Men on Fire Encounter Retreat (Level 1) Talk 3

The Culture of Surrender

Slide 1 The Culture of Surrender

We saw the Pope say “allowing yourself to be found” is the key to a committed Christian Life.

The Encounter - allowing yourself to be found. Then surrendering to his call on your life...putting down our nets...this is the Culture of Surrender.

Slide 2 Christ Lives in Me

Galatians 2:20 - I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me.

Paul said it so well in Galatians. However, we can’t move effectively in the power of the Holy Spirit if we are defenseless against the main weapon of the enemy which is CONDEMNATION.

Slide 3 Condemnation

Rev 12:10 - And I heard a loud voice in Heaven saying, “Now the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God and the authority of his Christ has come, for the accuser of our brethren has been thrown down, who accuses them day and night before our god.

Condemnation is the work of Satan in conjunction with our own concupiscence (cooperation).  We sin. He accuses. Even when we don’t sin, he accuses.

PERSONAL WITNESS OF RESTORATION FROM CONDEMNATION AND JUDGEMENT

But the Good News, Brothers, is that God wastes nothing, if we surrender to Him and allow him to use it all for his purpose.

Slide 4 Surrender

He gets us ready by all the struggles and trials. All experiences get you ready. Like Moses, for instance, who was raised in a palace, so he knew how to speak to kings.  Then, tending sheep for 40 years, he knew how to be the shepherd of the children of Israel.  God knows the plans He has for you, plans for good and not for evil.

Those seasons or parts of your life you regret -- He wastes nothing! He uses it all in his plan for your life.

Example…

If you had a bad father experience, God will use it so you learn to value sonship.  The battles, the disappointments, our struggles to understand are all used in preparation for our purpose and for His glory.

His hand is on your lives, Brothers. Be encouraged. The key to it all, though, is surrender. Does it sound weak? Paul got right to the point: 

Slide 5 When I am weak, then I am strong.

Second Corinthians 12:10 - For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities; for when I am weak, then I am strong.

Surrender is the fruit of the encounter. Stewardship of the encounter is daily surrender and laying down our nets. We can either surrender and receive or continue in our own strength and sip what God has through a tiny straw.

God has gifts, graces and revelation to give us in order to equip us for his plan. Without surrender, it can look like this:

Slide 6 The Funnel

Believing lies and condemnation from the enemy restricts our cooperation with God’s plan.

Lie Source #1 - The Orphan Spirit

Performance relationship. Do good. Get good. Do bad. Get bad. A blessing and curse view of who God is. 

The Orphan Spirit lie is this: God would love me if I was good enough. There are a lot of orphanages around the country. We call them churches.  On Sunday, the father visits and we try to outdo each other. “Pick me! I’m the smartest! I’m the best!” It’s like God has a limited capacity to love.

There’s competition with the other children for God’s attention.  It’s a “zero sum game”. If I’m right, you’re wrong. If you are blessed, it diminishes me somehow.

Lie Source # 2 – The Obtuse Spirit

Heavy, ponderous, unchanging, self-willed demeanor (PERSONAL EXAMPLE OF OBTUSE SPIRIT) Not allowing God to reveal himself to me in the way He wanted.  I had to be in charge of my spirituality. Surrender allows all the gifts and graces and revelation to freely flow and God can be our strength.

Part of my problem, when I grew up, I had left behind being a son. I ceased receiving.  I had stopped being a son a long time ago. I grew up responsible for everything. I became self-sufficient. I placed high demands on myself.  I began agreeing with the Obtuse and Orphan Spirits. I had narrowed my yes so that less of God’s love was penetrating my heart.

Slide 7 Discussion Starter

  • What lies have I believed that limit my surrender to God?
  • Describe ways you have surrendered to God or ways you are resistant and still need to surrender.

Slide 8 Pastor Bill Johnson

Bill Johnson - Much of what is presently done by Christians can be accomplished apart from God.

