I’m In, Now What?
Acts 9:6 And he trembling and astonished said, Lord, what wilt thou have me to do? And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the city, and it shall be told thee what thou must do.
Intro: True surrender doesn’t wait for the details. True obedience doesn’t wait to be informed of the ins and outs and all the fine print. True surrender – true obedience says “I’m In, Now What?”
I’ve realized that the reason that we are not seeing young men called to preach is the element of uncertainty.
If they knew they would be able to be successful as a preacher, they might sign up.
If they knew they could get a pretty wife and be happy serving God with her, they might be willing.
If they thought the ministry wouldn’t be too hard, or too far away, or paid enough, they’ entertain the thought.
If they thought they wouldn’t look back over their life and feel it was wasted, they’d surrender maybe.
But true surrender is surrender without seeing the future; knowing the details. It’s in or out.
It’s called WALKING BY FAITH.
The reason we don’t see families surrendering to full-time missions is the uncertainty.
If they knew they would get called to a nice field, they might sign up.
If they knew they’d have their bills paid and plenty of support, they might sign up.
If they knew they could raise their support in record time and not have to be on deputation too long…
If they knew their wife and kids would be all in, they might sign up.
If they thought their in-laws wouldn’t make too big of a fuss, they might sign up.
But there are simply way too many uncertainties. Too many unknown details. It’s too vague.
Not a single person listed by name in Hebrews 11 knew what their future looked like.
They just believed God, and stepped out by faith. And God blessed them.
- Noah loaded his family up in the ark and said, “I’m In, Now What?”
- Abraham didn’t know where he was going when he set out for a city, but he said, “I’m In, Now What?”
- Daniel was in the lions den, and said, “I’m In, Now What?”
True surrender – true obedience says “I’m In, Now What?”
…the list goes on and on.
Elisha and Elijah
I Kings 19:19-21
- 19 So he departed thence, and found Elisha the son of Shaphat, who was plowing with twelve yoke of oxen before him, and he with the twelfth: and Elijah passed by him, and cast his mantle upon him.
- 20 And he left the oxen, and ran after Elijah, and said, Let me, I pray thee, kiss my father and my mother, and then I will follow thee. And he said unto him, Go back again: for what have I done to thee?
- 21 And he returned back from him, and took a yoke of oxen, and slew them, and boiled their flesh with the instruments of the oxen, and gave unto the people, and they did eat. Then he arose, and went after Elijah, and ministered unto him.
Elijah cast his mantle on Elisha, and Elisha said, “I’m In, Now What?”
Had no idea what it involved.
He never heard a rundown of the job description.
He didn’t know the path, the pay, the process, the problems, or the perks.
He didn’t get time to pray about it.
He didn’t get time to get advice or godly counsel.
He didn’t take time to weight out all his vocation options.
He burned his bridges and said “I’m In, Now What?”
The Prophet Isaiah
- Isaiah 6:8 Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Then said I, Here am I; send me.
God said WHOM SHALL I SEND, AND WHO WILL GO FOR US.
Isaiah said, “HERE AM I SEND ME.”
He had NO IDEA what the job involved.
He didn’t get any information at all from God on what God wanted done.
Isaiah said, “I’m In, Now What?”
Let me sign the dotted line, and you can fill in the blanks.
Disciples: Peter, Andrew, James and John
- 18 And Jesus, walking by the sea of Galilee, saw two brethren, Simon called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea: for they were fishers.
- 19 And he saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.
- 20 And they straightway left their nets, and followed him.
- 21 And going on from thence, he saw other two brethren, James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, in a ship with Zebedee their father, mending their nets; and he called them.
- Matthew 9:9 And as Jesus passed forth from thence, he saw a man, named Matthew, sitting at the receipt of custom: and he saith unto him, Follow me. And he arose, and followed him.
They all said the same thing, “I’m In, Now What?”
Let’s look at our text tonight. Acts 9
Saul on the road to Damascus – Lord, what wilt thou have me to do?
Notice the Three Step Process that Saul took to be able to say, “I’m In, Now What?”
Every person that ever surrenders fully to the will of God for their life must take these same 3 steps.
I. There was an Assessment of His Life
Saul realized all in one moment that his entire life had been a huge mistake.
His zeal; his labor; his work; his effort; his passion; his focus – all of it was for naught.
Look at Saul’s life’s work:
- 1 And Saul was consenting unto his death. And at that time there was a great persecution against the church which was at Jerusalem; and they were all scattered abroad throughout the regions of Judaea and Samaria, except the apostles.
- 2 And devout men carried Stephen to his burial, and made great lamentation over him.
- 3 As for Saul, he made havock of the church, entering into every house, and haling men and women committed them to prison.
- 4 Therefore they that were scattered abroad went everywhere preaching the word.
Colossians 1:15, 16
- 15 But when it pleased God, who separated me from my mother’s womb, and called me by his grace,
- 16 To reveal his Son in me, that I might preach him among the heathen;
- 5 Circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, an Hebrew of the Hebrews; as touching the law, a Pharisee;
- 6 Concerning zeal, persecuting the church; touching the righteousness which is in the law, blameless.
- 7 But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ.
- 8 Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ,
II. There was an Awareness of his Lord – vs. 5, 6 And he trembling and astonished said, Lord…
FACT: He’s Lord, whether you recognize Him as such OR NOT!
The question tonight is not – is He Lord. That fact has been established.
The King James Bible records God Almighty saying no less than 162 times “I AM THE LORD!”
The question is, “Is He YOUR Lord??”
The lack of total surrender is a lack of an awareness of the LORDSHIP of JESUS CHRIST.
You insist in sitting in the driver’s seat.
You insist on calling the shots; making all the decisions; mapping out your life.
Saul of Tarsus had a HEAD-ON COLLISION with Jesus Christ and acknowledged Him as LORD!
III. There was an Acceptance of his Lot – vs. 20 And straightway he preached Christ in the synagogues, that he is the Son of God.
Before Saul even knew what God wanted him to do, he surrendered to God’s will.
He heard what his lot would be, and he surrendered to it.
- 15 But the Lord said unto him, Go thy way: for he is a chosen vessel unto me, to bear my name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel:
- 16 For I will shew him how great things he must suffer for my name’s sake.
NOTE: He quit his government job. He walked away from a life of position, prestige, and power.
He tore up the papers; the letters to the synagogues in Damascus authorizing him to arrest and bind men and women – if he found any of this way.
Acts 9:1, 2
- 1 And Saul, yet breathing out threatenings and slaughter against the disciples of the Lord, went unto the high priest,
- 2 And desired of him letters to Damascus to the synagogues, that if he found any of this way, whether they were men or women, he might bring them bound unto Jerusalem.
He tossed the papers and changed jerseys.
He became a preacher of the very gospel he had been trying to destroy.
He became the most vocal supporter of the very religion he had been trying to stop.
Conclusion: The life of Saul, who became the Apostle Paul was one of greatest miracles and powerful testimonies to the power of the Gospel.