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by Pastor Don Nagy


A few years ago, I was at an amusement park that was hosting a Christian Festival. A good friend of mine was speaking that afternoon so I made it a point to check out his message.

It was a very powerful sermon and it concluded with the worship band coming back onto the stage to lead the crowd in "I Surrender All". It was one of those Holy Spirit moments where the crowd became very quiet and introspective. And as the final notes of the song played out a hush fell over the entire gathering.

That hush was quickly interrupted by the roar of the roller coaster above and by the screams of the people that were riding it. At first, it kind of shook me and my first thought was "well THAT certainly ruined the moment!" But then I heard a check in my spirit say "no, that actually illustrates the message."

The people on that roller coaster were a perfect illustration of what surrender really looks like. The riders have put their complete trust in that ride. Wherever that coaster goes, they will go. They have put their full faith in the equipment, the operator, and the designers and the engineers. They are literally entrusting their lives to them and are in full belief that this ride will bring them to its intended destination.

In response to that message, and by the prompting of the Holy Spirit, I decided that the next thing that I needed to do was to ride that roller coaster and experience the illustration. While waiting in line, I noticed something. Some people approached the coaster and thought better of it and decided not to ride. Some people got in and went for the ride, but they did NOT enjoy it! They squeezed the life out of the bar they were holding onto, closed their eyes, and just tried to bear the chaos. They were holding on so tightly that their hands hurt. Others got in, waved their hands in the air, and experienced the thrill of their lives.

Jesus has called us to 'surrender all' to Him. He promises that if you do that, you will actually not lose but gain. Some people hear that offer, think about it, and decide not to ride. Some people respond to that offer and DO surrender, but they don't enjoy it. They are in the car but they aren't really sure they want to be there. Struggling with complete surrender, they continue to hold on to things so tightly that their hands hurt, and surrender becomes very painful. They miss the joy of the ride.

But then there are those who have totally surrendered. They have completely let go. They raise their hands in the air and experience the ride in its fullness because they have fully surrendered. The letting go becomes gain as they can now experience the ride to its fullest. Fullness of life comes with fully surrendering.

I want to be the guy who hops in, raises his hands in the air, and experiences the fullness of life that Jesus promises to those who fully surrender.

The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. John 10:10



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