Stay Awhile – After Surrender, Then What?

Stay Awhile

All these people were still living by faith when they died. They did not receive the things promised; they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance, admitting that they were foreigners and strangers on earth. Hebrews 11:13

During a discussion of The Lord of the Rings movie trilogy, a teenager said he prefers his stories in books rather than movies. When asked why, the young man replied, “With a book, I can stay there as long as I want.” There is something to be said for the power of lingering in a book, especially the Bible, and “inhabiting” the stories there.

Hebrews 11, often called “the faith chapter” of the Bible, mentions nineteen people by name. Each one traveled a road of difficulty and doubt, yet chose to obey God. “All these people were still living by faith when they died. They did not receive the things promised; they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance, admitting that they were foreigners and strangers on earth” (v. 13).

Father in heaven, thank You for Your written Word.

How easy it is to rush through our Bible reading without pondering the people and events in the text. Our self-imposed time schedule robs us of going deeper into God’s truth and His plan for our lives. Yet, when we are willing to stay awhile, we find ourselves caught up in the real-life dramas of people like us who chose to stake their lives on God’s faithfulness.

When we open God’s Word, it’s good to recall that we can stay as long as we want.

Father in heaven, thank You for Your written Word and the examples of people who lived by faith. Help us to follow You as they did.

Linger in God’s Word and you’ll find stories of faith.

By David C. McCasland 


Hebrews 11 provides examples of how authentic faith leads to a changed life. Belief and action produce acts of courage and perseverance. As we ponder the deep and impressive faith our spiritual ancestors demonstrated through their actions, it encourages us to follow in their footsteps. The examples of those who have preceded us—those who lived as “foreigners and strangers on earth” (v. 13)—help us to fix our eyes on Jesus (12:2).

As you reflect on today’s reading, how are you inspired in your walk with Christ?

J.R. Hudberg


After Surrender— Then What?

True surrender is not simply surrender of our external life but surrender of our will— and once that is done, surrender is complete. The greatest crisis we ever face is the surrender of our will. Yet God never forces a person’s will into surrender, and He never begs. He patiently waits until that person willingly yields to Him. And once that battle has been fought, it never needs to be fought again.

Surrender for Deliverance. “Come to Me…and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28). It is only after we have begun to experience what salvation really means that we surrender our will to Jesus for rest. Whatever is causing us a sense of uncertainty is actually a call to our will— “Come to Me.” And it is a voluntary coming.

Surrender for Devotion. “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself…” (Matthew 16:24). The surrender here is of my self to Jesus, with His rest at the heart of my being. He says, “If you want to be My disciple, you must give up your right to yourself to Me.” And once this is done, the remainder of your life will exhibit nothing but the evidence of this surrender, and you never need to be concerned again with what the future may hold for you. Whatever your circumstances may be, Jesus is totally sufficient (see 2 Corinthians 12:9 and Philippians 4:19).

Surrender for Death. “…another will gird you…” (John 21:18; also see John 21:19). Have you learned what it means to be girded for death? Beware of some surrender that you make to God in an ecstatic moment in your life, because you are apt to take it back again. True surrender is a matter of being “united together [with Jesus] in the likeness of His death” (Romans 6:5) until nothing ever appeals to you that did not appeal to Him.

And after you surrender— then what? Your entire life should be characterized by an eagerness to maintain unbroken fellowship and oneness with God.


Am I becoming more and more in love with God as a holy God, or with the conception of an amiable Being who says, “Oh well, sin doesn’t matter much”?  Disciples Indeed, 389 L



Satan’s Strategy For Us

Luke 22:31-34, Luke 22:54-62

Every one of us makes tracks through the valley of failure. The question is, How are you going to respond? Plenty of people give up and exchange a vibrant kingdom-serving life for a defeated existence. But failure need not be the end of the story. It’s a chance for a new beginning, living in Christ’s strength.

Peter had a life-altering failure. Jesus warned that Satan had asked permission to “sift” the disciple like wheat (Luke 22:31), referring to the vigorous shaking required to separate wheat kernels from debris. The enemy wanted to shake Peter’s faith hard in hopes that he’d fall away from Jesus like chaff.

