And I shall lift up my hands to Your commandments, which I love; and will meditate on Your statutes.
I remember watching footage of that military offensive. Sadaam called it the mother of all battles, but the truth of the matter was the Iraqi soldiers were ill-equipped to take on America. In one memorable scene, the Iraqis surrendered to U.S. military without even a shot being fired. They came out of their bunkers with their hands in the air – the global sign of surrender.
A surrendered soldier has ceased fighting. He has relinquished his weapons and his rights. He is now pliable and agreeable to the will of the conqueror.
When it comes to God and the commands of God, have you surrendered? The psalmist in Psalm 119 had surrendered to God’s commands. He lifted up his hands in surrender. In verse 128 of Psalm 119, he goes on to say, “I esteem right all Your precepts concerning everything.” He didn’t just surrender to various commandments from God; he surrendered to all of them.
IT’S NOT A CAFETERIA
Have you noticed how easy it is for us to get a cafeteria mindset with regard to the commands of God? We pick and choose what to obey and what to leave behind. “I’ll have an order of baptism, church membership, Bible reading and prayer, please … but I’ll pass on tithing, serving, submitting to authority, and sexual purity.” Hmmmm. It’s not a cafeteria!
God’s Word is right concerning everything, not just the things with which you agree. We are to take all of God’s commands and surrender to them. As the song we sang last Sunday goes, “I’ll say, ‘Yes, Lord. Yes, Lord. Yes, yes, Lord. Amen!’” We didn’t sing, “I’ll say, ‘Yes, Lord. No way, Lord. Maybe one day, Lord. Amen!’”
WHAT ABOUT THE DIFFICULT THINGS?
There is no doubt that certain commands are harder for us that other ones. For example, we are called to “discipline yourself [ourselves] for the purpose of godliness” (1 Timothy 4:7). That is a difficult command for the person who is undisciplined by nature.
My wife is very disciplined, and I have to really work at it. Debbie can have a jar of candy in the house and only eat one piece every other day – what discipline! I nearly ate the entire bowl of jelly beans last night while watching the news – what a lack of discipline!
So what about the difficult commands for you? Maybe sexual purity is a difficult command for you to obey. Or perhaps for you it is gossip, or forgiveness, or honesty, or integrity, or loving your enemies. Here is the secret: surrender to all of God’s commandments and see all of them as right for your life!
That doesn’t mean you will not fail and fall from time to time. It simply means your heart is surrendered, and you desire to obey ALL of God’s Word because you know it is right for your life and will produce joy and peace as you walk in His ways.
How about lifting your hands in prayer right now? “Dear God, I want You to know that I am surrendering anew and afresh to Your will, Your ways, and Your Word. My way is not right, but Your way is right concerning everything! Give me power, Lord, to obey You … for that is what I want to do. I want to please You, my King, my Savior, and my God. In Jesus’ name. Amen!
Jeff Schreve is Senior Pastor of First Baptist Church in Texarkana, Texas. He and his wife Debbie have been married for over 20 years and are blessed with three wonderful girls. Jeff began From His Heart Ministries, a radio and television ministry, in January of 2005. This ministry is completely listener/viewer supported. It continues only through the faithful and generous gifts of people like you. Pastor Jeff takes no salary from this ministry. All gifts go to further the broadcast.