Peace and Surrender
April 30, 2019
Were you able to attend the Easter services at NewPointe? What a great day we had! If you were able to join us, you know I shared that Easter is about resurrecting peace. Peace is the most valuable yet most missing element in life for thousands and thousands of people.
The truth is, Easter is all about making peace with God possible, and then the peace of God possible for every person who trusts Jesus Christ to be the forgiver of their sins and leader of their life.
We come to know peace with God by placing our faith in the person of Jesus Christ.
The peace of God is experienced and sustained by surrender and submission to Christ.
Experiencing peace with God and living in the peace of God gives us internal rest and satisfaction. There is nothing more empowering than going to bed at night and waking up in the morning, assured that all is well between us and God. It gives us emotional freedom that nothing else can supply.
Then, that experience of peace with God and enjoying the peace of God positions us to make peace with and live in peace with others. Who wouldn’t want that? That’s what everyone seeks in life. To know that there is no one on this planet against whom you hold a grudge, have ongoing animosity, or an unwillingness to care about is transformative and releasing. Peaceful relationships that provide satisfaction are life’s great treasures.
After Easter, a very sincere person, already a believer, shared with me, “Dwight, I want the peace of God, but I don’t know how.” I responded with what God has taught me. We tend to think or believe that everything God wants to do for us and in us in done in that initial moment of salvation. Not true. God gives us forgiveness, and that war between us is over. But there is much more to the peace of God than simply saying a prayer. The peace of God comes about through sustained surrender and submission to Christ. It is trusting Christ practically, enough to really obey Him.
How do we practically surrender to God? I believe that Jesus showed us through His conversations with ordinary people who were just like us when He was here on earth, and through the words He taught. He repeatedly talked about two areas of life that challenge every single human being. Sustained surrender and submission to Christ in these areas deepens our level of trust and peace and leads to peace and trust across the board.
The two tangible ways are . . .
1. Tithing: We tend to trust in money. Repeatedly, through the prophets and then through Jesus Himself, God says He wants us to trust in HIM, not our resources, for our security and needs. Tithing right off the top is a practical way to surrender. We are saying as we do it that we trust God enough to obey without seeing how it will turn out. Giving God the very first of our resources loosens our grip on money and is a practical faith step that brings increased peace almost immediately.
2. Time: In the same way that we fear we will never have enough money, we tend to think we don’t have enough time. We work and plan and over schedule so much that we leave ourselves without margin. We can’t serve in God’s kingdom, so often we even book ourselves up on Sundays and figure God understands if we miss services. We end the week and start the week exhausted. How can we give God time? It’s a resource that we already don’t have enough of, and we say with a sigh, “There are only 24 hours in a day.” But again, God tells us that if we will surrender to Him and allow Him to have first place in our schedule, if we are willing to keep the Sabbath that He created for us, He can multiply our time and energy and help us know what is really important. Again, it leads to the peace of God.
Peace with God, peace of God. Gifts of inestimable value. They come with surrender.