Peter believed the promise he’d made to Jesus: “Even though all may fall away, yet I will not” (Mark 14:29). But Satan knows a few things about the power of failure. He realized that the disciple would be wounded by his own disloyalty. A man with tattered pride can’t help but question his usefulness.

When Satan sifts believers, his goal is to damage our faith so much that we’re useless to the Lord. He wants us shelved far from the action of God’s kingdom. Therefore, he goes for our strengths—the areas where we believe ourselves to be invincible, or at least very well protected. And when the devil succeeds, we are disappointed and demoralized. But we don’t have to stay that way.

If we are willing, God can use our failure to do spiritual housecleaning. Peter laid down his pride and instead put on the Holy Spirit’s courage. Thereafter, he risked humiliation, persecution, and death to proclaim the gospel. Failure was the catalyst that led to greater faith and true servanthood.

Dark Sayings of Old

“I will open my mouth in a parable: I will utter dark sayings of old: Which we have heard and known, and our fathers have told us.” (Psalm 78:2-3)

Most people do not think of parables—especially the parables of Christ—as dark (i.e., hidden) sayings but rather as figurative illustrations to help people comprehend some spiritual teaching. But Christ used parables to conceal truth, not to reveal truth! “Therefore speak I to them in parables,” He said in response to the disciples’ question as to why He was speaking in parables, “because they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand” (Matthew 13:13). The principle is this: a person must first believe and obey the light he has already received before God will give him further light. “For whosoever hath, to him shall be given, and he shall have more abundance: but whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken away even that he hath” (v. 12).

Thus, the parables of both Old and New Testaments are not of any obvious interpretation. They require study, meditation, and obedience to comprehend, but then they bring great blessing. “Every scribe which is instructed unto the kingdom of heaven is like unto a man that is an householder, which bringeth forth out of his treasure things new and old” (v. 52).

The “dark sayings” of Scripture are not to be associated with occultism or darkness, of course. The word in Greek simply means something hidden from the world but transparent to eyes of faith and love. “We speak the wisdom of God in a mystery. . . . Which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. . . . But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God” (1 Corinthians 2:7-8, 10). HMM

Yes, Fight the good fight of faith

2 Samuel 5:17-25

David soon found that the honours of royalty brought with them toils and conflicts. It was true of him, as it is also of all believers, that he who would reign must fight.

2 Samuel 5:17, 18

Their success against Saul made them bold to attack David, for they knew not the essential difference between the two men. Saul, forsaken of God, was easily overcome; but David, upheld and strengthened by the Lord of Hosts, was a very different antagonist. It is vain to contend against a man who has God for his ally.

2 Samuel 5:19

David’s path was plain, but he desired to see God going before him in every step he took. No one ever lost his. way by enquiring too often. To seek the Lord’s guidance is never superfluous. Every member of our family should follow David’s example, and if we do so we shall walk in ways of peace all our days.

2 Samuel 5:20

David smote them, but he gave all the glory to the Lord. Grace is active and fights, but it is also humble and renders praise to him who gives the victory.

2 Samuel 5:20

Or “the master of the breaches,” because the Lord had broken the ranks of the enemy, and made a way for David to scatter them.

2 Samuel 5:21

As the Philistines had once captured the ark, so now the Israelites seized upon the idols of Philistia, and utterly destroyed them, both to shew their detestation, and to prevent their becoming a snare to Israel.

2 Samuel 5:24

When the wind rustled among the leaves of the trees, David was to regard it as a sign for battle. God gives to his waiting people hints as to when to bestir themselves more than usual; and surely, whenever we hear that the Spirit of God is moving like the wind through the churches it is time for us to arouse ourselves for sevenfold activity.

2 Samuel 5:25

If we do as the Lord commands us, he will command success to attend us.

Psalm 101

Thus, by successfully defeating the invading foe, David was firmly seated on his throne. How he resolved to act in his eminent position he tells us in—Psalm 101.


If thou see thy foe in need,

Haste with cheerful hand to feed;

House him, clothe him, grant him rest,

Bless him as thou wouldst be blest.


If thy foe be in thy hand,

Every vengeful thought withstand;

Let not anger’s sword be bared,

Spare him as thou wouldst be spared,


Oh praise ye the Lord

With heart and with voice;

His mercies record,

And round him rejoice.

