- Andrew Murray,
"And Ben-hadad the king of Syria
gathered all his host together: and there were thirty and two kings with
him, and horses, and chariots: and he went up and besieged Samaria, and
warred against it. And he sent messengers to Ahab king of Israel into the
city, and said unto him, Thus saith Benhadad, Thy silver and thy gold is
mine; thy wives also and thy children, even the goodliest, are mine. And the
king of Israel answered and said, My lord, 0 king, according to thy saying,
I am thine and all that I have" (I Kings 20:1-4).
Ahab gave what was asked of him by Benhadad - absolute surrender. I want to
use these words: "My lord, 0 king, according to thy saying, I am thine, and
all that I have," as the words of absolute surrender with which every child
of God ought to yield himself to his Father. We have heard it before, but we
need to hear it very definitely-the condition of God's blessing is absolute
surrender of all into His hands. Praise God! If our hearts are willing for
that, there is no end to what God will do for us, and to the blessing God
Absolute surrender-let me tell you where I got those words. I used them
myself often, and you have heard them numerous times. But once, in Scotland,
I was in a company where we were talking about the condition of Christ's
Church, and what the great need of the Church and of believers is. There was
in our company a godly Christian worker who has much to do in training other
workers for Christ, and I asked him what he would say was the great need of
the Church-the message that ought to be preached. He answered very quietly
and simply and determinedly:
"Absolute surrender to God is the one thing."
The words struck me as never before. And that man began to tell how, in the
Christian workers with whom he had to deal, he finds that if they are sound
on that point, they are willing to be taught and helped, and they always
improve. Whereas, others who are not sound there very often go back and
leave the work. The condition for obtaining God's full blessing is absolute
surrender to Him.
And now, I desire by God's grace to give to you this message-that your God
in heaven answers the prayers which you have offered for blessing on
yourselves and for blessing on those around you by this one demand: Are you
willing to surrender yourselves absolutely into His hands? What is our
answer to be? God knows there are hundreds of hearts who have said it, and
there are hundreds more who long to say it but hardly dare to do so. And
there are hearts who have said it, but who have yet miserably failed, and
who feel themselves condemned because they did not find the secret of the
power to live that life. May God have a word for all!
Let me say, first of all, that God claims it from us.
I. GOD EXPECTS YOUR SURRENDER
Yes, it has its foundation in the very nature of God. God cannot do
otherwise. Who is God? He is the Fountain of life, the only Source of
existence and power and goodness. Throughout the universe there is nothing
good but what God works. God has created the sun, the moon, the stars, the
flowers, the trees, and the grass. Are they not all absolutely surrendered
to God? Do they not allow God to work in them just what He pleases? When God
clothes the lily with its beauty, is it not yielded up, surrendered, given
over to God as He works in it its beauty? And God's redeemed children, oh,
can you think that God can do His work if there is only half or a part of
them surrendered? God cannot do it. God is life, love, blessing, power, and
infinite beauty, and God delights in communicating Himself to every child
who is prepared to receive Him. But ah! this one lack of absolute surrender
is just the thing that hinders God. And now He comes, and as God, He claims
You know in daily life what absolute surrender is. You know that everything
has to be given up to its special, definite object and service. I have a pen
in my pocket, and that pen is absolutely surrendered to the one work of
writing. That pen must be absolutely surrendered to my hand if I am to write
properly with it. If another holds it partly, I cannot write properly. This
coat is absolutely given up to me to cover my body. This building is
entirely given up to religious services. And now, do you expect that in your
immortal being, in the divine nature that you have received by regeneration,
God can work His work, every day and every hour, unless you are entirely
given up to Him? God cannot. The temple of Solomon was absolutely
surrendered to God when it was dedicated to Him. And every one of us is a
temple of God, in which God will dwell and work mightily on one
condition-absolute surrender to Him. God claims it, God is worthy of it, and
without it God cannot work His blessed work in us.
God not only claims it, but God will work it Himself.
