Power through Surrender

Power through Surrender

Bryan Jones |

Jesus said, “I have come that you may have life and life to the full." This life He offers is available to us now. How do we get real spiritual power in our lives? Jesus models the way through surrender. Real spiritual power doesn't come from our strength, rather from our surrender to His will.

Power through Surrender
Bryan Jones
October 23, 2022

One thing the Holy Spirit has been convicting me on is how I approach the Bible. The Bible is a book of history but rather present reality…

When Jesus teaches the disciples to pray in Matthew chapter 6 remember what He says? Your kingdom come, Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. God’s desire is to bring heaven to this earth.

That means He wants to bring the power of heaven to restore marriages, open the eyes of the blind, transform those who are lost, to operate in step with the Holy Spirit, to increase in our faith where we believe that everything in this book is possible…

The big question is not if we die, will we go to heaven, but if we live, will heaven come to earth…

How do we get this kind of power? The way to access this power is different from the world’s understanding of power…

The power of God comes from our surrender not our strength.

To show you this we are going to look at Jesus in the Garden of gethsemane.

Matthew 26:36-46 (NIV)

Then Jesus went with His disciples to a place called Gethsemane, and He said to them, “Sit here while I go over there and pray.” He took Peter and the two sons of Zebedee along with Him, and He began to be sorrowful and troubled. Then He said to them, “My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with Me.” Going a little farther, He fell with His face to the ground and prayed, “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from Me. Yet not as I will, but as You will.” Then He returned to His disciples and found them sleeping. “Couldn’t you men keep watch with Me for one hour?” He asked Peter. “Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.” He went away a second time and prayed, “My Father, if it is not possible for this cup to be taken away unless I drink it, may Your will be done.” When He came back, He again found them sleeping, because their eyes were heavy. So He left them and went away once more and prayed the third time, saying the same thing. Then He returned to the disciples and said to them, “Are you still sleeping and resting? Look, the hour has come, and the Son of Man is delivered into the hands of sinners. Rise! Let us go! Here comes My betrayer!”

A while ago I was in Nairobi and then we went to the Masai Mara in Africa, which has some of the most amazing animals I had ever seen.

One night we went on an animal safari, and we pulled up on this pride of lions. There were about 8 or so… and the craziest thing was we were in an open safari truck, meaning it had no doors. Right beside us were no less than 8 lions. Our group had a couple of trucks, and they would shine these red lights on these lions because the white light could blind them, but the red doesn’t bother them. While we were out there, our truck died. Literally we are out there and there were 8 lions like 4 feet from us. Check out this video…

I was freaking out a bit because I was on the side with all the lions. I said to one of the pastors beside me, “Hey man why don’t we switch seats so that you can have a better view and take some better photos.” He said, “Thanks for giving me the seat” and I said, in the spirit of candor, “I only did it so the lion would eat you instead of me.”

And the crazy thing was one of the guys, without flinching, got out the car to work on the engine. He said, “If it’s my time it’s my time.”

Now we are in the 9th hour of Jesus’ life, and for most of Jesus’ life, He has operated like that bus driver who said with confidence, “If it’s my time then it’s my time.” But now Jesus, in this text, is starting to operate a little more like I did, with some worry and fear.

This passage is uncharacteristic of how Jesus operates His whole life on earth. So, I want to unpack what’s going on in Jesus, what is stirring inside of Him in the Garden of Gethsemane.

Again, it doesn’t seem like He has the defiance and courage He normally does. It’s hard to say it, but if just reading this, Jesus would seem weak or afraid.

Jesus followers died definitely… Polycarp said, and I paraphrase, I’m not afraid of these fires. They burn for a minute and are gone. You should be afraid of fires of hell.

This seems so different than how Jesus had operated previously. In Luke 9:51 even though He was warned about being taken prisoner and killed, the Bible said that He set His face to Jerusalem. So, what shifted, what happened?

Matthew 26:37 (NIV)

He took Peter and the two sons of Zebedee along with Him, and He began to be sorrowful and troubled.

Notice the phrase and He began… in Greek that reads “He began to be astonished” … or in other words all at once. So, something hits Him that wasn’t there in verse 36. In verse 36 all is well, but in verse 37 something happens.

That word troubled is a strong word, it means – overcome with shocking horror.

So, think about it, like this is what Jesus saw and experienced in verse 38 that almost killed Him.

Kids tend to exaggerate things, don’t they? (Son got a splinter dad and I’m going to make it) Now it’s important for us to not treat this as a metaphor or lightly. Jesus is not one who exaggerates. What He saw literally almost killed Him. This isn’t just a figure of speech.

Matthew 26:38 (NIV)

… “My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with Me.”

Listen to what Luke says about this experience in the garden.

Luke 22:44 (NIV)

And being in anguish, He prayed more earnestly, and His sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground.

