Total Surrender

By: Dr. John Ankerberg; ©2001
Are there areas of your life where you don’t want Jesus to come in? What will it take for you to surrender those areas to Him?

Total Surrender – Let Him In


I want to introduce you to a man by the name of John Ankerberg. John is president and founder of the Ankerberg Theological Research Institute. He is producer and host of a nationally broadcast weekly television program called The John Ankerberg Show, where he presents contemporary spiritual issues and defends biblical Christian answers. He has written numerous books. He was one of ten television ministers to testify before a congressional subcommittee on financial accountability. And John is coming this evening to talk to us about this process of surrender. As he comes, consider the words of the prophet Jonah. In Jonah 2:8, the prophet says, “Those who cling to worthless idols forfeit the grace that could be theirs.” “Those who cling to worthless idols forfeit the grace that could be theirs.” And John is coming tonight to help us take a good, hard, honest look at some of the idols that we may have been clinging to, that might have caused us to forfeit something of the fullness of the grace of God in our lives. So guys, will you join me in welcome, please. John Ankerberg.

Ankerberg: About a year ago, I spoke at a Promise Keepers in Portland. It was right after the Peter Jennings Special on the Search for Jesus. How many of you guys saw that show? And I told the guys at that time that we were thinking about doing a television special that would rebut what Peter Jennings and the scholars they had chosen, we would rebut what they said with the greatest scholars in the world. And that special is now made. Tonight, I heard from CBS and they have opened the door, either in January or in March, for us to put that two-hour special about Jesus on. So pray about that, I just ask you to pray.

Now tonight, we’ve seen a whole bunch of people, maybe yourself included, that have come down here and you prayed. After you’ve invited Christ into your life, what’s next? What does God want you to do? And if God were to show you tonight, would you do it? I want you to look. The Apostle Paul tells us, here’s what you are to do:

“I beseech you, therefore brethren, by the mercies of God that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.” Now we’re to present our bodies to God. Why? Paul says, “By the mercies of God, or in light of the mercies of God.” What are the mercies of God? Well, it’s the first eleven chapters of the book of Romans, if you want to know what he’s talking about. But he summarizes it in Romans 5:8, where he says,

“God proved His love toward us in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” Think of it, the precious Son of God, died for you.

“God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Two things: God loves you so much that He sent Jesus to die so you would not perish and you would have eternal life. The Bible says

“For Christ died for our sins once for all.” He was the righteous One for the unrighteous. That’s us. And He did it “to bring you to God.”

Now, Peter was Jesus’ right hand man. If you were to find out somebody that knew why Jesus came to this earth, it ought to be His right hand man. And what did Peter say? Peter said: He came to die to bring you to God.

The Apostle Paul tells us in Romans 4:5, “To the man who does not work, but believes on Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is credited as righteousness.” What does all that mean? “To the man who does not work.” If you are thinking tonight that you have to do something in order to please God, in order to earn eternal life, salvation, you are on the wrong program. God’s giving it away as a gift. The gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. Take a look at the cross. Jesus did everything that is necessary for you to be accepted by God and for your sins to be forgiven when He died on that cross.

Guys, if you have a girlfriend and you bring a box of candy to her and say, “ Hey, I’d like to give you this box of candy as a gift,” and she says, “That’s really great” and her eyes light up, and you say, “Well, listen, I’ll give you this gift if you’ll just go out and wash my car.” She’ll say, “Hey, keep your gift, I’ve got a lot of guys who want to give me candy and I don’t have to wash their car!” When you give a gift, you pay for it, the person you’re giving it to just receives it. Jesus paid for the gift with His own blood. His life. It’s a gift God is giving you freely when you put your faith in Jesus. These are the mercies of God. The moment you put your faith in Christ, the Bible says, “his faith is credited as righteousness.” The word is “imputed,” “accounted.” There is a transfer made. Our sins are transferred to Christ, and God transfers the righteousness of Christ and gives us legal status in front of Him; it’s just like having Jesus track record, His perfect life. God looks at us and sees Christ. These are the mercies of God.

