Ultimate Liberty: The Covenant Blessings of a Surrendered Life
Ultimate Liberty: The Covenant Blessings of a Surrendered Life
We all long to be free. Christ created us for freedom – not for bondage. We must understand that freedom has already been purchased for us. It has already come. Christ has completed the work. It is for freedom that Christ set us free (see Galatians chapters 1-6, entire). Yet as we grow in our personal relationship with Christ, we all struggle with three key areas: the flesh, the world, and the devil. Christ has already provided the ultimate liberty through His covenant with us. He overcame all these things. However, the manner in which that freedom manifests in our personal lives is contingent upon the degree of our surrender to Him.
In this post we are going to discuss six primary covenant blessings Christ has purchased for us: His presence, peace, power, protection, provision, and purpose.
The Fear of the LORD
The degree of liberty, victory, and blessing in your life is – and will always be – directly related to the degree of your surrender and obedience to the LORD. The life that is completely surrendered to God is swaddled in His perfect peace. It emanates His presence, enjoys His abundant provision, is shielded with His divine protection, it displays His power, and it fulfills His purpose on earth as it is in heaven. The LORD cannot and will not bless a disobedient life. When we walk contrary to Christ, we suffer grave spiritual dangers. There are no benefits to sin. But when we live an obedient life that is fully surrendered, we enjoy all the covenant blessings and benefits Christ offers us.
Surrender is evidenced by obedience.
Yet for many, the thought of fully surrendering their life to Christ brings great apprehension and even startling fear. For these, yielding control to an omnipotent God is rather scary, unless the following is understood and received by faith:
Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light: who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son: in whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins: who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature: for by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: and he is before all things, and by him all things consist. And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have preeminence. For it pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell; and having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven, (Colossians 12-20, KJV).
True liberty as God intended only comes through surrender. When we completely surrender our lives to God we are set free from all those things that bind us. This takes place through the process of sanctification. The things of this world, the flesh, and the devil are increasingly overcome as we learn how to walk in faith and mature spiritually. Let’s talk about what that surrender looks like and some of the key covenant blessings that can be ours. If you’ve ever wondered why some people seem to have it so easy, while you struggle, this may be a factor that is worth considering:
Are you fully surrendered to Christ in every area of your life?
And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say? (Luke 6:46, KJV).
People who are living in sin have no fear of God. The fear of the LORD is precisely what turns us away from evil (see Proverbs 8:13). A surrendered life is most accurately summarized in this: It’s a life that has repented of sin, and is continually walking in the fear of the LORD. As we graduate deeper in Christ and begin to mature, our lives should become more fruitful, and increased freedom is something we should continually experience. We are no longer carnal, walking in the flesh. Instead we become spiritual, walking in the Spirit (see 1 Corinthians 2:1 – 3:3). The things of this world no longer have a hold on us. The enemy loses ground, for just as Christ said, “The prince of this world cometh, and hath nothing in me,” (John 14:30, KJV). Christ lived a fully surrendered life, demonstrating this for us perfectly. If we follow Christ as He instructs by picking up our cross daily and following Him, we can experience a fully surrendered life as well. Christ’s goal is that we continually mature, growing up into Him, being rooted and grounded in Him (see Ephesians 3:17 and Colossians 2:7).
So what is the fear of the LORD? The fear of the LORD is not the same as living in constant terror. The proper fear of God is not one of cowering before someone who is threatening you harm. The fear of the LORD is a deep reverence for the one true God who rules and reigns over all creation with omnipotent power. When we understand the character of God – that He is Love, Truth, Peace, Justice and Righteousness, and we understand that He desires our very best and has given His all to ensure it through the sacrifice of His one and only Son, we are enabled to fear God as He intends.
The fear of the LORD is described as the following:
The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction, (Proverbs 1:7, KJV).
My son, if thou wilt receive my words, and hide my commandments with thee; so that thou incline thine ear unto wisdom, and apply thine heart to understanding; Yea, if thou criest after knowledge, and liftest up they voice for understanding; If thou seekest her as silver, and searchest for her as for hid treasures; then shalt thou understand the fear of the LORD, and find the knowledge of God. For the LORD giveth wisdom: out of his mouth cometh knowledge and understanding. He layeth up sound wisdom for the righteous: he is a buckler to them that walk uprightly. He keepeth the paths of judgment, and preserveth the way of his saints. Then shalt thou understand righteousness, and judgment, and equity; yea, every good path. When wisdom entereth into thine heart, and knowledge is pleasant unto thy soul; discretion shall preserve thee, understanding shall keep thee: to deliver thee from the way of the evil man, from the man that speaketh froward things…, (Proverbs 2:1-12, KJV).