Most of what we do for God appeals to human talent and skill. Whatever we can do for God is important but secondary to what we’ve been called to do that is impossible. In surrender, we are acknowledging we have come to the end of what we can accomplish in our own strength. The goal is a deep and meaningful intimacy with the presence of God to give us strength for the mission.

Slide 9 What is the Mission?

Matthew 10:7 - The kingdom of heaven is at hand. Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse lepers, cast out demons.

We may stink at the mission, but in surrender we are called to put out an attempt.

Slide 10 When Heaven Invades Earth

If I understand everything going on in my Christian life, I have an inferior Christian life.

The realm of mystery is as important as the realm of revelation.

Living with mystery is one of the privileges of the faith. God loves to give us faith and revelation, but you will always have an increase in mystery with your increase in revelation.  It’s essential.  That’s why it is called the faith. Otherwise, it would be called the understanding. Surrendering to the things we don’t understand is key.

What the Lord has a habit of doing is allowing circumstances to come into our life that contradict our revelation.  Here is our revelation. Here is our mystery. Together, they equal the Cross (ARMS SPREAD WIDE).

Give a personal example of a mystery that has to be surrendered to – a personal example of struggle and surrender. 

Faith is not the result of effort. It is the result of surrender, of yielding to grace; it’s the fruit of God’s work in me. It’s not my striving that produces faith.  All of us have been disappointed in our efforts at faith. Striving to believe creates a realm of presumption that can misinterpret what God is saying.

Slide 11 - Intimacy

Psalm 34:8 - Taste and see the goodness of the LORD.

The goal of intimacy with God is not just for the Saints. It is for each of us.

I love how Thomas Merton describes intimacy with God: “I have only one desire and that is the desire for solitude - to disappear into God, to be submerged in his peace, to be lost in the secret of his face.

That is the taste that satisfies. When I lose focus on that taste, I will long for what does not satisfy. The more we focus on the taste that satisfies, our taste buds change. Our appetite for the world diminishes.

(Give an example of your appetite for something changing.)

The more I focus on Him and who He is, the less appetite I have for sin.  The more I focus on my sin and how unworthy I am, how weak I am and how much harder I need to work, the more attractive sin becomes.

Romans 7:19-24 - The desire to do good is inside of me, but I can't do it. I don't do the good that I want to do, but I do the evil that I don't want to do. But if I do the very thing that I don't want to do, then I'm not the one doing it anymore. Instead, it is sin that lives in me that is doing it. So I find that when I want to do what is good, evil is right there with me.

O wretched man that I am. Who will deliver me?

Romans 8:1Now, therefore, there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.  For the Law of the Spirit of life has freed me from the Law of Sin and Death!  To set the mind on flesh (my strength), is death. But to set the mind on the Spirit is LIFE AND PEACE.

The Father is calling and seeking and running after you. Surrender to Him and learn the sweetness of his presence.

Slide 12 Discussion Starter

  • Do I have an intimate relationship with God?
  • How have I been limited in my relationship with God by relying on my own strength and understanding?

Slide 13 Sonship

Romans 8:15 For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of sonship when we cry ABBA, father.

Son Focused, not Sin Focus. 

I am in dangerous territory. Does that mean sin isn’t a reality? Of course not! But what does Paul say in Romans chapter 6? “What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound? By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it?” 

The goal here is the quality of the relationship with the Father. More intimacy as a son stops me from even desiring anything else that would damage that intimacy. The act of contrition say I am sorry for having offended thee. I detest all my sins because of thy just punishment, but MOST OF ALL BECAUSE I HAVE OFFENDED YOU, OH GOD, WHO ART ALL GOOD AND DESERVING OF MY LOVE. Let’s realize the truth here and not just mouth the words.

