David Parker is the Pointman Ministries International, Central Regional Director, Clay, Kentucky, USA
Webster’s Dictionary defines ‘surrender’ as: “To deliver up; yield to another; to resign; to relinquish” and in the military, the word ‘surrender’ is like a dirty word. In the Marine Corps, there is a unit that had to surrender its colors (flag) at the beginning of WWII. Because of the disgrace of that humane act, that unit’s flag have never come back home to the shores that they served. In boot camp (rookies) we were taught about the Geneva Convention and to only surrender to the enemy if we were able to evade capture and had no means to defend ourselves. With this type of conditioning of duty, pride and honour, no wonder it is hard for the Vietnam Veteran to surrender his/her life to Christ Jesus.
I am a Vietnam Veteran. I served with the Marine Corps in country from February 1970 until January 1971 with a 105 Howitzer Battery . When I went to Vietnam I was a luke-warm Christian. Before I went, I had a heart-to-heart with my Grandfather who was a Baptist minister. My spirit was bothering me about the Sixth Commandment, “Thou shalt not kill”. He convinced me that I was not responsible for performing my duties as ordered by my government and that soothed my spirit for the moment.
Coming home never really happened. I physically returned to the United States , but emotionally I died. Since I was already dead, there was nothing I could do to myself that would hurt me. With this mentality, I proceeded to drink the world dry. You see, I had a problem – and it wasn’t alcohol. I couldn’t sleep at night because of the nightmares, guilt, anger and rage, depression, suicidal thoughts, flashbacks and intrusive thoughts.
Less than a year from my return, I met and married my young and naive, present and only wife. We have two sons. The reason we are still married was not because of anything I did. The Lord knows I did everything imaginable that could and would end a marriage. I was unable to keep a job, because of my attitude and anger. After about 20 years of this behaviour and several hospitalizations in the Veterans’ Affairs system psyche wards, my wife was contacted by a Point Man Ministries representative. She was told about a conference called, ‘Operation Dust Off’ for Vietnam Veterans and their spouses in Virginia Beach, VA by Point Man and CBN. My wife told me that she felt that this was something we needed to try
We went to three of these conferences. Each time we would be filled with hope in our lives. We would attend the seminars that would have excellent speakers. In these seminars they would speak of surrendering your troubles to the Lord. As good as these speakers were, not on told us how to surrender.
Returning home, we would be on fire for the Lord for a few weeks. But the fire would dwindle due to the lack of fuel, as we returned to the same atmosphere that we had left. In hindsight, I did not stay in the Word of God to know how to keep the fire burning. Nor did I fellowship with other Christians to grow in my new freedom. The door was left wide-open for the great deceiver to stroll in and rob me of the truth.
In 1995, my wife and I attended a Point Man conference in Mansfield , which was extremely spiritual for me. There was something different. The Holy Spirit was definitely there. For the past three years we had been under conviction to start a Point Man Homefront Outreach in our area. Satan was able to convince us that we were not good enough to do God’s work. But, here we received a great revelation – “cannot” is one of satan’s lies. God says all things are possible for those who believe. With the help of the Holy Spirit you do not have to believe that lie. By not believing the lie there is room for you to surrender your past to God and believe the truth. The Truth – there is a God, He sent His only begotten Son to die for every sin. We are all born sinners, but there is something we can do about it – surrender!
Postscript by Fred Grigg:
In the Bible book of John, Chapter 3:1-21, the writer tells of a discussion that Jesus had with an extremely religious man named Nicodemus – he was a member of the Jewish parliament of the day; had been raised under the strict religious code of a group called the Pharisees – he was more religious than perhaps you or I could ever be!
Jesus flatly told him that even with all his religious studies, religious practices, and his long years of experience as a leader in his country, that he would not see or even enter the Kingdom of God unless he was Born Again! (see verses 3-8). Yes, you have probably hear the words ‘Born Again’ used in many different contexts in the media – the ‘born again’ football team; the ‘born again’ car model; the ‘born again’ career of an actor, etc. Well, Jesus did not use the words in any of those contexts.In fact, in the original Greek language that the account was written, the words, ‘born again’ really meant, ‘to be regenerated from above spiritually’ – it is from the inference in that statement relating to ‘re-generation’ that it translates into English as ‘Born Again’.
So, you may ask, what do I have to do to be ‘regenerated spiritually?’ Probably the most simple thing you could possibly ever do in the light of ‘surrendering’ in the way in which David Parker did in the foregoing article. He did it, I did it and so have thousands of others. No, it is not something that you can do without the help of God’s Holy Spirit. It is only by making a quality, meaningful and final decision that you want to surrender your life (and the mess you and others have made of it) to the Lord Jesus Christ. No, it does not mean that you will become a ‘namby-pamby goody-two-shoes’ church-goer dressed in a suit carrying a large Bible under your arm on Sundays (that’s ‘churchianity’ not True Christianity!). What it does mean is that you will become, in time, the person you were really meant to be. You will get to understand that you are loved, accepted and forgiven by a loving God. You will get to understand what purpose you have to fulfill in being here on Earth. You will become a better husband, a better father and someone who really knows where they are going in life.
No, your present and past problems won’t disappear overnight – but, you will find the ability to work through them and overcome them. Everything in the ‘garden won’t be rosy’ but you will have the ability God can give you to face and handle the storms that life dishes up to everyone – Christians and non. How do you become a Christian that is truly regenerated in your heart by the Holy Spirit? You can contact Point Man Ministries for help, or, you can start right now by praying a prayer similar to the following:
“Father God, I come to you in the Name of your Son Jesus Christ. I have no answer to the things that have troubled me in life. I need your help to become the person that you want me to be. Holy Spirit, I open the door of my heart and ask you to come into my life. Create in me a new heart and renew a right spirit within me. Forgive me for all the things that I have done that were wrong (name them one by one – we all know what’s right and what’s wrong). Cleanse me of all my sin (sin is simply falling short of what God wants you to do) and set me free from the bondages of my past. Please help me to make things right in my life – my relationships that I have damaged (wife/husband/children/parents etc). Take authority in my life and help me to be guided and led by you forever. I ask this in the name of Jesus. Amen”.
If you prayed the above prayer from the bottom or your heart and really meant what you prayed, why not contact us and let us know. We would appreciate your contact and perhaps we can assist you in your desire to serve the True and Living God.