II. GOD ACCOMPLISHES YOUR SURRENDER
I am sure there is many a heart that says: "Ah, but that absolute surrender
implies so much!" Someone says: "Oh, I have passed through so much trial and
suffering, and there is so much of the self-life still remaining. I dare not
face entirely giving it up because I know it will cause so much trouble and
Alas! alas! that God's children have such thoughts of Him, such cruel
thoughts. I come with a message to those who are fearful and anxious. God
does not ask you to give the perfect surrender in your strength, or by the
power of your will; God is willing to work it in you. Do we not read: "it is
God that worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure"
(Philippians 2:13)? And that is what we should seek-to go on our faces
before God, until our hearts learn to believe that the everlasting God
Himself will come in to turn out what is wrong. He will conquer what is
evil, and work what is well pleasing in His blessed sight. God Himself will
work it in you.
Look at the men in the Old Testament, like Abraham. Do you think it was by
accident that God found that man, the father of the faithful and the friend
of God? Do you think that it was Abraham himself, apart from God, who had
such faith and such obedience and such devotion? You know it is not so. God
raised him up and prepared him as an instrument for His glory.
Did God not say to Pharaoh: "For this cause have I raised thee up, for to
show in thee my power" (Exodus 9:16)?
And if God said that of him, will God not say it far more of every child of
Oh, I want to encourage you, and I want you to cast away every fear. Come
with that feeble desire. If there is the fear which says-"Oh, my desire is
not strong enough. I am not willing for everything that may come , and I do
not feel bold enough to say I can conquer everything"- I implore you, learn
to know and trust your God now. Say: "My God, I am willing that You should
make me willing." If there is anything holding you back, or any sacrifice
you are afraid of making, come to God now and prove how gracious your God
is. Do not be afraid that He will command from you what He will not bestow.
God comes and offers to work this absolute surrender in you. All these
searchings and hungerings and longings that are in your heart, I tell you,
they are the drawings of the divine magnet, Christ Jesus. He lived a life of
absolute surrender. He has possession of you; He is living in your heart by
His Holy Spirit. You have hindered and hindered Him terribly, but He desires
to help you to get a hold of Him entirely. And He comes and draws you now by
His message and words. Will you not come and trust God to work in you that
absolute surrender to Himself. Yes, blessed be God! He can do it, and He will
God not only claims it and works it, but God accepts it when we bring it to
III. GOD ACCEPTS YOUR SURRENDER
God works it in the secret of our heart; God urges us by the hidden power of
His Holy Spirit to come and speak it out, and we have to bring and yield to
Him that absolute surrender. But remember, when you come and bring God that
absolute surrender, it may, as far as your feelings or your consciousness
go, be a thing of great imperfection. You may doubt and hesitate and say:
"Is it absolute?"
But, oh, remember there was once a man to whom Christ had said: "If thou
canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth" (Mark 9:23).
And his heart was afraid, and he cried out: "Lord, I believe, help thou mine
unbelief" (Mark 9:24).
That was a faith that triumphed over Satan, and the evil spirit was cast
out. And if you come and say: "Lord, I yield myself in absolute surrender to
my God," even though you do so with a trembling heart and with the
consciousness: "I do not feel the power. I do not feel the determination. I
do not feel the assurance," it will succeed. Do not be afraid, but come-just
as you are. Even in the midst of your trembling, the power of the Holy Spirit
Have you not yet learned the lesson that the Holy Spirit works with mighty
power, while on the human side everything appears feeble? Look at the Lord
Jesus Christ in Gethsemane. We read that He, "through the eternal Spirit"
(Hebrews 9:14), offered Himself a sacrifice unto God. The Almighty Spirit of
God was enabling Him to do it. And yet what agony and fear and exceeding
sorrow came over Him, and how He prayed! Externally, you can see no sign of
the mighty power of the Spirit, but the Spirit of God was there. And even
so, while you are feeble and fighting and trembling, with faith in the
hidden work of God's Spirit do not fear, but yield yourself.