Ye children of Zion,

Your Saviour adore!

And learn to rely on

His grace evermore.


Repose on his arm,

Ye sheep of his fold!

What terror can harm

With him to uphold?

His saints are his treasure,

Their peace will he seek;

And pour without measure

His gifts on the meek.


Go on in his might,

Ye men of the Lord:

His word be your light,

His promise your sword.

The king of salvation

Your foes will subdue;

And their degradation

Bring glory to you.


No, I shall envy them no more

Who grow profanely great,

Though they increase their golden store,

And rise to wondrous height.


Yes, you must bow your stately head,

Away your spirit flies,

And no kind angel near your bed,

To bear it to the skies.


Go now, and boast of all your stores,

And tell how bright they shine;

Your heaps of glittering dust are yours,

And my Redeemer’s mine.


If I must die, oh! let me die

With hope in Jesus’ blood—

The blood that saves from sin and guilt,

And reconciles to God.


If I must die, then let me die

In peace with all mankind,

And change these fleeting joys below

For pleasures all refined.


If I must die—and die I shall—

Let some kind seraph come,

And bear me on his friendly wing,

To my celestial home!


Lord, when I lift my voice to Thee,

To whom all praise belongs,

Thy justice and Thy love shall be

The subject of my songs.


All sinful ways I will abhor,

All wicked men forsake;

And only those who love Thy law

For my companions take.


Lord! that I may not go astray,

Thy constant grace impart;

When wilt Thou come to point my way.

And fix my roving heart?


Love Rejoices Not With Iniquity, But Rejoices With the Truth

1 Corinthians 13:4-6

Have you ever secretly rejoiced when you heard that someone you didn’t like or someone you disapproved of had gotten into some kind of trouble? Upon hearing of that person’s difficulty or hardship, perhaps you were tempted to think, Serves him right! He deserves what he’s getting! After what he did to me and to so many others, he deserves a little punishment! If this describes you, let me tell you—this is not the way God’s love reacts to such situations!

There was once a man who seriously wronged our organization. What he did was so wrong that if the events concerning him had occurred in a Western nation, he would have been judged in a court of law and sentenced to prison for his actions. But because it was not in a Western nation and many complications existed in this case, all my wife and I could do was let it go and pray for God to deal with this individual. We knew if he didn’t repent, he would come under severe judgment.

In the years since that event occurred, this man has come into many miserable hardships in his life. His children fell into terrible sin; he lost everything financially; and his reputation became stained because of the many things he had done to a whole host of people. When I first met this man, he went to church and had a ministry; the touch of God was on his life. But he became a mess of a man—one of the saddest stories I have ever personally known.

When this individual first began to fall into trouble, I found myself privately wanting to rejoice that judgment had finally come his way. Then the Holy Spirit convicted my heart, and I realized that rejoicing in this man’s trouble was not the way the love of God behaves. After allowing the Spirit of God to deal with my heart, I began to inwardly mourn over the condition of this man who had once been so mightily used by God.

In First Corinthians 13:6, Paul wrote that love “… rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth.” The phrase “rejoiceth not” comes from the Greek phrase ou chairei. The word ou means no or not, and the word chairei is from the word chairo, which is the Greek word for joy. It carries the idea of being glad about something. It is the picture of a person who is euphoric over something that has happened. Other words to describe chairo would be overjoyed, elated, ecstatic, exhilarated, thrilled, jubilant, or even rapturous. The word “iniquity” is the Greek word adikos, which conveys the idea of an injustice or something that is wrong or bad.


The entire phrase ou chairei could be translated in the following way:

“Love does not feel overjoyed when it sees an injustice done to someone else….”

My secret desire to rejoice at this other individual’s hardships was completely contrary to the love nature of God. Even though this man had done wrong to me and to many others in the Christian community, the right response was to pray for his restoration. Real love simply doesn’t rejoice at someone else’s misfortunes.

Then Paul goes on to tell us that when someone else gains some kind of advantage in life that we have been desiring, love isn’t threatened by that person’s success but rather rejoices with his victory! The word “rejoice” is again the Greek word chairo, the same word used above.


This means the second part of this verse could be translated:

“… Love is elated, thrilled, ecstatic, and overjoyed with the truth.”

