Freedom in Surrender – Devastating Decisions – We all face devastating times in life requiring devastating decisions. You experience financial devastation, you lose your job, lose a loved one to death, lose your reputation, lose a spouse to divorce, lose your health, etc. How do you experience freedom by surrendering?
Freedom in Surrender – Devastating Decisions – sermon video audio notes
Freedom in Surrender - Devastating Decisions - sermon video audio notes
Scriptures: Romans 15:4, 2 Samuel 12:15-16, 2 Samuel 12:16-19, 2 Samuel 12:22-23, 2 Samuel 12:23, 2 Samuel 12:20, 2 Samuel 12:20, Psalms 73:16-17, 2 Samuel 12:20, 2 Samuel 12:24
Life Gate Church Reaching Up and Reaching Out
Freedom in Surrender - Devastating Decisions - sermon video
Freedom in Surrender - Devastating Decisions - sermon notes
Our theme and topic is Freedom in Surrender: Devastating Decisions. Or we could say Freedom in Surrender is Devastating Decisions. Surrendering to some decisions we make are devastating.
Surrender is an unpopular word disliked almost as much as the word submission. It implies losing. No one wants to be a loser. Surrender conjures unpleasant images of defeat and forfeiting to a stronger opponent. The word is almost always used in a negative context. So, how can there be freedom in surrender?
Freedom and Surrender seem an oxymoron. The words freedom and surrender seem an apparent contradictions. Are they?
I want to read you The Serenity Prayer. We’ve all heard it, but probably not the entire prayer.
God grant me the serenity
To accept the things I cannot change;
Courage to change the things I can;
And wisdom to know the difference.
(That’s the part we’ve heard. Let’s read the remainder.)
Living one day at a time;
Enjoying one moment at a time;
Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace;
Taking, as He did, this sinful world
As it is, not as I would have it;
Trusting that He will make all things right
IF I SURRENDER TO HIS WILL;
So that I may be reasonably happy in this life
And supremely happy with Him
Forever and ever in the next. Amen.
There is a direct connection between the pathway to peace and surrender. Surrendering to God’s will is the pathway to peace and freedom. The only way to win a fight with God is to surrender.
We want to think of ourselves in control. Surrender says we are not. Sometimes we find ourselves being carried away by events totally out of our control. We bring up our children as conscientiously as we can. Then they rebel and do things they never learned from us. We give years of loyalty to a company. Then they let you go as if they never knew you. You do everything you can to stay healthy then you find yourself with a debilitating illness. What we learn is though we think we’re in control and want to be in control of our lives, we actually are not.
There comes a time when we have to let go, as our background image (dove and hand) depicts. Letting go is not the same as giving up. Letting go is a positive choice. It’s an act of faith. It’s trusting that our lives are ultimately in God’s hands.
We are going to look at the passage in the Bible where King David and Bathsheba lost their baby son to death. First I want to read this passage.
Romans 15:4 Such things were written in the Scriptures long ago to TEACH US. They give us HOPE AND ENCOURAGEMENT as we WAIT PATIENTLY FOR GOD’S PROMISES.
Circle the hope and encouragement part. God’s given us promises, but sometimes we need hope and encouragement while we wait. The story of David going through a devastating time of decision is not only a story. It teaches us how there is freedom in surrender. It will teach you and give you hope and encouragement in whatever you are going though.
2 Samuel 12:15-16 After Nathan returned to his home, the LORD made Bathsheba’s baby deathly ill. DAVID BEGGED GOD TO SPARE THE CHILD…
I’m not going to attempt to explain this passage or justify it. All I want us to see is David is in a fight with God, and the only way to win a fight with God is to surrender. Ever felt you were in a fight with God? We know the story. Bathsheba was pregnant. The baby was born. The baby became very, very sick near death. David, a responsible father, was on the ground begging God to spare the child.
2 Samuel 12:16-19 David begged God to spare the child. He went without food and lay all night on THE BARE GROUND. The leaders of the nation PLEADED WITH HIM TO GET UP and eat with them, but he refused. Then on the seventh day THE BABY DIED. David’s advisers were afraid to tell him. “He was so broken up about the baby being sick,” they said. “What will he do to himself when we tell him the child is dead?” But when David saw them whispering, he realized what had happened. “Is the baby dead?” he asked. “Yes,” they replied.
Ever had something happen in your life that put you on the ground? People tried to help you, but you refused. David will now make the decision to surrender in six areas. He will not only find freedom, but God’s promises will be fulfilled.
David prayed and fasted the baby would live. The baby died. You pray and pray, fast and fast and it doesn’t happen. You might need to keep these notes.
- SURRENDER TO ACCEPTING WHAT CANNOT BE CHANGED.
When devastating things happen people say, “I can’t believe that. It’s impossible!” We reject it. Our minds reject shocking news. Then reality sets in. Reality is also where surrender sets in, but we can’t surrender until we accept what we cannot change.
2 Samuel 12:22-23 David replied, “I fasted and wept while the child was alive, for I said, ‘Perhaps the LORD will be gracious to me and let the child live.’ But why should I fast when he is dead? Can I bring him back again…?”
David accepted what cannot be changed. It sounds harsh, but if it’s over it’s over. Who knows what God will do in the future, but for now, it’s over. Acceptance doesn’t mean we stop caring, or it doesn’t hurt, or it’s good. David basically said, “My son has died, and I can’t change this. I can’t bring him back” I’ve got to let it go.
