Give In, Give Up (To Him)

If you want to escape the domination of desires that would get the upper hand in your life and control you, you simply have to make up your mind that you’re going to give in to somebody else.

Scripture: 2 Peter 1:4, Romans 6, Galatians 5:22-23
Topics: Surrender, Desires


Alright. Thank you very much and hello again, radio friends. How in the world are you? Yes, that little greeting establishes the fact that this is indeed your good friend, Bob Cook. And I’m glad to be back with you to share from God’s Word. What a privilege and what a joy it is just to be together even though separated by the miles. Some of you I have never even seen and probably shall not until we get together in the Glory Land. But we’re together now in heart and in spirit, and in the Word of the God. I love that, don’t you?

We’re looking at 2 Peter chapter 1, verse 4, “Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises, that by these promises you might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust,” where lust is our desire. And the interesting word though it means desire that’s on top, desire that gets the best of you, that’s what the word actually is. “Epithumia” is desire that gets on top of the heap, gets the best of you. That’s what gets us in trouble.

Desires in themselves, well, we’re bundles of desires, the psychologist says. There was a famous psychological teacher that began as lectures in a great university each year by that statement, “Human beings are bundles of desires.” Well, I suppose that’s true. And desires in themselves that God has built into our nature are not in themselves wrong. But when they begin to control us, then we’re in trouble and we’re in a world that has been corrupted by the entrance of sin into it so that the world system around us, what the Bible calls the world, that isn’t the world of mountains and cups and saucers and Model T Fords and roses. That isn’t that kind of a world. It’s the world system. It’s the world culture. It’s the world’s body of belief.

See, that is what has been corrupted in which we’ll — if we allow our desires to rule us, corrupt our lives as well. That’s what he’s talking about. So, he said, that partakers of the divine nature through the actions of God’s promises applied to your life by faith, having escaped, past tense, “having escaped the corruption that is in the world through ruling desires.” Now, stop and think about yourself for a moment in the middle of it and then ask yourself this question. “Which of my desires runs my life?”

And I’m not speaking critically, not at all. Nobody is going to scold you but I’m just asking you to make an honest appraisal and give to yourself an honest answer to this question. “Which of my desires comes closest to ruling my life?” Now, when you’ve answered that question then you’re ready to take that area of desire and bring it to the Lord Jesus and let the Word of God be applied to it so that the indwelling Holy Spirit can cause you in that area to glorify God instead of simply becoming the victim of your own self-indulgence.

See, now I don’t know what it may be because all of us have different areas of desire. Basically, we’re the same human beings. But what I mean to say is that there are different areas among us that rule our lives variously. And so you are not the same as I, and I am not the same as someone else. That’s why we ask ourselves this question. And once having answered that question, “Which of my desires come closest to ruling my life? To what is it that I had give up? What is the point at which I collapse?”

See, when you answer those questions, when the desire gets the upper hand, “Epi,” on top of, the upper hand. See, when desire gets the upper hand that’s when we get in trouble. Now, of course, the answer to unbridled desire is the last word in the list that we had from Galatians 5:22-23 which is translated in your King James’ version “temperance” and I think it in the other version it is called “self-control.” But actually, as I pointed out to you the last time we got together, it really means strength within. Little prefix en- with the word “Kratos,” strength inside, God’s strength. Paul saying, “I can. I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.”

The secret to the Christian life said “He is Christ in you, the hope of glory.” So, the answer then to unbridled desire, desire that threatens to get the upper hand is to let the indwelling Holy Spirit of God control you instead. Now, how do you do that? Well, Paul tells us in Romans 6, three verbs. I first heard these put together by Dr. H.A. Ironside inside back in the — it would have been the 19 — what? ‘40s I guess at least, maybe earlier. But I heard him speak one time on Romans 6, and he said “There are three words that I want you to remember. The first one is recon, the second is yield, and the third is obey.”

Recon said he, make up your mind that you died so far as your old nature, and your sin nature, and your right to try again on your own. “Died when you identified yourself with the Lord Jesus Christ who died on the cross for you, recon yourselves dead indeed unto sin.” If you’re dead to something, you don’t respond to it nor can you.

Then said he, “Yield yourselves unto God as those that are alive from the dead,” that’s the second verb. Yield means give up to something other than yourself and sin. See, you’re going to give up to something anyways. Surrender is built into your bones. I have to tell you that and perhaps you already know it. Surrender is built into your bones. You’re going to give up to something anyway, so give up to Jesus. Yield yourselves unto God as those that are alive from the dead. You got a new life now and a new person who is the center of that life, and a new commission which is the basis of your work in that life, and a new goal which is to glorify the Lord who gave you that life and a new horizon which is to get safe home to heaven and be with Him for all eternity enjoying that eternal life.