I knew a fellow by the name of Roger. I met Roger and had him on the TV program. Roger was a fellow that was a homosexual prostitute. He had over 1100 relationships. When I met him, he had already contracted AIDS and was dying. In fact, I had him on the TV program and before we could get the program on the air, he had died. But Roger was a fellow that came to know Jesus Christ, and Christ forgave him of all his sins.

Think of two books: one is the Life and Times of Roger. You open the book and it catalogues all of Roger’s sins and his broken relationships and the sorrows of his life. And I want you to think of another book, called the Life and Times of Jesus Christ. You open the book and there is the perfect righteousness of Christ, there’s His perfect obedience, the perfect track record of Jesus. What happens when we believe? What happens is that God takes off the covers of both books, takes the contents of Jesus’ book and puts it between the covers of Roger’s book. So that when he opens the Life and Times of Roger, He sees the perfect righteousness of Jesus Christ; that’s what He does for you.

Now in light of these mercies: that God loved us, that His Son died for us, the righteousness of Christ has been given to us, our sins are forgiven, we have eternal life; in light of these mercies, in light of this love, Paul says, I submit to you, it would only be reasonable for you to do one thing. That’s present your body back to the living God as a living sacrifice.

Now what is a living sacrifice? In the Old Testament when a person brought a lamb to the altar, they killed it. The animal was dead. When that animal was killed, it didn’t think. It didn’t make any choices. It didn’t make any noises. It didn’t walk around. Why? It was dead. Paul uses that imagery and says, “Hey guys, you that are believers, take your body. Come down to the altar, present your body to the living God and say, ‘It’s yours; I’m going to be dead to my way of doing things and I’m going to be alive to your way of doing things.’” You’ll be a living dead thing. Are you willing to do that tonight?

Now, sometimes it’s hard to understand what God’s asking us so I’d like to use a little illustration with you. Let this circle represent your life. And tonight, before many of you accepted Christ into your life that cross represents that fact that Jesus was outside of your life. And then, you realized you were a sinner, that you needed Christ and He had paid for your sins, and you wanted to come and get His free gift. And so you transferred your trust from yourself to Jesus completely. The Bible says, “Whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved” (Acts 2:21). And what happened is, when you invited Christ to come into your life, He came in. But let’s say that the circle that represents your life has a lot of rooms, a lot of different categories. You had just put him into the attic, but there are more rooms than that.

Let’s say that the Lord says, “Well, listen, I’m in your life, but you know what? I want to talk to you about how you learn about me.” And one of the first things that people have to make a decision about is, do I go to church or not? And in order to make decisions as a Christian, one of the things that you have to find out is where are we going to get answers from?

The answer book is God’s Word, the Bible. And so, if you look in the Bible you find in Hebrews that the Bible says, “Let’s not forsake the assembling of ourselves together with the believers.” And what happens is, you have to find out: am I going to do it God’s way or am I going to do it my way? You say, “I don’t like church. Church doesn’t swing.” Listen, I’m telling you, that’s the community that Jesus has established for you to learn, for you to grow, for me to learn. The question is, will you put yourself into a situation where God can start to teach you? If you say yes, then you say, “Lord, you can have that room in my life.” All the sudden, He takes over that area.

And you come on to the area of the Bible. You say, “Why do I need to read the Bible?” We need to grow spiritually. First Peter 2:2 says, “Like newborn babes,” some of you are baby Christians tonight, “desire, crave, the pure milk of the Word, that you may grow thereby.” We need the Word of God to fill our life, to nourish us.

Now, if you took a football player, one of those 350 pound tackles, and let’s say you put them on a new diet. You said, “Look, once a week we are going to let you eat as much as you want for 5 minutes.” How long would he stay 350? He’d be going down real fast. And when he got to the 5 minutes, he’d be pulling it in with his arms, wouldn’t he? Even so, 5 minutes a day doesn’t cut it. You can’t sustain all that weight, all that muscle, unless you are nourished. You can’t sustain your spiritual life unless you eat of God’s Word, and some of you are spiritually starved.

Now the question is, when it comes to the Bible, if you look at our little graph, the question is: will you say, “Lord, you can have that area?” If you do, say, “OK Lord, I gave you the area of church, I’ll go to church, I’ll read the Bible,” and a lot of guys give those areas to the Lord and notice, they control the other rooms. Guy says, “Hey, I’m just a terrific Christian, look at what I’m doing: I’m going to church, I’m reading the Bible. It doesn’t get any better than that, does it?” And you control all the other rooms.