Some people believe that this is a metaphor that Jesus was sweating profusely, and it was like an open wound that was pouring drops of sweat, not drops of blood. However, in the medical community there is a term called hematohidrosis, which is an intense physiological condition brought on by a heightened phycological condition. It’s possible that if a person gets such a heightened emotional state that these tiny capillaries that feed the sweat glands burst and blood can be emitted through the sweat glands… and then what comes out looks like blood coming through the pores of your forehead.

You know my family and I went to Disney world! My parents, my sister and all her family went. The first day we were there I took Selah and Grey and I walked them both out to the pool and we were just standing there. I’m not kidding you, without hesitation, Selah walked straight to the deep end, looks, and then jumped in and sank to the bottom. We were in regular clothes, I confess, I said a few words I had to repent of, but I jumped in with all my clothes and I pulled her up to the surface. She had this look of sheer terror on her face. It’s like my anger that I’m in a pool with my clothes on, moves to compassion. I heard the story of a young kid who fell in a pool a few years ago and lucky they were ok, but his parent wasn’t right beside him. When they found him, he was at the bottom of the pool. They jumped in and got him, then finally got the child breathing again and they took the young boy to the hospital. When the dad got there, he asked the doctor, why are all those red spots on his face? The doctor said that when the young boy fell in, he was crying with such intensity that the capillaries in his face burst.

Think about it, you have the Son of God who spoke the world into existence. He could tell legions of angels to flee, and they would. Who could speak to a tidal wave, a rogue wave, and say peace be still and the waters would calm instantly? The God who looked at a dead man and said take off your grave clothes and the man hops out of the tomb.

Yet here is the Son of God who is calling out with such intensity and under so much pressure that the capillaries in His face burst…


Matthew 26:39 (NIV)

Going a little farther, He fell with His face to the ground and prayed, “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from Me. Yet not as I will, but as You will.”

The cup is a metaphor for the wrath of God on human evil. So Jesus here experiences what it’s like to be cut off from the Father because of our sin!

The hour that He needs His father most there is only silence. Think about it, at His baptism He hears the voice of His father and His pleasure. Often Jesus broke away to have communion with His Father.

Notice He uses the term father, or daddy, He’s pleading… if there is any other way.

But there wasn’t another way.

Think about it… when people say all paths lead to God, how insulting that is to Jesus. There are tons of other ways but God the Father just wanted to put you through this… if there was any other way God would never have allowed this to happen.

Matthew 26:40 (NIV)

Then He returned to His disciples and found them sleeping. “Couldn’t you men keep watch with Me for one hour?” He asked Peter.

He’s so vulnerable, and so overwhelmed that He’s begging His friends to stay awake.

“Where was it that Jesus sweat great drops of blood? Not in Pilate’s Hall, nor on His way to Golgotha. It was in the Garden of Gethsemane. There He ‘ offered up prayers and petitions with loud cries and tears to the One who could save Him from death (Hebrews 5:7 NIV) Had I been there and witnessed that struggle, I would have worried about the future. ‘If He is so broken up when all He is doing is praying,’ I might have said, ‘what will He do when He faces a real crisis? Why can’t He approach this ordeal with the calm confidence of His three sleeping friends?’ Yet, when the test came, Jesus walked to the cross with courage, and His three friends fell apart and fell away.”

There is a power that comes from surrender. Jesus models it in this text.

The power of God in your life can’t supersede your surrender to God.

What does it look like to be surrendered to God today?

B. Power comes from surrendering…

1. Your whole life.

George Washington – there are no terms in surrender.

Power comes from surrendering…

2. Your will.

It’s humbling that all throughout the gospels Jesus is asked for things and He grants them. In the gospels, this is the only time Jesus asks the Father for something and He says no.

It’s ok to tell God what you want. But we must be surrendered to His will.

Power comes for surrendering…

3. Your strength.

I had a season years ago where I hit a wall of crippling anxiety. I mean I couldn’t eat. I had insomnia. I literally wasn’t sure if I was going to make it out of that season, but something happened in that season. After a while I realized I didn’t have the strength to fix this, and it caused me to have a desperation for God I had never known before. I literally told God I can’t do this, but there is where I got a new power… I started to get a faith and humility I had never known before…

See the truth is a lot of times God cannot be all we want until He becomes all that we have.

What are you trying to do in your own strength?

I have a friend whose marriage might not make it, and he’s fighting, but he’s tired. I sat with him and said, you need a supernatural strength. He’s been getting alone with God, and each day, he said God is giving him what he needs.

You’re worried about your kids… stop trying in own strength, surrender.

Health… stop trying in your own strength, surrender.

Maybe you’re in a dry spot and you want your passion for God to increase… stop trying, surrender.

Maybe there is some tension in a relationship, and you need to surrender.

Maybe there is an addiction, and you need to surrender, stop trying in own strength.

But dignity can keep us from breakthrough. Pride of not wanting to let others in or admitting to God we have something we need. We want to be put together.

Hebrews 12:2 (NIV)

Fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before Him He endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God

Joy means He got something He didn’t have before… so what did He get, the approval of the Father. He already had that. Kingship of the earth. He already had that. Defeat over death already had that. It was you…. That was His joy.

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