Better to be Surrendered

Think about the woman who broke the alabaster box of ointment and poured it out on Jesus. This was all her devotion. She was surrendered. Her worship for Him was so great. Psalm 95:1-2, 8-10

Speaker(s): Pastor Thomas Schaller
Sermon # 11427
7:30 PM on 2/28/2018

 

P.Schaller

Billy Graham was a man of God. He had a message. Almost 100 years old. Passed away recently. I love it he is being honored in the Capitol building in the U.S.A. The government, the people in part are saying this guy did something. He shared the gospel, preached the gospel in our country and we can say before God thank you for sending him.

I want to make that statement. I don’t want it to pass. When the righteous rule, the people rejoice. Tell it like it is. Give us a man of God, a message, and we will benefit. We might not like it, but if it’s true, let’s take it. I might not like it. In some countries these people are murdered. Two pastored murdered (in Iran). These people are murdered and thrown away. It happened in Israel and today around the world. This man preached the Gospel and many got saved and there are some great benefits. I’m saying it on a spiritual level. We’re not done. We’re not finished. We have something to say and not afraid to say it. We are not afraid to live it and share it and love people. We are not self-righteous or arrogant. We are not better than other people. When other people have problems, we want to pray for them and minister the life of Christ to people. We are in the world as salt and light. I appreciate it. Four private citizens honored this way: Rosa Parks, Martin Luther King, another one and Billy Graham. It’s an honor. We pause to appreciate these citizens who did something. I wanted to start the service out by saying that! In a book written about Billy Graham, the leadership secrets of Billy Graham. There’s a story about what was one of the most painful experience he had as a leader. He tells a story about his friendship with Richard Nixon and his many hours of spiritual exchange and counsel. When he lost the run for the presidency against John Kennedy, he didn’t know if he would run again. He met with Billy Graham, who when they were walking on the beach, Billy Graham advised him to go for it. And Nixon did. He considered him a friend for more than 40 years. I have the piece here. Something terrible happened in their relationship.

“Their many conversations convinced him of Nixon’s genuine yet still private religious belief. Midway through Nixon’s first term Billy wrote a friend. My expectations were high.” He wrote to him, Nixon and they had this connection. “Years later, when Nixon fell, Billy’s embarrassment stung him because the President had betrayed him publicly as a visible ally and privately as a close friend. The association with Nixon tarnished Billy’s ministry and legacy. Billy wondered how he could have been so wrong about him. Looking back these 45 years later, Billy wondered if I exaggerated his spirituality in my own mind. I just couldn’t understand it. When he wrote in his autobiography just as I am considering all that has intervened, I wondered whether I might have exaggerated his spirituality in my own mind. I just couldn’t understand it.” When he found out about the Watergate tapes and “realized this man was not the man he thought he was. The recorded voice was unmistakably but Billy did not recognize his good friend. Nixon’s filthy language, cold calculation shocked him. Billy retreated to the study in his home. The tapes made him physically and emotionally sick. He wept and vomited. Normally an astute judge of character, Billy never saw this devastation coming.” The scandal resulted in Nixon’s impeachment. Nixon moved to California back home. Billy being felt so betrayed and devastated – maybe you have had something happen like that in your life. He tried to call Nixon and he didn’t return his calls. He tried to reach him by phone but without success. “Even after Nixon left the White house in disgrace, Billy refused to pile on. I shall always consider him a personal friend. His personal suffering must be almost unbearable. He deserves the prayers of those who feel betrayed and let down. Billy remained pastoral…He tried to visit Nixon in California, but the former president was too sick for visitors. Ruther Graham hired an airplane to fly around Nixon’s home towing a banner that read, “Nixon, God loves you and so do we.” The following spring, Billy finally was able to visit Nixon in California.”

I want to use that story to say something to all of us that I think is useful.