If we are really interested in a sinless life, focus on sonship and intimacy with the God we have actually met. Unfortunately, in the Body of Christ, I hear of lot of this:

  1. My nature is more reserved. It’s not natural for me to share my faith with someone else or raise my hands in worship.
  2. I’m uncomfortable with _____________(fill in the blank)
  3. I’m not gifted in _____________(fill in the blank)
  4. I don’t feel like _____________(fill in the blank)
  5. It’s so inconvenient to _____________(fill in the blank)
  6. I have no time to _____________(fill in the blank)

I just want to say “THERE IS MORE!!” You have not seen all the works of the Lord!

The culture of the world has corrupted our understanding of how God intends to accomplish his purposes in creating a Kingdom Culture. The Kingdom of heaven isn’t built on convenience or comfort or our natural gifting. It is built on the supernatural power of God’s grace activated by our yes…our surrender.

(Give an example of overcoming only doing what is comfortable.)

The call on our life is to build the Kingdom…heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse lepers…we don’t adjust the call to suit our gifts. We cultivate the gifts to enable us to fulfill the call. I can’t adjust the will of God to what I think my gifts are or what I have been told my gifts are. I have to adjust my expectation of the use of my gifts according to God’s call. I can’t look at my personality and say, “My personality gifts are these and therefore God will use me this way.” No! God doesn’t work that way.

Slide 14 Story of Sinker Redwood

Once discarded, but now highly sought after.

Who is the most skilled Jewish intellect in the new testament (besides Jesus)? Paul.  Where did God send him to evangelize? The gentiles.

Who was the most crass, brash, non-finesse apostle? Peter. Where does God send him? To the Jews.

Why? If God sends you to minister in your place of natural gifting, and you do well, you may take the credit. However, if He sends you where you don’t have natural gifting, you will have to trust him and rely on His gifting, and then He is glorified.

Slide 15 Rescued from the Deep

(Give an example of God sending you to do something outside of your comfort zone.)

He does this so that I can’t rely on my own strength. Brothers, when God calls you, He enables you, by His grace, to do what was previously impossible for you to do. He doesn’t look for skilled people. He looks for people to say yes. That is surrender  His will, not my will.

Slide 16 Sinker Redwood Guitar

We have been setting our eyes on what we can succeed at in our own power. We have self-sufficiency, self-reliance that slow us down.

If we are not cutting that edge of what you can’t do without his grace, we will be old wine skins, not ready for new wine. Cutting that edge keeps us like new wine skins, ready for new wine

Slide 17 No Longer Forgotten

God is looking for some courageous people that will embrace the assignment to heal the sick, to raise the dead, cast out demons and cleanse lepers.  Freely I receive. Freely I give because it is all from God.

From Bishop Olmsted:

Since this is our identity – being beloved sons of God the Father – is it surprising that the devil is waging a fierce battle on masculinity and fatherhood in our day?  The process of Christian conversion includes coming to know God’s love and experiencing brotherhood with Christ who deepens our identity as sons of the Father in the Holy Spirit.

Slide 18 – Song: I Surrender All

  1. All to Jesus I surrender, All to Him I freely give.
    • I will ever love and trust him, In His presence daily live.
    • Chorus:  I surrender all, I surrender all.
    • All to thee, my blessed Savior, I surrender all.
  2. All to Jesus I surrender, humbly at His feet I bow,
    • Worldly pleasures all forsaken; take me, Jesus, take me now.
  3. All to Jesus I surrender, make me, Savior, wholly Thine;
    • Let me feel Thy Holy Spirit, truly know that Thou art mine.
  4. All to Jesus I surrender, Lord, I give myself to Thee;
    • Fill me with Thy love and power; let Thy blessing fall on me.

Israel Houghton’s version - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KRZDHmlmKCU

Slide 19 Discussion Starter

  • What limits have I made for myself that protect me from God’s call to do what I think is impossible?  What are my excuses?
  • Is my identity based in my accomplishments and talents?
  • Can I be more open to allowing God to use me in new and exciting ways?