Let It Go & Surrender

  1. Message: In Acts 19 there is an interesting mix of events that completely disrupted Ephesus. The itinerate Jewish exorcists saw the miraculous things going on when Paul ministered in the name of Jesus. They weren’t believers, but they saw it was working so they tried to use the “name of Jesus whom Paul preaches” to cast out some demons. This did not go well for them because the spirits recognized that they had no spiritual authority whatsoever and they overpowered these men. This brought fear and opened up the gospel to lots of people. When they turned to Christ they turned from their idolatry and this greatly impacted the business of selling idols. The silversmith in Ephesus was very upset about the loss in revenue. He was so upset that he riled up the townspeople and they rushed into the amphitheater in a state of confusion. They fought for the goddess they served-not because they believed it, but because it was a money-making business to them. In the cases of both the Jewish exorcists and the craftsmen of Ephesus, they saw the power and evidence of Jesus Christ at work, but they looked past it and chose what they knew. It seems like this is the case for a lot of people. They see the power of Jesus at work, but they don’t want to disrupt what they have worked so hard to achieve so they deny it.
  2. Command: Let it go. What we think we are controlling or gaining from is a false security anyway!
  3. Promise: If we surrender absolutely everything to Jesus and accept the loss of our own control, he gives us something even better and it comes with peace and freedom from guilt.
  4. Warning: When we surrender, we will certainly feel the loss of the perceived benefits of things we were holding onto. This could be power, financial gain, our false sense of security or even relationships.
  5. Application: This story had more to do with salvation, but I believe even those of us who are saved see things in God that we recognize as powerful and life-changing and are afraid to surrender to the change. We are afraid of how it will disrupt our comfort zone, or disrupt the things that we believe we are gaining from-whether it be power or income, so we don’t fully surrender ourselves to the change. We might even talk about it from the outside, but deny the power of change on the inside. Our surrender costs something. There is no question about that, but our soul is worth the sacrifice of anything that would stand in the way. The most miraculous part of it all is that if we sacrifice those things for he sake of gaining our soul, we find that the rewards beyond our salvation are even better than what we once held onto-and there is no longer any guilt attached. My challenge to myself is to pay attention to the things I’m hanging onto and check myself for things I know are true, but haven’t surrendered over completely. This could be an attitude or a mindset, or even a behavior.

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