And God starts knocking on the door of the next room and says, “How about prayer?” God speaking to you is when you read the Bible; you back to God is when you pray. If you are to say, hey, do you know the verse Jeremiah 33:3, God makes the promise: “Call unto me, and I will answer thee, I will show thee great and mighty things which thou knowest not.” You say, “OK, I know that.” Do you pray? Matthew 7:7: “Ask and it shall be given you. Seek and you shall find. Knock and it shall be opened unto you.” Great. Do you ask? Do you seek? Have you found that God will answer your prayers? First John 5:14: “This is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He heareth us.” Yeah, we know all of that. And you have James 4:2 that says, “You know why you don’t have anything? That’s because you don’t ask. Ye have not because ye ask not.” Oh, by the way, with our country facing all that we’re facing, have you prayed for the President? Have you prayed for our Special Forces that are in harms way?

I remember when I was growing up I went to a Swedish Baptist church. They didn’t even talk English in the church the first couple years. When they finally switched over, I remember, we used to have prayer meetings. And the older guys would meet with the younger guys, so you could have a guy that’s five years of age talking with a guy eighty-five year of age. I listened to those guys pray in their old Swedish brogue, and I’m telling you what: Heaven opened up. Prayer is not a matter of IQ. Prayer is a matter of you talking to God, the God of the Universe, and the God of the Universe answers prayer for you. Do you pray? What do you want God to do for you? In terms of surrendering yourself to the Lord, would you say, “Lord, I’ll spend time with you every day in prayer?” If you do, say, “Lord, you can have that room.” If not, you just say, “Lord, stay out. I’ll run my own life.”

And how about the area of witnessing? Do I have to tell you the Bible says, “Go into all the world and preach the Gospel?” By the way, how many of you have read the Great Commission in Matthew 29 lately? Put your hands up. You liars, there is no Matthew 29. Sharp as a marble. It only goes to Matthew 28 which says, “Therefore, go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit” (verse 19). You say, “Well listen, that a job for Raleigh Washington. That’s a job for Joe White. That’s a job for some of the other guys, I’m not a preacher, I’m not a missionary.” Hey, God didn’t ask you that. He simply says: you go, you tell. You know what, some of you guys, that you received the Lord tonight, if you just told somebody else what you did, that would be riveting, that would be absolutely unbelievable. Some of your guys would understand that better than any pastor’s sermon if you would just open up your mouth and tell the person what God has done for you.

You say, well, how else can I witness? I have a friend by the name of Ray Prichard that wrote a book called “An Anchor for the Soul.” [[BEGIN BOTTOM NOTE: Anchor for the Soul was published by Moody Press. Check with your local Christian book store or contact Moody Press for ordering information. END BOTTOM NOTE]] He put it into Wal-Mart language, K-Mart language for the average layperson, and it’s a great book about the gospel. I’ve carried that around with me. I buy them in lots of a hundred. And there are times when there are people that just load up on you. They’re really friendly. You come to a restaurant and there’s a real friendly waitress, and they’re going to talk your ear right off. To me, that’s like saying, “Here’s somebody your going to give a book to.”

A bellboy in the hotel, somebody that’s at the airport checking in your luggage. I was in Las Vegas not too long ago and the guy that was the bellboy was talking my foot off as I was coming up and I finally got to it—and this is the way I usually approach these folks. And I say, “Boy, I sure appreciate all the good service that you’ve given me; can I ask you a question? Do you think much of spiritual things?” Inevitably, the person will say, “Yeah, I do.” “I’ve got this best selling author, and he’s a friend of mine, and he’s written this little book. Would you mind if I just gave it to you as a gift? Would you read it?” I’ve passed out over 200 of those books and I’ve never had a person yet say, “No, I don’t want your book.” All you have to do is make yourself available.

