By Andrew Murray
“And Ben-hadad the king of Syria gathered all his host together: and there were thirty and two kings with him, and horses, and chariots: and he went up and besieged Samaria , and warred against it. And he sent messengers to Ahab king of Israel into the city, and said unto him, Thus saith Ben-hadad, Thy silver and thy gold is mine; thy wives also and thy children, even the goodliest, are mine. And the king of Israel answered and said, My lord, 0 king, according to thy saying, I am thine and all that I have” (I Kings 20:1-4).
Ahab gave what was asked of him by Ben-hadad – absolute surrender. I want to use these words: “My lord, 0 king, according to thy saying, I am thine, and all that I have,” as the words of absolute surrender with which every child of God ought to yield himself to his Father. We have heard it before, but we need to hear it very definitely-the condition of God’s blessing is absolute surrender of all into His hands. Praise God! If our hearts are willing for that, there is no end to what God will do for us, and to the blessing God will bestow.
Absolute surrender-let me tell you where I got those words. I used them myself often, and you have heard them numerous times. But once, in Scotland , I was in a company where we were talking about the condition of Christ’s Church, and what the great need of the Church and of believers is. There was in our company a godly Christian worker who has much to do in training other workers for Christ, and I asked him what he would say was the great need of the Church-the message that ought to be preached. He answered very quietly and simply and determinedly:
“Absolute surrender to God is the one thing.”
The words struck me as never before. And that man began to tell how, in the Christian workers with whom he had to deal, he finds that if they are sound on that point, they are willing to be taught and helped, and they always improve. Whereas, others who are not sound there very often go back and leave the work. The condition for obtaining God’s full blessing is absolute surrender to Him.
And now, I desire by God’s grace to give to you this message-that your God in heaven answers the prayers which you have offered for blessing on yourselves and for blessing on those around you by this one demand: Are you willing to surrender yourselves absolutely into His hands? What is our answer to be? God knows there are hundreds of hearts who have said it, and there are hundreds more who long to say it but hardly dare to do so. And there are hearts who have said it, but who have yet miserably failed, and who feel themselves condemned because they did not find the secret of the power to live that life. May God have a word for all!
Let me say, first of all, that God claims it from us.
Yes, it has its foundation in the very nature of God. God cannot do otherwise. Who is God? He is the Fountain of life, the only Source of existence and power and goodness. Throughout the universe there is nothing good but what God works. God has created the sun, the moon, the stars, the flowers, the trees, and the grass. Are they not all absolutely surrendered to God? Do they not allow God to work in them just what He pleases? When God clothes the lily with its beauty, is it not yielde
d up, surrendered, given over to God as He works in it its beauty? And God’s redeemed children, oh, can you think that God can do His work if there is only half or a part of them surrendered? God cannot do it. God is life, love, blessing, power, and infinite beauty, and God delights in communicating Himself to every child who is prepared to receive Him. But ah! this one lack of absolute surrender is just the thing that hinders God. And now He comes, and as God, He claims it.
You know in daily life what absolute surrender is. You know that everything has to be given up to its special, definite object and service. I have a pen in my pocket, and that pen is absolutely surrendered to the one work of writing. That pen must be absolutely surrendered to my hand if I am to write properly with it. If another holds it partly, I cannot write properly. This coat is absolutely given up to me to cover my body. This building is entirely given up to religious services. And now, do you expect that in your immortal being, in the divine nature that you have received by regeneration, God can work His work, every day and every hour, unless you are entirely given up to Him? God cannot. The temple of Solomon was absolutely surrendered to God when it was dedicated to Him. And every one of us is a temple of God , in which God will dwell and work mightily on one condition-absolute surrender to Him. God claims it, God is worthy of it, and without it God cannot work His blessed work in us.
God not only claims it, but God will work it Himself.
Note: We will continue reading the book together in weekly portions for the next 11 weeks. New portions will post each Thursday.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Andrew Murray (1828-1917) was an amazingly prolific Christian author. He lived and ministered as both a pastor and a writer from the towns and villages of South Africa . All of his publications were originally written in Dutch and then translated into English. As his popularity grew, Murray ‘s books found their way into more than twelve foreign languages during his lifetime alone.
Andrew Murray’s early writings were primarily written for the edification of the believer-building them up in faith, love, and prayer. They include Abide in Christ, The Spirit of Christ, and With Christ in the School of Prayer . Later writings leaned more heavily upon the sanctification of the believer with such works as Holy in Christ and Be Perfect. Finally, in his last days, Murray addressed the issue of the Church and its lack of power on the earth. He emphasized the need for a constant and vital relationship with Jesus Christ and for consistent, fervent prayer.
Murray was an alert and intense man, continuing on in his writings until his death at age eighty-nine. His burning desire to transpose all that lay on his heart and spirit to paper was revealed in the presence of several manuscripts in various stages of completion at the time of his death.
Andrew Murray has greatly blessed the Christian world with richness of his spiritual wisdom and his ability to see and answer the needs of God’s people.