See, as those that are alive from the dead, give yourself to Him. You’re going to give up anyway. Give yourself to Him. How does that work? Well, I sometimes say to people, if you’re going blow your top, if you’re going to get really angry at someone, you know just a split second before you blow your top, you know that it’s going to happen, don’t you? I have never had anyone disagree with that statement. All of us know before we let go, before we light the fuse. All of us know what’s going to happen a split second before. There’s a little mental moral monitor somewhere back in your cranial cavity that says “Shall I? Shall I not? Shall I let him have it? Or shall I not?” Do you follow me?

So in that split second, beloved, when the little mental moral monitor is saying “It’s going to happen. Shall I do it or not?” That is the moment where you give up to the Lord Jesus Christ. That is the moment where you’re going to give up to the Lord Jesus Christ and you call on Him. It doesn’t have to be a long prayer and not even an audible prayer. But in your heart, you cry out to your Savior to hold on to you and to control you, yield yourselves to God. You give up to Him instead of giving up to your desires. Do you follow that?

I can recall sitting across the desk at the college good many years ago and I would have been back, I suppose in the 60s. I had somebody who was complaining bitterly about some things, and went on, and went on, and went on. And the longer the individual spoke, the more tense I could feel myself growing. I got so uptight that if he had plucked me, I think I would have sounded A440. Did you ever feel yourself just getting uptight? Well, I was there. And I knew that if I went on that way I was going to explode because the litany of complaints was going on endlessly. And so I remember bowing even in that moment while the list of things that were so bitterly being complained about was going on. I remember bowing and just praying “O, Jesus, you have to control my feelings. Control my anger, control my temper, control my impatience. Help me now.”

You want to know something? While I sat there at that desk, in that moment after I prayed, I began to feel a feeling of peace, and of restfulness, and of acceptance, and the interview ended as I recall quite pleasantly. As a matter of fact, I didn’t do any exploding and I wasn’t uptight. I wasn’t tense any longer. The Lord Jesus had taken care of that anger that was surging up in my heart and mind. Humanly speaking, I would have lost my temper but Jesus took hold of me right then and answered a prayer. Oh, yes, I remember that and I know that you can yield yourself to God if you will. Now, it all depends on whether you want to.

Henry Brandt, a psychologist, a Christian psychologist that many of you know was ministering to us back in the 60s I guess it was. He came to us for a conference and he told about one of his clients some years previously who had come in with some very legitimate complaints, symptoms that were very painful. And Henry listened to all of these, and then asked a few penetrating questions, and discovered the fact that the young man’s difficulty was based upon his passionate hatred of, I think it was his father-in-law, a member of the family group in any case. And so when the young man paused, Henry said — he looked at him and asked him, he said “As I understand it, you don’t like your father-in-law.” “Oh,” he said “I hate him. I hate him. I hate him.”

Well, he said “Now, if I were able to give you a prescription that would remove some of these painful experiences that you’re having, but at the same time would make you love your father-in-law, would you be interested in that?” You see because Henry is going to lead him right straight to the Word of God and the Savior. He said “Would you be interested in that?” The young man thought a minute, got up from his chair, turned around, headed for the door and said as he went out the door “Nope, I’d rather go on hating him,” and he went on out.

See, it really is up to you, isn’t it, whether you want the Lord Jesus Christ to control you? If you want to escape the domination of desires that would get the upper hand in your life and control you, you simply have to make up your mind that you’re going to give in to somebody else. That’s that first word “recon,” make up your mind. Second, “yield,” give up. You’re going to give up anyway to something, give up to Jesus. The third word in that Romans 6 passage is “obey.” What God tells you to do, do it and do it right away. There is no substitute for prompt obedience. Delayed obedience turns out to be disobedience. There is no substitute for prompt obedience to what you understand to be the Will of God as you get it from His blessed inspired infallible Word, The Bible.

Now, he said “Having escaped the corruption that is in the world through desires that get the upper hand.” You can, beloved, live clean in a dirty world. It’s not done by withdrawing and being a hermit. It’s not done by exercising super human willpower. It’s not done by making yourself a pharisaical holier than thou kind of a person. It is done by the Word of God working in your heart and mind and by your deliberate surrender to Jesus Christ in these moments of stress when desire would get the upper hand.

Heavenly Father, today help us to give up to Thee, through Jesus our Lord, I pray. Amen.

Until I meet you once again by way of radio, walk with the King today and be a blessing!

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