There was a guy, Darlene, my wife is here tonight, and we were on a plane together, and we had to switch seats on the plane. And this guy, I said, “My wife’s over there, would you mind if we switched,” and he said, “No problem.” So he switched and I said, “Listen, thanks for doing that. Would you mind if I gave you a little gift for doing it? Here’s a book.” He read it all the way from Dallas all the way back to Atlanta. He got off, he gave me his name, his phone number, and he says this is the greatest book in the world.

All you have to do is make yourself available. Now listen fellows, some statistics say that there are 60 million born-again Christians in America. If everybody gave away just three books, we’d have the place covered.

I’m saying to you, when it comes to this area of surrendering your life to the Lord, one of those areas the Lord wants you to surrender is will you talk for Him? I didn’t say you had to talk great, I just want to know if you’ll talk for Him. If you say no, then say, “Lord, stay out of that area.” If you’ll say yes, “OK Lord, you can have that area.” He can use you. What’s your answer to Him? If you’ll say, “Lord, take over that area” He comes in.

And how about family? I’m not going to preach a big sermon on this ‘cause the guys are going to talk about it tomorrow. I just want to put it this way, I want to wrap it up like this: take everything that you know, that you’ve ever heard somebody say about what God says you should do with your family. You ought to be a loving husband to your wife. If you didn’t have sex with your wife guys, how would she know that you love her? What is it that you do that you do love her? What is the thing that she would like for you to change, you’ve known it for a hundred years and haven’t done it yet. I wonder how many ladies are praying that God will somehow get a hold of that cold-hearted guy and change that guy at Promise Keepers and they’re talking about you.

Let’s put it the other way: some of you guys, you came from a home that’s hell. You haven’t had a civil conversation in so long you can hardly remember. You’re about ready to call it quits. And tonight God brought you to this meeting, and what God wants you to do, He wants you to surrender this area of the family and do your part. Somebody’s got to drop anchor and start to hold his mouth, start to love the other person, and see what God does in that relationship. Will you be the one that will do it?

Do your kids, guys, what kind of example are you to your kids? Do you pray? Do they hear you pray? Do they see you read the Bible? Do they see you witnessing? I just want to know, take all that you know already, I’m not worried about what you don’t know, I want to know what you already know. I want to know, will you say, “Lord, I will obey you in that area?” or you going to say, “God, stay out of the family room?” If you say, “Lord, you can have that area,” the Lord comes in and takes that area.

I’ve just put up one: money. I’m sure I’m not the first guy that ever told you that, out of every dollar you make, ten cents belongs to the Lord. You say, “Hey, Ankerberg, I’m New Testament. I don’t believe in the tithes.” Great, then what you say is, “Lord, all of my money belongs to you. What part of it do you want to keep back?” Bottom line, guys, bottom line, I just want to know: do you trust God with your money? Are you giving part of what God has given to you back to Him? You know it’s tough when you’ve got bills and you say, “Lord, I’ll give you this ten percent.” And you don’t really know where it is coming from. That’s a real challenge because now God’s got to do something supernatural to make things work out, and some of you have never experimented with that area to find out that God can actually bless you if you’ll leave Him a chance to do so. If you give that area to the Lord, He comes in and takes that area.

Now you get down to secrets here. And before we get to secrets, I want to ask everyone a question here. On this side of your mind, picture God. Over on this side, picture you. My question is: who is smarter? If we all say God then we ought to do what He says in all of these areas ‘cause He’s God. When we come to the area of secrets, God already knows the secret. The only thing is: when are you going to deal with it? I hope tonight that you would deal with it. Maybe you’re addicted to pornography. Jesus said, “You’ve heard that it has been said, ‘do not commit adultery.’ But I say unto you, ‘If a man looks lustfully on a woman, he’s already committed adultery with her.” What do you fill your mind with? Have you broken that law, do you need to say, “Lord, forgive and cleanse.” Would you do it tonight? If you will, He’ll cleanse you.

There may be things on television that you watch nobody else knows your watching them. There may be alcohol; there may be drugs, real problems. Jesus Christ has the power to set you free. Now, look it: whatever your secret, whatever your secret, if you look at the chart: when you give all the rooms to the Lord, all of a sudden that person is dead to themselves—they are now alive to God and He comes in and takes over every area of your life.