There are six benefits of a surrendered life to Christ that I want to talk about. When we surrender our lives to Christ in the fear of the LORD, understanding who He is and that He loves us perfectly, we enjoy the covenant blessings of His presence, peace, power, protection, provision, and purpose.
I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you. Yet a little while, and the world seeth me no more; but ye see me: because I live, ye shall live also. At that day ye shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you. He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him… If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him, (John 14:18-21 & 23, KJV).
A life lived in intimate fellowship with Christ is swaddled in His presence. There is nothing comparable to the sweet and tender yet powerful presence of our LORD. There is none who is so comforting, so soothing, and so beloved. Christ makes it clear that those who love Him are those who obey Him. These are the ones to whom He manifests Himself. When we obey Him, we are living a surrendered life.
His presence is primary. If we can walk in His presence, all the other covenant blessings and benefits will follow. The very Person of Christ Jesus will faithfully manifest.
We should be able to echo with Christ:
But that the world may know that I love the Father; and as the Father gave me commandment, even so I do, (John 14:31, KJV).
Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid, John 14:27, KJV).
The peace of the LORD settles everything. It defies logic. It transcends our human understanding and rationale. Paul describes the peace of God in this passage:
Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus, (Philippians 4:6-7, KJV).
And so we see again, the need for surrender. As we yield all things to God in prayer, trusting Him, we are able to receive the peace only He can give, understanding that He alone is all wise and powerful, able to perfect His will on earth as it is in heaven. For this very reason, it is imperative that we obey Him.
For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily. And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power: in whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ: buried with Him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead, (Colossians 2:9-12, KJV).
Christ Jesus promised His power to those who would follow Him and obey Him. He gave a clear example to us in saying:
Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing. If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned. If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you. Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples. As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: continue ye in my love. If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love. These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full, (John 15:4-11, KJV).
Again, we see a beautiful illustration of perfect surrender depicted in the complete dependence of the branch upon the vine from which it draws its sustenance. It cannot bear fruit of itself. Christ makes it clear that apart from Him we can do nothing. Yet Paul declares that we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us (see Philippians 4:13). That is power! But it is contingent upon our surrender, which again, is demonstrated clearly through our obedience. When we are obedient to Christ, we can rest, knowing that He becomes responsible for the results – not us.
For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God, (1 Corinthians 1:18, KJV).
And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of men’s wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power: that your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God, (1 Corinthians 2:4-5, KJV).
Do not be deceived. The Gospel of Christ without power is not the Gospel of Christ. A powerless Gospel is not able to fulfill the will of our Father on earth as it is in heaven. Beware of a powerless Gospel. Paul warns of this in the last days:
This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away, (2 Timothy 3:1-5, KJV).
Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble. Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time: casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you. Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: whom resist steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world. But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you. To him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen, (1 Peter 5:5-11, KJV).
There is no question that we will experience suffering in this world if we follow Christ. We will, like many others, endure hardship, persecution and pain for the LORD’s sake if we truly follow Him. When the LORD calls us to partake of His sufferings, we need to rejoice. We must be obedient, even as those who have gone before us. When we suffer according to the will of God it brings Him glory. However, we are warned that there is an enemy who seeks our destruction, and when we humble ourselves before God, we are given a grace that makes us ‘perfect’. This grace from God ‘strengthens’, ‘establishes’, and ‘settles’.
Again, the key is surrender. We are told to humble ourselves before God. We cannot resist the devil if God is resisting us! Pride will never bring us into the place of divine protection God desires.
After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. A-men, (Matthew 6:9-13, KJV).
Christ, as our Shepherd, reserves the right to lead us wherever He chooses. Christ Himself was driven by the Spirit of God into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil for forty days and nights. And when that time transpired, He came out of that wilderness endued with power from on High (see Luke 4:1-14). We are told in Hebrews that Christ learned obedience through those things which He suffered (see Hebrews 5:8). God’s intention is not that we be harmed, but that we learn to overcome. He will allow you to experience hardship, endure battles, experience temptations, and also grant you the wisdom and power to overcome them. His desire is that you learn to yield, surrender, and obey even in the midst of great trials, temptations, tribulations and testing. Therefore, we must trust Him. As David the Psalmist says:
As for God, his way is perfect: the word of the LORD is tried: he is a buckler to all those that trust in him. For who is God save the LORD? or who is a rock save our God? It is God that girdeth me with strength, and maketh my way perfect. He maketh my feet like hinds’ feet, and setteth me upon my high places. He teacheth my hands to war, so that a bow of steel is broken by mine arms… I have pursued mine enemies, and overtaken them: neither did I turn again till they were consumed. I have wounded them that they were not able to rise: they are fallen under my feet. For thou hast girded me with strength unto the battle: thou hast subdued under me those that rose up against me. The LORD liveth; and blessed be my rock; and let the God of my salvation be exalted, (Psalm 18:30-34, 37-39 & 46, KJV).
