Schooled By The Spirit: Surrender to God

Joe Oden for Nations Church Sunday Service

September 14, 2021

Schooled By The Spirit
Special Guest Joe Oden
September 14, 2021

Have you ever gone through an experience that you thought would end you? Or maybe depression came over you and you felt like joy would never be a familiar friend? Maybe you received some bad news that broke your spirit.

Some of us have been hit with trial after trial, and no matter how hard we try to push through, it seems like there is no light at the end of the tunnel. It may seem like God has forgotten us and that we will never overcome this dark phase of our life.

If you’re in this place, don’t give up. Wait for God to show up and show off because He always makes a way. The key is to trust and surrender it all to Him and allow Him to take control. Need to learn how to surrender to God and trust Him? Then this sermon blog is for you.


We are reminded in Jeremiah 29:11 that God has plans for us – plans that will not harm us, but cause us to prosper. Jeremiah 1:6 also reminds us that God knew us before we were in the womb and that we were set apart.

These two verses reinforce that God has a plan for each and everyone one of us. We are often made to believe that God cannot use someone who is recovering from a drug or alcohol addiction because they are not the perfect candidate. Throughout scripture we see God using imperfect people for the sake of His mission because that’s all He has to work with.

Let’s examine the life of Samson, who was not only chosen from birth to fulfill his calling but is the perfect example that God often works in spite of our rebellion. Samson was known for his impeccable physical strength, having defeated a lion, 30 men from Ashkelon, and 1,000 Philistines. But, his strength failed when it came to Delilah. Though he was blinded and humiliated, Samson humbled himself and asked for God’s forgiveness so that he could complete the work that he was called to do.

God can use anyone to do His work. The key is that we must be willing to surrender.


Most of us can admit that at some point in our lives, we’ve either strayed from God, ignored His calling to come back, or simply never accepted Him to begin with. But when God wants to use us, we cannot run or hide, or at least, not for long. Eventually, we have to surrender and give our lives over to Him. The popular song by William McDowell comes to mind. We must always remember that our life is not our own and we belong to Him. We must fully surrender to God.

So what causes us to finally make that turning point in our lives? What finally helps us to see that we have to stop living for ourselves and fulfill the calling that God has over our lives?

Some of us learn the hard way and it is important to understand that God does not want to scold us, but He wants to save us. It’s the only way for our eyes to be opened to the truth. Whether we found ourselves in places or situations that we should not have been in, God will keep on reminding us over and over why we should not be there.

There are only so many chances we have until He shows us the hard way why we need to leave that life behind and follow Him. It’s no doubt that our own story and testimony can inspire others to pursue God.

Surrender to God - Joe Oden

Surrender to God – Joe Oden


In Matthew 4:1 we learn that Jesus was led into the wilderness by the Holy Spirit, the same Holy Spirit that appeared at Jesus’ baptism in the previous chapter. Many have questioned why Jesus was allowed to be tempted by the devil for 40 days and came to believe that this was preparation for ministry.

The desert has often been a place of testing and preparation for many in the Bible, as we saw with Moses who spent 40 years in the desert, and similarly John the Baptist who lived in the desert until his appearance in Israel.

Although it may not look like a physical desert, it can be a situation or a lifestyle that prepares us to be used by God. God desires for us to rely on the Holy Spirit so we can be led to all truth. It’s always easier when the Spirit of the Lord is moving. If Jesus needed empowerment by the Holy Spirit, then how much more do we need it?


Are you ready to surrender it all to God? Are you ready to stop fighting internally and allow God to take over?

Do you know that God can deliver you out of any situation even if it seems like it’s too late? Do you know that you are never too broken for God to use you?

How can you better surrender your life to God in this season?

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