Now there’s a whole lot of rooms that I haven’t mentioned. And you say, well, if I was to do that tonight, what’s next? Jesus says this: “If any man would come after me, let him deny himself, take up his cross daily, and follow me.” Do you mean tomorrow morning, John, when I wake up, God wants me to say, “Hey, I present my body as a living sacrifice?” Yeah. This is not only a commitment that you make, but then it’s a process of growth. You’ll find out that you can’t even spiritually kill yourself. You need the Holy Spirit of God to point out rooms that you don’t even know that you’ve got. But when you start that process and you say, “God, I’m making a commitment to die to myself because I know that you are smarter,” He comes in and He starts to work on your life.

The question is, is will you do that tonight? You say, “John, if I think about it that way and I’ve got the problems of drugs and alcohol and I do have a lousy family life, and I do have problems at work and, boy, my problems are big ones. I don’t have the strength to do the things that you’re talking about. I don’t have the strength to live for Jesus that way.” Jesus knew that. John 14:16, He said, “I’ll ask the Father, and He’ll give you another helper that He may be with you forever, That is the Spirit of Truth whom the world cannot receive because it does not behold Him or know Him, but you know Him because…” look at this, “because He abides with you and will be….” where? “In you.” When you accepted Jesus Christ, you were given the Holy Spirit. The very divine nature of God came into your life, He is there.

I was talking with my nephews this summer when we were on vacation. And we were talking about the fact the Holy Spirit of God, who is fully God, comes in and lives within you when you become a believer. And one of the guys said, “What?” I said, “Yeah. God comes in—the Holy Spirit of God, comes in and He lives right there.” So if you go into pornography, you drag the Holy Spirit through that. When you’re yelling at your wife and your kids, the Holy Spirit of God is right there in your life, and you grieve the Holy Spirit of God. He’s right there. But why is He there? Paul says, Galatians chapter 5: “Walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh.” And then he says, “For the flesh sets its desire against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh for these are in opposition to one another.” You mean to say, John, that even as a Christian, I’m going to have opposition? Yeah, right inside, it’s your own flesh. There are desires there. And as soon as the Holy Spirit comes in, the Bible says the flesh fights against the Spirit. We’ve got to surrender control to the Holy Spirit and He conquers the very flesh that we live with. We live in the flesh, but we’re to walk in the Spirit. And the Holy Spirit of God is there to empower you. Look at what the Apostle Paul says in the book of Ephesians. He says, “I pray that you will be strengthened with…” with what? “…power through His Spirit in the inner man so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith.” Guys, that word “to be strengthened,” you’ll love this; this is an aorist, passive, infinitive. You say, “Thanks, John, I really needed that one.” The aorist means it is a reality that’s already taken place, it’s happened. The passive means this: guys, you do not strengthen yourself, you’re the one that is acted upon. The Holy Spirit of God is the one who strengthens you. You do not have the strength. That’s why Jesus gave us the Holy Spirit. The Infinitive means there’s a purpose: we’re to be strengthened and that Greek word means to be made mighty, to be shown to be strong. It means let the strength on the inside of you become evident in your outside behavior. That which the Holy Spirit of God does in the inside will show on the outside. And what’s the reason?

Ephesians 3:17 tells us: “The Holy Spirit has been given to us so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith.” Now that word “dwell” there doesn’t mean that you accept Christ, it means to be established, it means to make Christ comfortable in your life, in your heart. The Holy Spirit of God is to empower you so that Christ can live comfortably in your life. You say, “John, I thought Jesus came into my life. Do I have the Holy Spirit too?” Yeah. You’ve got the Father as well. The Triune God is involved in your life. The Father sent the Son, the Son came and died for your sins, lives in your heart, but the Holy Spirit of God is there to strengthen, to empower you so that Christ can live comfortably in the rooms of your life.

Now listen, I’ve got friends around the country, when I stay at their home they do everything they can to make me comfortable. They’ve got a room prepared, they’ve got the refrigerator stocked, they’ll have a room for the television. They’ve got everything ready. When you invited Christ to come into your life, all of the different rooms of your life, you’re to make Christ comfortable in your life. And the Holy Spirit of God is to strengthen you so you make Christ comfortable, and you say, “Lord, you can have access to every room.” We cannot live the Christian life in our own strength. We get that from God.

