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True Fulfillment Depends On Knowing God Through Absolute Surrender

April 11, 2012

“Scriptures about dying to self, finding one’s life by losing it, being crucified with Christ, and living only for Christ make it clear that realizing true fulfillment depends not on preoccupation with fulfillment but on preoccupation with knowing God through absolute surrender.”

Larry Crabb, The Marriage Builder, Page 11

Questions for Reflection:
What things do you look to for fulfillment?
What would it look like for you to know God through absolute surrender?

  1. Jenny Anthony permalink

    What absolute surrender would look like to me.
    When I think about this question The Lord’s Prayer resounds into my soul. “Thy will be done”. This has always gnawed at me. How do I even go about grasping what that means.
    How do I really seek His will and seek it above my own. Is this even possible in a body that wars with spirit? Every time in my life I have tried to believe that His will is best I have found myself not believing that His love for me is reality. Outside the Holy Spirit that would probably take the form of a self imposed martyr, which to me seems more distasteful than outright rebellion, which I am heavily prone to. Maybe what I am trying not to say is that it looks impossible to me. I pray that a day will come I can say otherwise. I am very thankful for this ministry.

  2. Ken permalink

    I think we’re all in that same boat. Our old nature is rebellious through and through. It IS only through the Holy Spirit guiding us in our new nature that we can avoid living out of self motivation and all that comes with self-centeredness.

    Absolute surrender does look (and is) impossible if not for the empowerment of the Holy Spirit!

    • Jenny permalink

      That is very true, it is so easy to wrap ourselves in busy work or even worse, isolation to avoid trusting God. We hide just like Adam and Eve did. Underneath is the fear of exposure, fear of not being enough. Falling short of the glory of God is more than our pride can handle. That being said, why is repentance so difficult? Why hide from the light when the darkness is intolerable?

      • Ken permalink

        Those are really good questions, Jenny! “Why hide from the light when the darkness is intolerable?” should be a bumper sticker on every vehicle so I would have to confront that question dozens of times a day. I think your statement “falling short of the glory of God is more than our pride can handle” is a big part of the answer. We keep doing what we’re doing even when what we’re doing isn’t working. It’s easier because there’s no risk–familiar territory. It’s easier than stepping out in faith. It’s more comfortable than being exposed for who we really are. But being exposed by the light, and humbling ourselves before God (and man) is where grace overflows!

      • Jenny permalink

        Ken I never cease to be amazed in the face of truth. We are a stubborn people indeed! Fear of exposure is such a deadly trap. We never learn no matter how many times we are told. I know in my heart when God brought Adam and Eve to the light He made a covering for them! To me that puts sacrifice in a whole different light. What I have the most trouble with is making that personal. I have so much doubt. It has been a long time since I have felt close to Him. This is as close to fellowship as I have had in several years.

      • Ken permalink

        You’re right. Fear of exposure is a deadly trap. But I think part of the reason we hesitate is because we’ve been put down or given some other form of negative response when we have been vulnerable enough to be transparent in the past. It’s self-protection, though misplaced. We care too much with other people think, and not enough of what our Lord and Savior thinks.

        I’ve had some of my worst relational experiences with other Christians. Too often, I find non-Christians more grace-giving than other Christians. Of course it shouldn’t be that way. God’s Word makes that clear. I could choose bitterness about that, or I could use those situations to motivate me to show grace to others because I know what it feels like to be rejected by man when grace should have prevailed. Bitterness or anger just drives me further from Christ, which is NOT the direction I want to go. So I have to make a choice. To be more transparent and vulnerable, giving grace to those in need, or to move farther away from obedience to the prompting of the Holy Spirit.

        Sometimes I have to DO the opposite of what I FEEL, because I know to do otherwise would grieve the Holy Spirit. One cool thing: when I do the right thing when I don’t feel like doing it, the feelings usually come along pretty quickly thereafter. I sometimes even sense the Spirit within saying, “Well done!”

      • Jenny permalink

        Bitterness does drive us further from Christ. So far in fact we begin to believe He left us, perhaps even to the degree we think of Him as the enemy. In Hosea He said My people are dying from a lack of knowledge. It is easy to know scripture, worship it even, but I believe the knowledge He was speaking of was on a much more personal level. The lack of this knowledge could not lead to an eternal seperation because He is true to His Word. That does not mean it does not lead to a desert experience in this life. The road back can be long and hard.

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