The subject that I’m speaking on tonight, the title of my message is Sweet Surrender, Holiness unto the Lord, and it’s something that I’m going to share a lot of in the beginning about what God has just been dealing with me on and what’s been going on in my heart and in my life, yes, that’s just what God has been dealing with me on, so Sweet Surrender.
Sweet Surrender: Holiness unto the Lord
I wanted to start out by defining the word surrender, and the definition that I found is to abandon oneself entirely; to give into; to give up or hand over. Then I said, “Well, let’s define the word sweet too,” and that’s defined as having the pleasant taste characteristic of sugar or honey, not sour or bitter, but pleasing and delightful.
So, if you put those two words together and tie in the spiritual aspect, I made my own definition of sweet surrender, and that means when it brings you joy or satisfaction to give up something for the Lord. Amen!
My Scripture tonight, I’m going to be going out of Leviticus 20:26. and the Scripture says, “And ye shall be holy unto Me for I the Lord am Holy and have severed you from other people that you should be Mine.” I’m going to say that one more time because it’s powerful. “And ye shall be holy unto Me for I the Lord am Holy and have severed you from other people that you should be Mine.” Hallelujah!
When we think about the word surrender, a lot of times we kind of think of it in a negative light, as you’re maybe surrendering to the winning team; surrendering your rights to something or surrendering an award to become the losing side, but what I want to talk about tonight is a sweet surrender, something that’s not bitter. It’s not even Bittersweet, but it’s just a sweet surrender, something that you’re happy to do.
I feel like at this time God’s been dealing with me personally, but I feel like all of us as Christians and as the body of Christ as a whole are being called higher. We’re being called deeper. We’re being called to be more sanctified, especially as this world that we’re in today, as we see it growing darker and darker and more evil, we’re going to have to continue to surrender more things to Christ to become more like Him.
Like I said, this is just something that God has been dealing with me heavily over really this whole year from the start of this year. I kind of felt a shifting in my spirit. I knew something was going to be different. I knew something was changing in my life, so I just want to go over a timeline of a couple things that have happened in the past couple months.
Back on February 12th, me and my friend Kendall were able to go visit Asbury University while they were having the revival. It was so powerful! It was so amazing to see people there my age, your age, all kinds of people, different backgrounds, different ages, different stories that were there for one purpose, to seek more of God.
Everybody in that building, whether they were saved or not, was there because they wanted to know more about God. Either they already knew Him and wanted more of Him or they didn’t know Him and wanted to find out more, but everybody was there because they wanted to have more of God.
And the first thing you see when you walk into the chapel right in the back like, well I guess it’s the front, it says Holiness unto the Lord, and when I walked in there and I saw that, it like really touched my heart. It just hit me. I was like, “Oh!” and I wasn’t 100% sure why.
I just felt that so deeply in my heart when I saw that because, unfortunately, at that time, I had a bad taste in my mouth about the word Holiness. God had to convict me of that.
He convicted me about that immediately, and a lot of times, especially in a Pentecostal church, we might associate the word Holiness with a certain denomination or a group of people that have a certain look to them and, you know, don’t do or wear certain things, but that’s not necessarily what Holiness is truly defined as.
Holiness is unto the Lord and the KJV dictionary defines Holiness like this, it says: derived from the word holy; the state of being holy, purity or Integrity of moral character, freedom from sin, sanctity, and, when applied to human beings, Holiness is purity of heart or dispositions; sanctified affections, moral goodness, but not perfectness.
Holiness is sacredness, the state of anything hallowed or consecrated to God or to His worship, and it’s also defined as that which is separated to the service of God.
When you hear that definition of Holiness, why wouldn’t you want to call yourself that? Why wouldn’t you say that I am Holiness? You know, I’ve dedicated myself to Holiness and God had to help me soften my heart to that word, especially to be able to receive all that He has for me.
At that point, I had mostly assumed that people who called themselves Holiness were judging me because I wasn’t like them, and God was like, “Uh, actually you’re judging them because they’re not like you.”
See, I was automatically assuming that they thought bad about me or thought that I was less saved than them. God had to convict me of that. He had to change my heart, and I had to repent of that.
I said, “Sorry God.” You know, I didn’t know that I was the one that was the problem, and God began to open my eyes and help me realize that God calls everyone in different ways and for different things.
Think about the disciples. We know for sure that Peter was married but not really some of the other ones. Now, does that mean it was bad for Peter to be married? No. Does that mean it was bad for the other ones to not be married? No.God will call us all in different ways, and He’ll call different people to surrender different things.
For one person, it may be that God has called them to surrender a certain article of clothing. For another person, it may be that God has called them to surrender eating pork. For different people, God requires different surrenders, and, unless it is something that is laid out as sin in the Word, there will be those different things.
So, moving on to the next week, it was February 19th, at Sunday night service. I was still stirred up from going to the Asbury Revival. My spirit was like, “Whoa!” You know I was feeling good, and, like I said, I had already been feeling that shift bringing in the New Year.
We entered in the new year with prayer, and I was just really feeling like this year, you know, something different was going to happen. I remember going to the altar that night and just crying out and saying, “God, I want more of You! I want more of You, God! I want more of You God!” And, that’s just all that I could find to say. I couldn’t really find any more words to say.
A lot of times, we go to the altar and we’re praying, asking God for something, or even praying for someone, or praying for a certain situation, and that’s okay too, but God was calling me at that time to pray for Him, for more of Him and say, “God, that’s my heart’s desire. I want more of You Jesus, more of You God, that’s all that I want.
At that time I felt like I was young, I mean, I am young, but I felt like I was a child or a teenager. When you don’t have a lot of, you know, adult things to worry about, and that’s all that you can cry out is, “God, I want more of You. I want more of You!”
God put on my heart that a sweet surrender comes with a child like “All of your Father” and wanting to make Him proud. That’s what I found that moment I said, “God I just want to make You proud,” and that same week, it was either Monday or Tuesday, I went to the prayer meeting downstairs in the sanctuary and, again, I just felt that on my heart, praying for more of God.
“God, I want more of You! You know I want more of You, Jesus. I want to be more like You God,” and that’s when I heard the words Sweet Surrender in my heart.
I felt it so deeply and it just made so much sense to me that phrase Sweet Surrender, and I don’t really know if I’ve ever heard it before. I might have, but it felt like God was speaking that just to me in that moment.
Those words were just being repeated in my heart, and then I started to hear, “Holiness unto the Lord,” in my heart too. I was like, “Oh, okay God. I’m hearing that again. I’m hearing that again, and so I began to write down what God was speaking to me.
I wrote “Sweet Surrender, not bitter, not bittersweet, just sweet. I’m happy to surrender my will to be closer to You God. Jesus, it brings me joy to please You, Sweet Surrender, here In Your arms, closer to Your heart, make me more like You Jesus, Sweet Surrender! I Crucify My Flesh. I’m here in your Holiness. Make me more like You, Jesus.”
I wrote, “I want to love with no conditions. I want to be pure. I want to be Your reflection. I want to know You, to feel You, and to hear Your voice above mine!”
That was just the cry of my heart, and I began to search my heart, and I was asking God, I said, “God if there’s things that I need to give up, please let me know God! I want to surrender my all to You.”
At that moment, I looked up on the screen and I don’t know if they had verses on the screen the whole time and I just didn’t see them, but when I looked up on the screen the verse was Leviticus 20 26, “And ye shall be holy unto me for I the Lord am Holy and have severed you from other people that You should be mine.