How about you? Is it the job? “Maybe they will call me back and give me another chance?” Maybe a divorce? “Maybe they will see what a fool they were, or think about the kids…” Maybe you had a dream. It’s not happened. Maybe it’s time to get a new dream. Is it time to accept its over?
To help you, I’d like for you to ask yourself these questions: WHAT DO I NEED TO ACCEPT THAT IS OVER IN MY LIFE? WHAT DO I NEED TO ACCEPT I CANNOT CHANGE?
- SURRENDER TO THE REALIZATION IT’S NOT THE END OF THE STORY.
2 Samuel 12:23 But why should I fast when he is dead? Can I bring him back again? I WILL GO TO HIM ONE DAY, BUT HE CANNOT RETURN TO ME.”
When devastating things happen, we tend to think life’s over. The world has ended. David realized he would never see his son on this earth but knew he would see his child again and reunite. The baby’s death was not the end of the story. Nothing is the end of the story when we’re thinking godly and thinking eternity. We’ve got to move on to the future and not be stuck in the past. We have to surrender the past as tough as that may seem at the present. The way we do this is by realizing it’s not the end of the story. You do not forget the past. You are taking the wonderful memories with you into the future.
- SURRENDER THE DESIRE TO LET YOURSELF DEPRECIATE.
2 Samuel 12:20 Then David got up from the ground. After he had washed, put on lotions and changed his clothes…
Those sound like ordinary activities, but during times of grief and devastation, it’s not this way. We lose a desire to do basic personal hygiene. Who cares if they brush their teeth or bathe? Even eating or sleeping becomes a challenge. David accepted what he couldn’t change. He realized it was not the end of the story. David made the decision to take care of himself and surrendered to the decision.
- SURRENDER THROUGH WORSHIP.
2 Samuel 12:20 …he went into the house of the LORD and WORSHIPED…
Why did David go to the house of the Lord?
Psalms 73:16-17 When I tried to understand all this, it was oppressive to me TILL I ENTERED THE SANCTUARY OF GOD; THEN I UNDERSTOOD their final destiny.
There are oppressive things in life you can never understand. It’s only when we go to the house of the Lord things begin to make some sort of sense. It’s not we get a fantastic revelation as to why devastating things happened. It’s more we gain a peace about what happened. God is in control, and there is a final destiny to it that will make it right.
The temptation in devastating times is to turn from God. Devastating times can stop our worship. We feel God is responsible. If he allowed this to happen then we don’t want anything to do with God. If you turn away from God, you will never have any understanding or peace. You will live tormented by the devastating event. If you want freedom, you must worship God. If you want understanding you must worship God. Surrender your blaming God through worship.
- SURRENDER THE DESIRE TO DO NOTHING.
Devastating times remove our motivation. We’re in shock and paralyzed. We lose productivity.
(NLT) 2 Samuel 12:20 …After that, he returned to the palace and ate.
You don’t have to stop mourning to start moving. The Palace was David’s house, but it was also his office. It’s where David made decisions even in devastating times. It’s where David was productive. David was in no way a hundred percent. He was still mourning, but he’d accepted he could not change what happened. David realized it was not the end of the story. He took care of himself. He refocused on his worship and love for God. He realized he didn’t have to stop mourning to start moving.
What has paralyzed you in life? Where do you need to start moving even though you are still mourning? Say, “I’m mourning but I’m moving. I’m grieving, but I’m growing. I’m hurting, but I’m healing. I’m wounded, but I’m walking.”
- SURRENDER HATE AND BITTERNESS DESPITE THE PAIN.
The natural reaction is to build giant walls to keep people out, but those walls keep you in and in bondage. For example, a woman might say, “I’m never going to allow another man to hurt me ever again. It was too painful.” The only way to live without pain is to live without love. To live without pain, you’ll have no love in your life. Love equals pain, but pain deepens love. We all lose people we love. What do you do when someone rejects you, and you lose their love? You redirect your love. This can be good or bad. This is why people remarry and remarry and remarry. This is why a woman after miscarriage of a baby tries again and again.
Look at what you have left, not what you’ve lost.
2 Samuel 12:24 Then David comforted Bathsheba, his wife, and slept with her. She became pregnant and gave birth to a son, and they named him Solomon. The LORD loved the child…
God blessed Solomon. Solomon became the wisest person in the world only second to Jesus. Solomon became the wealthiest man in the world. Solomon’s kingdom was greater than David’s kingdom. David didn’t shut down and say I’m never going to have another child. He didn’t allow Bathsheba to shut down. David didn’t say, “I’m never going to love again.”
Mother Teresa said, “I have found the paradox, that if you love until it hurts, there can be no more hurt, only more love.” Anil Wadhawan said, “Love ’til it hurts and when it hurts love some more and when it hurts some more love ’til it hurts no more.” Jesus knew what it was like to surrender hate and bitterness despite the pain.
THREE CHOICES IN DEVASTATING TIMES: We all have three choices when devastating things happen to us. We can: 1) allow it to destroy us; 2) allow it to define us; or 3) allow it to develop us. Only one is positive, and the only way to allow it to develop us is in surrender. Freedom comes even in devastating times of decision.
I don’t know what you’re going through today. I pray it’s not something major, but with this many people, it well could be you are. I’m certain some of you are going through some major devastation. No matter if you are today or not, you will go through devastating times in life. You need to be ready. Being ready, means being ready to surrender.
Freedom in Surrender – Devastating Decisions – sermon video audio notes
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