And when you do yield yourself in absolute surrender, let it be with the
faith that God does now accept it. That is the great point, and that is what
we so often miss-that believers should be thus occupied with God in this
matter of surrender. Be occupied with God. We want to get help, every one of
us, so that in our daily life God will be clearer to us, God will have the
right place, and be "all in all." And if we are to have that through life,
let us begin now and look away from ourselves and look up to God. Let each
believe- I, a poor worm on earth and a trembling child of God, full of
failure, sin, and fear, bow here, and no one knows what passes through my
heart. I simply say, "Oh God, I accept Your terms. I have pleaded for
blessing on myself and others. I have accepted Your terms of absolute
surrender." While your heart says that in deep silence, remember there is a
God present that takes note of it, and writes it down in His book. There is
a God present who at that very moment takes possession of you. You may not
feel it, you may not realize it, but God takes possession if you will trust
Him. God not only claims it and works it and accepts it when I bring it, but
God maintains it.
IV. GOD MAINTAINS YOUR SURRENDER
That is the great difficulty with many. People say: "I have often been
stirred at a meeting or at a convention, and I have consecrated myself to
But it has passed away. I know it may last for a week or for a month, but it
fades away. After a time it is all gone."
But listen! It is because you do not believe what I am now going to tell you
and remind you of. When God has begun the work of absolute surrender in you,
and when God has accepted your surrender, then God holds Himself bound to
care for it and to keep it.
Will you believe that?
In this matter of surrender, there are: God and I--I a worm, God the
everlasting and omnipotent Jehovah. Worm, will you be afraid to trust
yourself to this mighty God now? God is willing. Do you not believe that He
can keep you continually, day by day, and moment by moment?
Moment by moment I'm kept in His love;
Moment by moment I've life from above.
If God allows the sun to shine on you moment by moment, without
intermission, will God not let His life shine on you every moment? And why
have you not experienced it? Because you have not trusted God for it, and
you do not surrender yourself absolutely to God in that trust.
A life of absolute surrender has its difficulties. I do not deny that. Yes,
it has something far more than difficulties: it is a life that with men is
absolutely impossible. But by the grace of God, by the power of God, by the
power of the Holy Spirit dwelling in us, it is a life to which we are
destined, and a life that is possible for us, praise God! Let us believe
that God will maintain it.
Some of you have read the words of that aged saint who, on his ninetieth
birthday, told of all God's goodness to him- I mean George Muller. What did
he say he believed to be the secret of his happiness and of all the blessing
which God had given him? He said he believed there were two reasons. The one
was that he had been enabled by grace to maintain a good conscience before
God day by day. The other was that he was a lover of God's Word. Ah, yes, a
good conscience is complete obedience to God day by day, and fellowship with
God everyday in His Word and prayer-that is a life of absolute surrender.
Such a life has two sides-on one side, absolute surrender to work what God
wants you to do; on the other side, to let God work what He wants to do.
First, to do what God wants you to do.
Give yourselves up absolutely to the will of God. You know something of that
will; not enough, far from all. But say absolutely to the Lord God: "By Your
grace I desire to do Your will in everything, every moment of every day."
Say: "Lord God, not a word upon my tongue, but for Your glory. Not a movement
of my temper, but for Your glory. Not an affection of love or hate in my
heart, but for Your glory, and according to Your blessed will."
Someone says: "Do you think that possible?"
I ask, What has God promised you, and what can God do to fill a vessel
absolutely surrendered to Him? Oh, God wants to bless you in a way beyond
what you expect. From the beginning, ear has not heard, neither has the eye
seen, what God has prepared for them that wait for Him (I Corinthians 2:9).
God has prepared unheard-of-things, blessings much more wonderful than you
can imagine, more mighty than you can conceive. They are divine blessings.
Oh, say now:
"I give myself absolutely to God, to His will, to do only what God wants."
It is God who will enable you to carry out the surrender.
And, on the other side, come and say: "I give myself absolutely to God, to
let Him work in me to will and to do of His good pleasure, as He has
promised to do."
Yes, the living God wants to work in His children in a way that we cannot
understand, but that God's Word has revealed. He wants to work in us every
moment of the day. God is willing to maintain our life. Only let our
absolute surrender be one of simple, childlike., and unbounded trust.
V. GOD BLESSES WHEN YOU SURRENDER
This absolute surrender to God brings wonderful blessings.
What Ahab said to his enemy, King Benhadad-"My lord, 0 king, according to
thy word I am thine, and all that I have," will we not say to our God and
loving Father? If we do say it, God's blessing will come upon us. God wants
us to be separate from the world. We are called to come out from the world
that hates God. Come out for God, and say: "Lord, anything for You." If you
say that with prayer, and speak that into God's ear, He will accept it, and
He will teach you what it means.
