Message Series // Stand Alone – A Life Of Surrender (A Stand Alone Message)
Message Date // November 14, 2021 (Morgan Colander)
As we learn to follow Jesus with our lives, Jesus will keep inviting us to take next steps of obedience. He does this because he loves us and wants us to experience life to the fullest. However, in order for this to happen, we will need to learn to give up control with certain areas of our lives. This is far from easy because it’s natural for us to fear what that could look like. We like control. We want to be able to call the shots. But God will keep patiently inviting us to have courage, surrender decisions to him, and graciously take care of us along the way.
“Then Peter got out of the boat, walked on water and came toward Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and beginning to sink, cried out. ‘Lord, save me!’ Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him.”
– Matthew 14:29-31
1. When you were a little kid, do you remember what you wanted to be when you grew up? Did you have any dreams on what life would look like? How planned out were you?
2. Read Matthew 14:22-33. As the story unfolds in these verses, we read that a disciple named Peter took a pretty big step of faith. Peter desired to live a life of faith which required a moment of surrender. That moment of surrender meant he had to lose all control by getting out of the boat and walking on water in the midst of a storm. Looking back at your life, what is something you remember having to give up (i.e. job opportunity, relationship, career, possession, dream, etc.)? Why were you put in a place of surrendering it?
3. Read Matthew 6:9-13. These verses are what we call the “Lord’s Prayer”. Jesus is using the moment to teach us to pray, and one of the ways in which he encourages us to pray is by saying…”God’s will be done” (v. 10). This is a prayer of surrender…a prayer that releases control to God. Even before Peter gets out of the boat to walk on water, he ASKS Jesus for an opportunity to get out of the boat. What we can learn is that a surrendered life ALWAYS begins with prayer…with asking Jesus for an opportunity. Have you ever prayed this prayer before? In what ways is this a tough and scary way to pray? On the flip side, how can this be a freeing prayer?
4. Even though Peter begins to sink after getting out of the boat, we cannot underestimate the amount of courage it took to obey Jesus’ invitation to “come”. A life of surrender begins with prayer, but it always leads to a step of obedience…and that step takes courage. Peter could have chosen to stay in the boat after asking Jesus if he could come, but it was his act of obedience that allowed him to experience a miracle. When you have chosen to release control and obey God when He’s given the invitation, what happened? In what ways did you see God work? Was it worth the courage?
Each of us is called to live a life of surrender…to release areas of our life to Jesus. We could live life with our fists tightly closed to what God wants, or we could choose to live with hands wide open. Is there an area of your life you can sense God is wanting you to give up control and surrender? If you do, what is one next step you need to take? If not, begin to pray with a posture of surrender and wait patiently for God to reveal that area to you.