You say, “Well John, how does this work in everyday life? Let’s say I go to the office this next week, what happens if I sin? What happens to the Lord Jesus? And if I grieve the Spirit of God, what happens? The Bible says do this: admit that you have sinned. Agree with God. First John 1:9, “If we confess our sins….” Confession is just agreeing with God that what we’ve done is wrong. He already knows it. “If we confess our sins He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” Just say, “Lord Jesus, I’ve sinned against you. Cleanse me of that sin. That moment, He’ll do it and then you start on. You grow.

Jesus said, “I’ve sent the Holy Spirit not only to convict the world of sin, but…” He says, “I’ve asked Him to remind you of all the things I have said to you.” The way we make decisions in life as Christians is, guys, we read that Bible every day, God speaks to us, and when we get into a spot where you need information from God, it’s amazing, what you read in your scriptures that morning or the things you have been storing in your mind or the things that you heard at church, the Holy Spirit of God, He reminds you of the words of Christ. You know what you are supposed to do. It’s a supernatural life. But it comes when you surrender to the Lord and you say, “You can have every room in my life.” Are you willing to do that tonight?

And there is so much more, but I want to close it right here. I just wanted you to get the idea across that Jesus has come into your life, there’s a lot of rooms in that life. God doesn’t want you to keep Jesus in the attic. He wants you to let Jesus in to every one of your rooms, to start rearranging the furniture in that room, to order it the way that He wants.

The Special Forces that are overseas right now, before they could get on the airplane, they had to write out a Last Will and Testament before they let them get on the airplane. What if one guy said, “You know, I’d like to sign this Last Will and Testament deal but the fact is, can you guarantee me that I won’t miss my favorite TV program?” You might miss all your favorite TV programs. “Can you guarantee that I’m going to have such and such, so many years with my wife and children?” No guarantees, you get on that airplane, the Last Will and Testament, you’re putting it all on the line for your job. Jesus Christ is saying, “Guys, if any man would follow me, let him deny himself…. You see that cross over there? You see what they did to me on that cross?” Go back 1900 years ago. See Jesus carrying that cross down the street. And He says, “I’m going up here, they’re going to torture and crucify me.” He says, “You pick up your cross. Come on with me.” What would that have meant to you? It means, that whatever would happen, you’re following Jesus and possibly the same thing that happened to Him will happen to you.

But you know what? Most likely, they’re not going to kill you, they might kill some of us. But the thing He’s really talking about is will you die to your own agenda? Will you die to your own goals? Will you let the God of the Universe use you any way that He wants to; will you say I’ll totally surrender my life, my agenda to you, Jesus Christ?

I want you to listen very carefully, every one of you men here tonight all over this auditorium. Every one of you that says, “I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that I’m saved. I have believed in Jesus Christ, I’ve transferred my trust from myself to Jesus Christ. And tonight, I’m willing to surrender all the rooms that I know, everything God has said.” And I’ve asked God to speak to you guys in other rooms that I didn’t even mention tonight.

Whatever God spoke to you about, what I’m wondering is will you say, “Yes Jesus! You can have that room! I’ll do what you want. I understand that I can’t do it in my own strength, but I’m going to depend on the power of the Holy Spirit of God. That’s to give me the abilities so I can make Christ comfortable in every room.” Every one of you men, upstairs, on this level and down here right now, that says, “Yes, I am a Christian, but I would be willing to say to the Lord God tonight, ‘I surrender every room in my life. You can have it all. I’ll do what you want me to do.’” I want you quietly right now just to stand to your feet, if you’ll say that, all over the room.

In a moment I’m going to ask you guys that are standing to pray with the guy on the left or the right out loud. But before we do that, nobody moving, there are probably three or four hundred pastors that are here. And pastors tonight, I want the guys to stay where they are. We, as pastors that God has called, we need to rededicate our life first. Every pastor that will tonight, you say, “You know what, John, I’m burned out. I’m tired. I need a new touch of God on my life. I see these guys standing and there’s rooms in my own life that I haven’t surrendered to the Lord and I need to say, ‘Lord, forgive me’ ‘cause guys, none of us are perfect. I certainly haven’t arrived—when I heard that I was going to preach this message I said, “Oh God! Don’t let those guys think that I’ve got my act together.”