Job has his trial and his wife said in Job 2:9. Job, the big question is in Billy Graham’s life in regard to that scandal, okay I get dirty in the scandal but I know something more and that is that I have understood in my life that this is how it goes. I have a relationship with God that loves me. And I love God. There is a kind of surrender that you can’t find with people – with people we can surrender or cooperate or agree but when things become difficult, there is an important aspect. Not a surrender to people but it is better we would be surrendered to God. Job’s wife wanted him to curse God and die. It could be your life is shameful. We have lost. We have played the game. Let’s quit. Billy, you were with Nixon. It’s a scandal. How it affected him it says it was the hardest thing he had ever gone through. He’s a man of integrity and there’s something more important: it’s not my integrity. I surrender to God. I can be in trouble but I want to surrender to God and walk with God. Job’s wife said the game is over. We lost. Job, we lost. We lost everything. Job is saying, no. There is something bigger and that is surrender to God. God is big. God is great. God will take care of us. God will lead us. I have a booklet called Don’t Quit. Surrender to God. “There are people in our church who haven’t surrendered to God at the point that God is dealing with them. They are having all kinds of troubles. They are sincerely after God in their temperament but not surrendered to God in their heart. Maybe I’m a submitted kind of person and submitted to God. But that maybe is easy for me. That point when I want to quit am I surrendered to God is really going to count. When Billy Graham is in the trial of his life, he has to find something more than this stuff. He has to say if I am completely before God, whether I win or lose I believe in him and with all my heart I am trusting in him. God is dealing with you at a particular point. There must be an irrevocable, unconditional surrender precisely at that point that God is dealing with you.

Job 2:10, let’s say I’m wrestling with an addiction. I am trusting God he delivers me and I go a long time and I’m free. Then it comes back. I fail, fall, and stumble. There are many that have failed and stumbled many times and some give up. They quit. It’s at that point God is saying I want you to surrender to me. But I have already done this and that. God is saying I am God. I don’t need to hear that. I am God. It’s Romans 7. The good that I would do…oh wretched man that I am. Okay. You’re wretched. What are you going to do? I thank God through Christ Jesus. We can surrender at that point. That’s where it really makes a difference. This is what I believe about it. There are times in my life on the horizontal you hit something and you say are you going to quit now? We say where will I go? Job’s wife said curse God and die. Is it the end, death. What do I benefit from death? Will the dust praise you? What have I gained by dying, quitting, hating Richard Nixon, looking for revenge? Who gains with my cursing and fussing and spitting and complaining and crying? At that point where God speaks to you he says give me your heart. Trust me.

Psalm 95, Prov. 24:10, let’s do a chain up here. Big strong links. Then you have a paper link. How strong is the chain? It’s only here as strong as the weakest link. That’s where the ministers of God quit. It’s at that point where there needs to be surrender. That’s where I quit. It’s not the good days but in the weakest time. When I faint in the day of adversity, I have very little strength. It’s possible I’m running on my temperament, my strength. Job could respond, no. It’s my weakest day is where I find my greatest strength. I’ll be surrendered to God personally and individually.

Jn 12:3, I want you to see one thing about this story. Who told her to do it? We don’t have any record. It was her. Mary. Mary. It was probably never done before and she did it. It was her and her alone that was surrendered and she was saying, this person is worth everything to me. I love this person. This person, Jesus, means everything to me. The value of Jesus is so great that whatever it is, whoever I am and whatever I go through is actually my worship of him. It’s my value on him. It’s my love for him. When you see a great man like Billy Graham laying at state in the Rotunda building and the Capitol thinking about him. I don’t know how much is on the news. I saw it on the internet. You know there were trials. You know there was a weak link in the chain. You know there were times to quit. That devotion you have in you and it bubbles up at times and after you have it and it fades away and not there at the moment, you remember it. You remember what it’s like to have freedom. You remember what it’s like to have holiness. You remember what it’s like to be sanctified. You remember what it is to be Spirit-filled and what humility is and what trust is. You remember the joy of the Lord. Ruth Graham ordered an airplane because they wouldn’t take their phone calls. A banner saying “God loves you and so do we.” That sounds like God to me. If you and I are surrendered to God, I think God will find a way to change the world around us. If we are surrendered in our trials, in our loneliness. Pastor said loneliness is for those who don’t know God in Body life. Anxiety is for those who don’t know themselves. Negative confessions are for those who don’t know the promises. Emptiness is for those not being filled with the Spirit. We are more than conquerors through him. I leave Sunday night for Poland. Many are leaving for Eurocon and the prayers are valuable. We are doing this as a team. We have a worldwide influence. We have a lot of people coming. Thank you for your love and prayers and this subject on surrender to God.