When you see other people blessed—perhaps receiving a blessing or special attention that you have longed to receive yourself—are you able to truly rejoice with them? Does it thrill you to know that other people are moving upward in life? Or does it threaten you and make you sad when you see someone else receiving a blessing you wished was yours?

How you respond to other people’s troubles and blessings reveals a great deal about your true level of spiritual maturity. So ask yourself:

  • Do I rejoice when I hear bad news about someone who did me wrong in the past? Or does it break my heart to hear about the problems that person is facing?
  • When someone steps into the blessing I’ve been believing for in my own life, am I elated for that person, or does it make me turn green with envy?

It’s good to ask yourself these questions and to let the Holy Spirit deal with your heart about these issues. Why don’t you take a little time today to let God’s Spirit search your heart and show you if you can improve in these areas of love in your life?


Lord, I ask You to help me overcome those fleshy moments when I am tempted to rejoice at someone else’s hardships. I must admit that when I hear something has happened to a person who wronged me, something inside me secretly rejoices. I know that this is wrong and that it is not the way You behave. Please forgive me for responding in a way that is contrary to love. Help me to be concerned and prayerful for every person who is undergoing any kind of hardship in life—even those who have acted like they are my enemies.

I pray this in Jesus’ name!


I confess that I am blessed when I see someone else receiving a blessing or special attention. It thrills me when I see other people moving upward in life. Even when someone steps into the blessing I’ve been believing for in my own life, I am elated for them!

I declare this by faith in Jesus’ name!


  1. When you see other people receiving a blessing or special attention that you long for yourself, are you able to really rejoice with them? Does it thrill you to know that other people are moving upward in life?
  2. Would you have to honestly say that it upsets you and makes you sad when you see someone else receiving a blessing that you wished was yours?
  3. Do you rejoice when you hear bad news about someone who did you wrong in the past, or does it break your heart to hear about the problems he or she is facing?

Have you ever secretly rejoiced when you heard that someone you didn’t like or someone you disapproved of had gotten into some kind of trouble? Upon hearing of that person’s hardship, perhaps you were tempted to think, Serves him right! He deserves what he’s getting! After what he did to me and to so many others, he deserves a little punishment! If this describes you, let me tell you—this is not the way God’s love reacts to such situations!



Is there a time limit on losing our lives for the Gospel? I don’t think so. (Luke 9:23, 24; 14:33; 1 John 3:16)


When does one fold up his tent to go and play?


In my weariness, I dreamed of hitting that magical age of retirement and cruising a bit. You know, buy the big sedan, throw in the “sticks,” and meander across the country. Ease up. Back off. Slow down. In a word, “retire.”


Then I read of missions expert, Dr. Ralph Winter, who along with his wife, was diagnosed with terminal cancer. His response? “I can see the finish line, and Ive decided to sprint for it.” Retirement? No way.


I thought of Billy Graham, who, in his late-80’s, with Parkinson’s disease, is still holding city-wide crusades and satellite conferences that affect millions… or more. Retirement? No way.


Or Bob Cockerel, who, in his 40’s took time away from business to make trips to Africa to teach in a Bible school. When in his 60’s he was diagnosed with cancer, he bought a one way ticket and disappeared into the bowels of that continent to finish what he had started. Retirement? No way.


Or Mother Teresa, who died at 87, with 3 garments to her name, and $100.00 in the bank. Herself feeble and ill, she continued feeding and loving the disenfranchised to the very end. Retirement? No way.


I am reminded of that farmer who made it big. Or rather God allowed him to make it big by blessing his land. So he dreamed of larger barns and “party time“. Wanted to cruise. And God’s answer? “No way!”


The ground of a certain rich man produced a good crop. He thought to himself… ‘I will tear down my barns and build bigger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goodsTake life easy; eat, drink and be merry. But God said to him, You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you? This is how it will be with anyone who stores up things for himself but is not rich toward God.‘” (Luke 12:13-21)


QUESTION Tell me, is there a fire burning in your soul for the things that break the heart of God? Most everyone in the world knows about Coca Cola, but have yet to once hear the name “Jesus.” Yeah, let’s visit the grandkids, take the cruises, and play golf now and then. But retire? No way! Personally I have made a decision to sprint for the finish line, giving it 110% until I drop. How about you?



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