You make a commitment to the Lord and He starts to work and He opens up another room and another room and another room and you grow in spiritual maturity. But some of you pastors, God would like for you to surrender some of these rooms so He can use you in an even greater way. Every pastor that’s here tonight that would say, “I will surrender my life anew to the Lord, I want to give myself to the Lord. Lord, I need forgiveness in certain areas, I need cleansing.” I’m going to ask that you would leave your seat and come and stand right here in the front because I would like the pastors to pray with other pastors when the guys are praying with the guys. Guys, come right now and encourage your pastor.

Praise God. I love it, these pastors have just knelt, by themselves before God.

Pastors, the toughest job in the world, I think, is to be a pastor. I am so glad that you’ve got such tender hearts. Oh, the burdens that some of you guys carry. And tonight, the Lord Jesus loves you. The Holy Spirit of God is to empower you. The job’s too big for us to do in our strength, there’s no way. God built His church through His Spirit based on His Word. And guys, I believe that God will touch you tonight. In just a moment I’m going to ask that you would pray with each other out loud, just as I’m going to ask the guys in the stands to pray.

But there’s one thing that I can’t leave. We just saw a fantastic outpouring of God’s Spirit, of fellows that accepted Christ in the previous service. And yet, you know what? Some of you guys didn’t come. God was speaking to you, and He’s still speaking to you. You should have come last time and you didn’t. Maybe you’re standing right now, and you want to serve the Living God but you haven’t invited Jesus to be your Savior. Whether you’re seated or standing, right where you’re at, nobody moving, I’m going to say a prayer. I want you not to say it out loud—you say it in your heart, in your mind to God. If you mean it, God will look down. At the end, I’m going to ask that you would indicate it by putting your hand up that you prayed that prayer.

But guys, I’m concerned. Some of you don’t know the Lord. And God spoke to you once, and you didn’t do anything. That’s dangerous. And when God’s working like this, it’s time for you if God’s speaking to you and you know that you’re a sinner, there is no way that you could save yourself. You know that a free gift is offered to you by the living God. His Son died on the cross, paid for your sin. He says, “I want to forgive you, I want to give you salvation, I want to give you eternal life; will you transfer your trust from yourself to my Son?” If that’s your heartbeat tonight, I’m going to say this prayer out loud. You say it in your heart to the Lord, and I’m going to have you indicate it. Then we’re going to pray. Here’s that prayer: if God is speaking to you in your heart and your mind right now, you say it to the Lord:

Dear Lord Jesus. I admit to you that I am a sinner. I’ve broken your laws; there is no way I can save myself. But I understand you died on the cross and paid for all of my sins. And you want to forgive me; you want to come into my life. Lord, I transfer all of my trust from myself to you completely, and I invite you to come into my life right now and make me a Christian. I believe on you, dear Lord, I turn from my sin. Lord, someday I’m going to die, and when that comes I’m going to trust your promise that you’ll take me to Heaven. And Lord, I don’t know how to do these next steps, of how to follow you, but if you’ll show me, I’m willing to walk with you. I want to follow you. Not to get saved, but because you have saved me tonight. Thank you. Thank you for making me a Christian.

And while your heads are bowed and your eyes are closed, all around the auditorium, in fact it’d be ok, everybody look. If you prayed that prayer tonight, and you don’t care who knows; You prayed that prayer and you want me to be a witness and you want all these fellows to be a witness, you say I prayed that prayer and received Christ. Put your hand up right now, high enough that I can see it. Now guys, guys, here’s what we’re going to do: now it’s time to pray.

And I want you just to grab at the most four, most likely you only have room for the guy next to you on one side or the other, in front or in back, and I want you to grab hold of their hand. I want you to pray out loud. It doesn’t have to be long, just a few minutes. I want you to say, “Lord, I surrender all the rooms of my life.” You tell him in your own words what God spoke to you about. Pastors, grab a guy next to you, two or three guys. Pray. First of all, you give yourself to the Lord. Say Lord, “Cleanse, renew, take these areas, empower me, give me a fresh touch.” You pray and pray for each other.

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