I say again, God will bless you. You have been praying for blessing. But do
remember, there must be absolute surrender. At every tea-table you see it.
Why is tea poured into that cup? Because it is empty, and given up for the
tea. But put ink or vinegar or wine into it, and will they pour the tea into
the vessel? And can God fill you, can God bless you if you are not
absolutely surrendered to Him? He cannot. Let us believe God has wonderful
blessings for us if we will but stand up for God and say, be it with a
trembling will, yet with a believing heart:
"O God, I accept Your demands. I am Yours and all that I have. Absolute
surrender is what my soul yields to You by divine grace."
You may not have such strong, clear feelings of surrender as you would like
to have, but humble yourselves in His sight, and acknowledge that you have
grieved the Holy Spirit by your self-will, self-confidence, and self-effort.
Bow humbly before Him in the confession of that, and ask Him to break the
heart and to bring you into the dust before Him. Then, as you bow before
Him, just accept God's teaching that in your flesh "there dwelleth no good
thing" (Romans 7:18), and that nothing will help you except another life
which must come in. You must deny self once and for all. Denying self must
every moment be the power of your life, and then Christ will come in and
take possession of you.
When was Peter delivered? When was the change accomplished? The change began
with Peter weeping, and the Holy Spirit came down and filled his heart.
God the Father loves to give us the power of the Spirit. We have the Spirit
of God dwelling within us. We come to God confessing that, and praising God
for it, and yet confessing how we have grieved the Spirit. And then we bow
our knees to the Father to ask that He would strengthen us with all might by
the Spirit in the inner man, and that He would fill us with His mighty
power. And as the Spirit reveals Christ to us, Christ comes to live in our
hearts forever, and the self-life is cast out.
Let us bow before God in humility, and in that humility confess before Him
the state of the whole Church. No words can tell the sad state of the Church
of Christ on earth. I wish I had words to speak what I sometimes feel about
it. Just think of the Christians around you. I do not speak of nominal
Christians, or of professing Christians, but I speak of hundreds and
thousands of honest, earnest Christians who are not living a life in the
power of God or to His glory. So little power, so little devotion or
consecration to God, so little perception of the truth that a Christian is a
man utterly surrendered to God's will! Oh, we want to confess the sins of
God's people around us, and to humble ourselves.
We are members of that sickly body. The sickliness of the body will hinder
us and break us down, unless we come to God. We must, in confession,
separate ourselves from partnership with worldliness, with coldness toward
each other. We must give ourselves up to be entirely and wholly for God.
How much Christian work is being done in the spirit of the flesh and in the
power of self! How much work, day by day, in which human energy-our will and
our thoughts about the work-is continually manifested, and in which there is
little waiting upon God and upon the power of the Holy Spirit! Let us make a
confession. But as we confess the state of the Church, and the feebleness
and sinfulness of work for God among us, let us come back to ourselves. Who
is there who truly longs to be delivered from the power of the self-life,
who truly acknowledges that it is the power of self and the flesh, and who
is willing to cast all at the feet of Christ? There is deliverance.
I heard of one who had been an earnest Christian, and who spoke about the
"cruel" thought of separation and death. But you do not think that, do you?
What are we to think of separation and death? This--death was the path to
glory for Christ. For the joy set before Him, He endured the cross. The
cross was the birthplace of His everlasting glory. Do you love Christ? Do
you long to be in Christ, and yet not like Him? Let death be to you the most
desirable thing on earth - death to self, and fellowship with Christ.
Separation-do you think it a hard thing to be called to be entirely free
from the world, and by that separation to be united to God and His love, by
separation to become prepared for living and walking with God every day?
Surely one ought to say: "Anything to bring me to separation, to death, for
a life of full fellowship with God and Christ."
Come and cast this self-life and flesh-life at the feet of Jesus. Then trust
Him. Do not worry yourselves with trying to understand all about it, but
come in the living faith that Christ will come into you with the power of
His death and the power of His life. Then the Holy Spirit will bring the
whole Christ-Christ crucified and risen and living in glory-into your heart.