TRYING HARDER OR SURRENDER?

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‘The crux of the gospel message is not a call to rededication, but a call to repentance. If one’s previous commitment did not keep him walking in obedience, a re-commitment is no more likely to make him faithful. The proper response to disobedience is not a commitment to try harder, but brokenness and repentance for rejecting the will of Almighty God. God looks for surrender to His will. Rather than asking church members to repeatedly promise to try harder, churches must call their people to repent before Holy God.’   Richard. Blackaby

I came across this quote as I was preparing myself for last Sunday’s message. I was looking at God’s merciful gift of numerous ‘second chances’ (pardon the oxymoron).

As a fully fledged Evangelical I experienced and practiced re-dedications, altar calls, ministry times believing in heir effectiveness. I look back and see some very significant times in my own life.

But something strikes a chord in what RB says. I track back in time and see much failure in my ‘rededication’ episodes. Maybe we should talk more about and practice repentance. That probably should include elements like:

  • a sorrowful and regretful realisation of sinfullness and rebellion
  • a change of mindset
  • a reversal of direction

As ever looking for your thoughts…. (thank you for those who contribute in shaping this


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3 thoughts on “TRYING HARDER OR SURRENDER?

  1. I am reminded of Paul’s encouragement to the Philippians to “let this mind be in you, which also was in Christ” by submitting to the lifestyle required by God, one of humility and service. It takes time and patience and many failures, but failing is not sin, giving up is.

  2. As you may know I help run a Celebrate Recovery course at Fulwood. One of the phrases that we use repeatedly is: “let go and let God. The first time I used it I was uncomfortable about it. Celebrate Recovery is dealing with people who have all sorts of hurts and hang-ups and I wondered whether “letting go” was really that helpful. But then I put this phrase in the context of the lessons, lessons where we challenge people to repentance and acts of amends. The only path to serenity is through repentance. The only way that true repentance can occur is via God’s spirit moving in someone’s life. So we have to “let go and let God”.

  3. RB is right that “The proper response to disobedience is not a commitment to try harder, but brokenness and repentance for rejecting the will of Almighty God.” I am reminded of Paul’s exhortation – as you have received Christ, so continue in Him, to me this means repentance….and FAITH. True repentance can lead to faith in accepting Christ’s sacrifice for our failure, accepting God’s forgiveness because His wrath has been satisfied and getting up from our knees knowing that there is ‘no condemnation’ because we are in Christ. Which leads me to the point that there is only one hope of true obedience – ‘Christ in you, the hope of Glory’ (in this context the only possibility of achieving the Law – obedience) all failings are ultimately due to losing the battle to the old nature and grieving the Spirit of God in us. Simple…if only!

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