There is an initial act of yielding that is to be followed by a continuous attitude so that as we come to know God and His will better through daily communion we yield instantly to Him any un-yielded place or thing. Someone has tersely said, “Surrender is a crisis that develops into a process.”
May I use a very homely illustration? A man and woman through mutual faith and love yield themselves to each other in marriage. Neither of them knows then all that is involved in this surrender to each other. The wife knew that her time must be given to making the home but she had not realized how little opportunity would be left for the things she had formerly done. She rebels and uses time for things which necessitates neglect of home duties. Misunderstanding and estrangement follow. Or the husband knew that money would be required to care for his wife and supply the needs of the home but he did not know what extravagant tastes she had or what a poor manager she was. So he has to use money he wished to spend on his business or his own pleasure. He rebels and trouble ensues. What do this husband and wife do? Do they remarry each time such a misunderstanding or disagreement comes? Even the idea is absurd. If they are sensible and truly love each other they will acknowledge that there was more in the marriage vows than they realized at the time; each will recognize that all, not a part, was given in the mutual surrender and each will be willing to yield unselfishly and gladly to whatever makes for mutual interest and welfare. Happy and harmonious married life demands not only an initial act of yielding but a continuous attitude of yielding.
We who have loved the Lord and believed in Him are united to Him. “Ye also are become dead to the law, by the body of Christ, that ye should be married to another, even to him who is raised from the dead.” But no one of us ever knew when he entered into oneness with Christ all that would be involved in such a union. But as we live with Him we learn more of His desires, His will, His purposes, His plans, and we see many things in our lives contrary to these. This does not, however, necessitate another surrender but only as instantaneous yielding of the thing to Him.
From the human standpoint the first condition for a life lived on the highest plane is the definite, voluntary, final yielding of the life to Christ as Lord. The primary requirement for the fullness of the Holy Spirit has been met. “When we surrender our sins and believe we receive the Holy Spirit; when we surrender our lives and believe, we are filled with the Holy Spirit [Eph. 1:13; 5:18]. The receiving of the Spirit is God’s answer to repentance and faith; the fullness of the Spirit is God’s answer to surrender and faith. At conversion the Spirit enters; at surrender the Spirit, already entered, takes full possession. The supreme human condition of the fulness of the Spirit is a life wholly surrendered to God to do His will” (J. H. McConkey, The Threefold Secret of the Holy Spirit, p. 43).
I once visited a college to conduct evangelistic meetings. I was entertained in a home in which the guest room was over the kitchen and was approached by an outside stairway. Very soon my trunk arrived. I was alone in the house. As it was raining very hard, I decided to have the trunk put into the downstairs. I started to open one door but could not–it was locked. I went to another door as there were three in a row, and put my hand on the knob to open it but could no–it too was locked. I tried the third door but with no better success–it also was locked.
Suddenly seized with a strange sense of aloneness I rushed upstairs to the little back-room guest chamber–the only place in the house I was expected to use. To be a bit more conscious of the warm, living, loving presence of my Christ I kneeled by the bedside to pray. Instantly He spoke to me, saying, “Do you not know that is the way thousands of people treat Me? They invite Me into their lives and then they put Me away in a little hack guest chamber and there they expect me to stay. But I long to enter into every room of their lives and share all their experiences.”
Oh! my friends, where have you put the Lord Jesus Christ in your life? Have you any locked doors? Have you put Him away in some little hidden corner and given Him no freedom in your life? Has He longed to get into the social hall of your life where all your pleasures are? Has He put His nail-pierced hand on the door, longing to enter, but could not–for it is locked from the inside? Has He wanted to enter into the room where your business was carried on and share in both its projects and profits? Has He been denied entrance because shady, crooked practices went on there which His all-seeing eye would detect? Has He longed to enter into the room where life plans were being shaped and to help in the fashioning of them? And He tried the door but entrance was denied –locked from the inside? And has He who longs to fill and to bless you gone back to His little upstairs back room with a grieved and sorrowful heart?
I went from that college town to another. My hostess there was a dear widow. Her home was very humble. We ate in the kitchen but oh! such hospitality I have seldom enjoyed. Every good thing which her frugal means would permit her to provide she had for me. The first day she said to me, “Miss Paxson, my home is very humble but while you are here it is all yours. Go where you want to and do just what you want to–just make yourself at home.” And I, who travelled constantly, oh! how I spread out over that whole house and made it mine the few days I was there!
Oh! friends, is the Lord Jesus living within you? Have you ever said to Him, “Lord Jesus, I have only a very simple life to offer you as a dwelling place but while you are here it is all yours. Go where you want to, do what you want to–just make yourself at home!”[Eph. 3:17]. He waits for just such an invitation. How quickly He will accept it when once honestly offered and how He will spread out over the whole life–truly making Himself at home. If you have not unlocked all the doors from the inside and given Him a gracious and glad invitation to enter, will you do so today?
Part 2 of 2, Grace Notes, March 29, 2007
by Ruth Paxson. Life on the Highest Plane, Volume 3, from Chapter 3, Moody Bible Institute 1928. http://www.goodnews.org.au/life/truthfl-27.html
For further reading on this theme, see GN “Total Surrender.”
“Ruth Paxson lived from 1889-1949. Ruth Paxson was Bible teacher, missionary, and author whose writings are classics today. Born in Manchester, Iowa, she dedicated her life to Christ while she was young. After graduating from the State University of Iowa, she attended Moody Bible Institute. Several years later, she served as YWCA secretary and college secretary for her home state and later traveled as secretary for the Student Volunteer Movement.
She sailed for the mission field in China in 1911, sponsored by the YWCA. Before long she left for health reasons and began to teach Bible in Europe and the United States and continued to do so, with writing, until her death. Her detail and concern for accuracy during her years as secretary gave her the carefulness she needed in her writing and teaching. Life on the Highest Plane is the book that has received the most acclaim.” http://www.sarahsministry.org