earth.” Then God said, “Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the surface of all the earth, and every tree which has fruit yielding seed; it shall be food for you; and to every beast of the earth and to every bird of the sky and to everything that moves on the earth which has life, I have given every green plant for food”; and it was so. God saw all that He had made, and behold, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day (Gen. 1:27-31). This is how God creates things. God does not create things in a mess. God carefully provided for every animal and for every man, food, protection, provision, everything was there. It was very good. But then something happened. The earth was formless and void, and darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was moving over the surface of the waters (Gen. 1:2). There was chaos, darkness. Some translations say that the earth became formless and void; it was not created that way. Something happened between verse 1 and verse 2, and it could be millions of years, we do not know. The two words: formless and void: TOHU and BOHU only appear in two other places in the Bible (Isa. 34:11 & Jer. 4:23-27). Ponder this! Everything that was created was created in Him, through Him and by Him (Col. 1:13-22). What happened between Genesis 1:1 and verse 2? The Son was not there anymore. I do not know exactly what happened but something hit the original creation and the Son of God through whom everything was created; who was the first fruit of everything, was not there anymore. What and how it happened I do not know. For the anxious longing of the creation waits eagerly for the revealing of the sons of God. For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself also will be set free from its slavery to corruption into the freedom of the glory of the children of God (Rom. 8:19-22). The earth right now is waiting for another demonstration of the Son in the sons to prevent another formless and void destruction. It is all about the manifestation, the revealing of the Son in the sons on earth. Creation is in travail for it. And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren; and these whom He predestined, He also called; and these whom He called, He also justified; and these whom He justified, He also glorified (Rom. 8:28-30). Whatever challenges we are going through, God can turn it to work for our good. The ultimate good is not to make you feel better but to form you into the image of His Son; to save this planet from final destruction as we saw in Genesis 1.
There are areas in our lives in which we are powerless. It is not a very easy thing to acknowledge. We live in a culture where there is a high value placed on individual accomplishment. We need to come to a place where we to have an encounter with the circumstances in our lives and realise that we can only be smart up to a point, and it is not going to be enough. There is always more to accomplish but we want to do it in our own strength. The world is trying to find ways into the realm of spirit without going through the Son. We must not only admit our powerlessness but also the fact that there are certain areas of our lives that we cannot manage. The time will come for each one of us to be submitted not only to Jesus as our Saviour but to Jesus as our Lord, our undisputed boss. Once you have come to the place where you admit powerlessness in your life, the next step is surrender to the Lord. Surrender is difficult for the mind; it is always in the way with its plans. Surrender and hand over. We must come to a place of honesty and say, “I need help”. What it means is that you stop living by your own will and surrender your will to Him at the cross. I am giving you one of the most important formulas for us to become part of the huge company of sons in whom the image of Christ has come to full stature. Creation is waiting for the manifestation of those in whom Christ has reached full stature; those who will save this earth and will be the answer to the travail coming from creation. That is what sonship means: He, in me, has come to full stature. My will, my brain power, my planning is submitted to Him who is now my Lord. Often pride is in the way; we do not want to admit we need help and we do not want to admit our personal powerlessness. I am weary with my sighing; Every night I make my bed swim, I dissolve my couch with my tears. My eye has wasted away with grief; It has become old because of all my adversaries (Ps. 6:6). Does it sound fairly familiar? If you are serious in your walk with God, if you have a heart that is committed, even in all the struggles, stop hanging on to the controls; give the steering wheel over to God, He is your Lord.
I am giving you one key that works, and that is genuine heartfelt worship. Your brain is positively affected by worship. “Secular science is proposing that we are wired for God; that our brains have been designed to commune with the Lord” (Dr. Caroline Leaf). We have been created in His image, in His likeness. Our Mighty Creator has wired us to become worshippers by nature, but we have allowed impulses and signals from the wrong sources to program our minds. That is why Paul prayed that we be renewed in the spirit of our mind (Eph. 4:23). Hand over! We are wired by God to be worshippers. We are more compatible to God than to the devil but we have allowed the spirit of this age to re-program us (Rom. 12:1-2). Now it is difficult, we need all sorts of discipline to change our mind. It is found that worship can boost your immune system. We need immunity in this world. Be a worshipper whenever you can, also listen to genuine worship. Let it fill your spirit, your inner man. If you decide for God, living a life of God-worship, it follows that you don’t fuss about what’s on the table at mealtimes or whether the clothes in your closet are in fashion. There is far more to your life than the food you put in your stomach, more to your outer appearance than the clothes you hang on your body. Look at the birds, free and unfettered, not tied down to a job description, careless in the care of God. And you count far more to him than birds (Matt.6:25 Msg). Seeking first the Kingdom of God involves worship. How do we change our minds and get away from all these concerns, planning and strategies? Set your mind on the things from above (Col. 3:2). If my mind is filled with worship and things from above it will send the signals to my brain which will then release the right juices in my body to overcome anxiety, fear and insecurities.
Once you have admitted your powerlessness before the Lord and are not ashamed to talk to others about it, then you surrender. Worship comes in a fresh way. The next step is effective prayer. It is impossible to please God apart from faith. Anyone who wants to approach God must believe that He exists and that He cares enough to respond to those who seek Him (Heb. 11:6). Stop asking “why?” rather ask God: “what are you busy doing Lord? Am I getting it? Where is Your hand in all of this? Show me Your hand.” Do not glorify the enemy; give God His rightful place. He is Lord and King over our lives.
The question is: are you willing to admit powerlessness or are you still proudly in control? The wisest decision we can make is to submit it all. I come to God because He exists, He is, He listens. There was silence in heaven for half an hour. God is listening to the prayers of the saints (Rev. 8:1-5). We need an intervention from God and it might come as a shock when God begins to move in a powerful way. We are the unfolding tomorrow; it happens in us and it will happen through us as God finds sons fully handed over to Him, fully surrendered, admitting His Lordship over their lives. Let us avoid being clouds without water (Jude 1:12). Let us walk faithfully before the Lord, filled with His Spirit, obedient to His will, surrendered to His power, believing He exists and watch things happen.