There is nothing more dangerous than walking into a book store with no one with you to tell you to leave. Okay, I’m being facetious, but seriously, I have a difficult time going into a book store and leaving without at least one four books.
Fortunately, I don’t live next to a book store or I would be flat broke. The closest one is 30 minutes away. I don’t work near one, nor do I pass one frequently. So every time I am near a Lifeway or a used bookstore, I stopped in and browse.
One a random stop at LifeWay, I grabbed a copy of Absolute Surrender by Andrew Murray, a South African pastor. The book was originally published in 1897 and this reprinting includes Bible study questions and personal reflection questions. It is designed to be a devotional book.
I picked it up for two reasons: it was on sale for $5 and I needed to read a book over 100 years old to continue checking off my reading list for this year. I didn’t realize I was picking up a book that would be life changing and so convicting.
The title itself is challenging. Am I absolutely surrender to Jesus? What does it even mean to be absolutely surrendered? Murray defines being absolutely surrendered as being occupied with God. When we know God for who He is, we are moved to surrender to Him in all things. This means we do what God wants us to do and to let God work what he wants to do.
“By your grace I desire to do your will in everything, every moment of every day. Lord God, not a word upon my tongue but for your glory, not a movement of my temper but for your glory, not an affection of love or hate in my heart but for your glory, and according to your blessed will”. (11)
This, as Murray clearly states in chapter one, is only possible by God. “It is God who will enable you to carry out the surrender”.
Peter and Absolute Surrender
Murray’s chapter on Peter’s Repentance is incredible. The thesis of the chapter is absolute surrender is denying self. Murray uses the example of Peter’s denial of Jesus as an example.
Here’s an incredible quote:
“Christ told Peter that he must deny self. Self must be ignored, and its every claim rejected. That is the root of true discipleship. O God, reveal this to us, that none of us may be living the self life! It is Christ Jesus who can rid you of it; no one else but Christ Hess can give deliverance from the power of self.”
A Year of Absolute Surrender
As we close out 2018, I’ve already began planning for 2019. Each year, I have a theme for my year. It’s a theme for personal growth and reflection. For 2019, my theme will be Absolute Surrender. I plan to open the year by reading this book again. I want my life to be absolutely surrendered in all things to Jesus Christ.
You can purchase the book here.