I’m not going to lie, sometimes books scare me. I am finding I have little or no patience with books I don’t agree with; those books that are written more to make one feel good than to make one see the need for a Savior and change. Those books that say, “God is a God of love and He loves you just the way you are. You have no need to change anything about you. You’re perfect just as you are. God has no problem with how you are choosing to live your life.”
I have issues with this because I find absolutely no biblical basis for that line of thinking. Yes, God is a God of love. We read that over and over in the Bible. And yes, it also says that He first loved us. It even goes so far as to say when we were God’s enemies, He died for us. Why did He die for us?
Because He loved us. He created us to be in a relationship with Him only our sin got in the way. He made a way, through Jesus for us to be again in that relationship with Him.
When someone loves us, our natural response should be to love them in return. To desire to please that person. In our sinfulness we can’t please God. We can’t.
Our response to God’s love for us should be to love Him in return. And that love response should produce a change in our behavior. Sins we commit habitually should cause us pain.
To accept God’s love and then continue to choose to live like His enemy, like we are the all-powerful one in control of the relationship is ludicrous. Yet when we choose to continue to live in our sin…to live a lifestyle in opposition to God…we are not loving God. We are loving ourselves.
I’m afraid many people are being loved right into the pit of hell.
Kevin Malarkey touches on this in his book, A Beautiful Defeat, Find True Freedom and Purpose in Total Surrender to God.
“The message is not of God saying, ‘I died for your sins to work as a consultant to help you achieve the life you’re determined to have.’ Jesus died to reconcile us to God so that we can die and give our lives to Him and to others–a total surrender that is truly a beautiful defeat.”
I believe this is a must-read for every Christian. We spend so much of our time rushing here and there trying to accomplish something for God. Trying to be good enough, holy enough, to make ourselves better so we can achieve the life we want. When all God says is “Abide in Me”, “Be holy as I am holy.”
How do we accomplish that?
We live in surrender…complete surrender to Him.
Kevin starts the book by saying what so many people are saying, we have to live real, authentic lives. We have to be real about our struggles. We can’t hide them and expect to make a difference. He calls us first to live authentic lives. Then we are called to live surrendered lives.
To live a surrendered life we must die. We must die to ourselves, take up our cross daily and follow Jesus.
It’s not easy. But it is necessary.
If you’re wanting see what an authentic surrender life looks like, if you need a little help getting God’s Word on living a life of surrender and total freedom, you should read this book!
I love how much Scripture is in the book. His stories to illustrate his points are apt and fitting. His writing style is definitely easy to read.
Kevin has written 10 action steps to living a surrendered life. Each chapter discusses one step, recapped at the end and he has written a prayer that goes along with the step. This would be a great Bible study book, small group topic, or even just one you use for your own quiet time with Jesus.
I received a free copy of this book for the purpose of review from BookLook Bloggers. All opinions are my own.