10 May 2013 by Adeline Lum CM-
What paradox. Although surrendering sounds effortless, many of us find it hard to completely surrender any areas of our life to the Lord.
A ‘scary’ road, it is a road where we trust God better than ourselves and we give up control of our lives to Him. Countless men and women in the Bible surrendered their lives to Christ. And because of their obedience and faith, God has used them for His Purpose to influence kings, mobilize armies and save nations!
On May 10, Pastor Gurmit Singh Jassal spoke about how Paul surrendered his life to the Lord at the Full Gospel Businessman (FGB) fellowship at Menara Hap Seng.
An elite of the elite, Paul was described as a Pharisee and a teacher of the law (Acts 5:34), a zealous and young rabbi (Galatians 1:14) and a high priest of the Sanhedrin (Acts 22:4-5). Compared to our world today, Paul was a highly educated man who graduated from an ‘Ivy League.’ After graduation, not only ‘he was honored by all the people’ (Acts 5:34), he also held a very influential role in Sanhedrin as a young man, i.e. to eradicate the followers of Jesus (Acts 22:4-5).
But when Paul encountered God near Damascus, his life totally changed. From taking hold of the lives of other’s, he surrendered his life to God asking, “What shall I do, Lord?” (Acts 22:10) Paul had a new purpose in life, which is shown in his later letter to the Philippians church.
For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain (Phil 1:21)
His only purpose to live was for Christ alone that he was not even afraid of death.
“How many of us are not afraid of death here? I know that in the Chinese tradition, death is taboo subject although all us would eventually die,” said Pastor Gurmit. “But I am not afraid of death! The only reason I don’t want to die is that I would miss my wife and children.”
In addition, Paul was also at a very difficult position when he surrendered his life to God.
Returning to a Jerusalem temple to pray, the followers of Christ wanted to kill him to avenge for martyr Stephen (Acts 22:17-22). But upon God’s protection, a Roman commander quickly seized Paul before his violent pursuers to question the accusations by his pursuers.
The next day, all the High Priests of Sanhedrin were assembled to judge whether Paul was at fault (Acts 23). These were the same people who esteemed Paul as one of their own. But look what happens. When Paul was struck on his mouth, he blurted out God’s judgment upon the High Priests or Pharisees (Acts 23:2-3) saying, “God will strike you, you whitewashed wall! You sit there to judge me according to the law, yet you yourself violate the law by commanding that I be struck!”
So, now, not only Paul lost his place amongst his ‘colleagues’ in Sanhedrin, believers of Christ were also hostile and fearful towards him. Talk about loneliness, Paul was probably acquainted with this feeling. But regardless of what people feel or say, he still surrendered his life to serve God.
“If we wait to get approvals from everyone, we would never do what God ask us to do. If I wait for everybody’s approval, I will not be a pastor today,” said Pastor Gurmit who have served 25 years in pastoral ministry. He testified of God’s goodness in providing him a house and his most precious gifts- a lovely wife and four beautiful children.
Paul was appointed to preach the gospel far and wide. How could he travel that much in his lifetime? Surrender. Surrender your life to God and He would provide you the way.
“When you live a life of surrender, you learn peace and victory. I know it’s hard with life. It’s hard with husbands. It’s hard with wives. It’s also hard raising children. But say: I surrender my husband, I surrender my wife, I surrender my child, I surrender my life,” said Pastor Gurmit.
What a sweet, sweet surrender. To win in life is to surrender to Christ. Because Paul surrendered his life to Jesus, he founded many churches in Asia Minor and Europe, to what they grew to the whole world today.
To conclude, here is one of Paul’s famous words in his final letter:
2 Timothy 4:7-8
7I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. 8Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day—and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing.
Surrendering is not passive faith, but an active giving of our lives at the feet of Jesus.
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