In this passage we see a beautiful heart of surrender, even in the midst of great enemies of war who desired nothing but death and destruction. When we walk with Christ, following Him in the Spirit, we can trust wherever He may lead us. There will be high mountains and deep valleys. His desire is that we grow up in Him, learning of Him, and become mature children of God who are able to do His will on earth as it is in heaven. That means we must learn how to fight. Christ makes it clear that we should pray that we be delivered from all evil so that we are not ensnared and overcome by it through temptation. However, that does not mean that we will never experience harship, suffering or the spiritual warfare which accompanies every Christian soldier. Temptations do come. Regardless of the war you face, Christ is your protection, and He alone is the One who can teach you how to fight it and overcome your enemies.
Of this you can be sure: When He calls you to war, it is only because He appoints you to win it. Christ knows no defeat. He never loses a battle. And if He’s the One engaging you, you can know that your enemy has seen his end.
Again, this requires surrender.
Wherefore I desire that ye faint not at my tribulations for you, which is your glory. For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our LORD Jesus Christ, of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, that he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by His Spirit in the inner man; that Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; and to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God. Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen, (Ephesians 3:13-21, KJV).
I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ who strengtheneth me… But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus, (Philippians 3:11-13 & 19, KJV).
Our greatest needs are spiritual. Christ is much more concerned about our spiritual estate than our temporal one. Paul makes it clear that God grants him contentment, regardless. His spiritual well being is not dependent upon earthly riches. God supplies them both.
Part of the covenant blessing is the promise of provision. Christ does not promise anyone earthly riches. But He does promise provision to those who belong to Him- and that without asking.
No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon. Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment? Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they? Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit to his stature? Any why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lillies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: and yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which today is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith? Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you, (Matthew 6:24-33, KJV).
Again, we see an example of surrender. Here lies the ability to trust our Father to provide our needs. Christ makes it clear that He knows and has already made abundant provision for us. We are not to seek daily necessities. We are not to worry for our lives. We are not to toil and spin. We are to seek first His kingdom and His righteousness. We cannot serve God and mammon. When we choose to serve God, all our needs are supplied. That is a covenant promise that opens the door to a worry free life in Christ. Every time we see Christ meet a need in scripture (i.e. the fishes and loaves), we see abundance.
Wherefore I also, after I heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus, and love unto all the saints, cease not to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers; that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him: The eyes of your understanding being enlightenened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints, and what is the exceeding greatness of his power to usward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power, which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places, far above all principality and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come: And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church, which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all… For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them, (Ephesians 1:15-23 & 8-10, KJV).
No one wants to live their lives without a sense of purpose. Nothing could be more meaningless. Purpose is one of the greatest gifts God gives us. When we understand the ‘hope of our calling’ and the ‘exceeding greatness of his power to usward who believe’ we can live with confidence in Him, knowing that our lives will accomplish His will on earth as it is in heaven when we follow and obey Him. An individual calling, a unique purpose in every person’s life is what allows us to fulfill our role in the Body of Christ worldwide. Each and every single member is needed.
You are an essential member in the Body of Christ with a unique purpose and calling.
None can afford to be lost.
When you follow Christ each day, allowing Him to feed you your daily bread, taking up your cross, walking in His Spirit, seeking His kingdom, He will bring your purpose forth. Aside from any individual calling, we all have one common purpose – to know, love and serve Christ Jesus intimately and reveal Him to others through our words and deeds.
Surrender & Obedience
When we live our lives unto God fully surrendered, we will experience ultimate liberty. Our surrender through obedience opens a door in our lives for Christ to come in and set us free. In turn, we are enabled to set others free as well. An intimate, surrendered, obedient life in Christ is a liberated one. It’s the abundant life He desires for every one of us.
I pray today that you will begin a journey with Him that will set you completely free.
Cheers & Shalom,