Ps 95:1 short meaning, let’s have a halleluiah breakdown of thanking God and making God big and dancing on the tables and rejoicing, going wild with noise and faith and God is huge. He created the universe. The fish and the birds and you and me. He’s in charge. Why worry about anything. God is great. This is the way it starts. The psalmist is to get God big in your heart. Worship him. Be very thankful. Let’s come before his presence with thanksgiving and make a joyful noise. He is a great God.

vs. 3. Job, you’ve been given the counsel to die. Why die? God is a great God. I don’t know about the future, but I can trust in God. I believe God. Our God gets small with our suffering.

vs. 8. Harden not your heart. It will happen. You could get so upset and vomit in the bathroom. So upset, so heartbroken, so depressed.

The Finnish Time Magazine in 1979 had an editorial piece there. We were in it and there was people who write in on the issues. We were in the public eye. We were on the Finnish version of 60 minutes. We were being accused of being a cult. People were calling us and so on. One writer said the American ambassador should be ashamed of Tom Schaller. In the comic book section in the crossword puzzle, the question was what was the name of the Bible Speaks leader in Finland? You would put in Schaller! That was interesting. What will happen to you when you finish Bible college? What will happen to you when some hard time comes? If you could dance on the table and say God is great and big. If you could see in your Bible and study and the Holy Spirit shows you Jesus. And Jesus is enough for me. I know he is. He can pluck up the addiction and throw it away. I know he is my Comforter; I know he is my peace. I know God is enough for me. Some young people may worry about your future. God is going to take care about you and me. Don’t worry about it. He will take care of us. He will. It goes into this warning. Harden not your heart. It’s not right what happened to me. My heart gets strangely cold. I get unhappy. I’m more wounded than ever. God says in verse 8 harden not your hearts.

vs. 9. They come through the Red Sea. What was it like? Wall of water on that side, a wall of water on that side. 2 million coming through on dry land. Egyptian army behind them. It says they saw the bodies of the Egyptians washed up on the shore. That’s in the Bible. You can read it. They saw the work of God. How long did it last? Three days. Three days later they are crying and complaining. Are we brought out here to die? Did you see what happened three days ago? Have you forgotten it already? Are your hearts now hardened after you have seen my work?

I have seen God’s work and I’m afraid I would get old and crusty and hard. We remember the things God has done in Bible college. I remember the spirit moving in those days when I was there 40 years ago. I remember getting into the Bible and listening to the verse and writing it down, looking it up and thinking about it and reading it and walking by faith and following. In my trouble, surrendering to God. In that surrender, the Lord is there. That’s how you serve God. Not your strength but the surrender to God. 40 years long was I grieved with this generation…If they could have, three days later they could have surrendered to God. We don’t have any water, Moses.

Let us believe God. Let us ask God. God will show us. Yes, he will. I hope that helps. Get it, think about it, and chew on it. Your life won’t necessary be a bowl of cherries but you can find God. Someone will say give up and we could say I feel like that but I ‘m not going to. He is the way and the truth and the life. I little bit believe in what you are saying. I don’t like this rodeo at all but I’m going to surrender to God and go for it and trust him. God will show up for you and me. He always does.

 


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