by Lauren Crane
For an effective life and ministry for the Kingdom, Hayes Wicker advises total surrender – a yielding of the right of way – to God.
Wicker, who pastors First Baptist Church of Naples, Fla., spoke to Southeastern students on the text of Romans 12:1 during a chapel service on September 17. He said that in the text, God, speaking through Paul, is teaching believers to “yield your members and give yourself to me.”
“Failure to yield the right of way to the King is disastrous,” Wicker said. “Surrender is to yield the victory. In this text, Paul is saying, ‘Yield all to him’ and ‘Give it all for him.’ I ask you, where is the passion in our pulpits today? God says ministry is a full-on engagement of the world.”
This engagement of the world must begin with recognizing the Lordship of Christ, Wicker said. “Jesus Christ died and rose so he might be the Lord. There is no downsizing or stripping him of his deity. He does not wimp out, back out or mess around. He is Lord. Our call is first to lift up and then look up to him as Lord.”
Wicker said that in order to yield the right of way to God, believers must also look back at the great mercies of God. “We sacrifice because he sacrificed. It was not only for salvation, but for sanctification. Thus, he helps us to yield the right of way to him. He says, “I am. I am here from heaven, and I am here to help.”
Wicker said that in light of God’s mercies, believers must present themselves as living sacrifices, realizing that “Jesus as Lord is different than Jesus is Lord. He is Lord. Have you yielded to him as Lord of your life?
“We know his will is perfect. Do we believe it is good? So many times we think God has this conspiracy to take away our fun,” Wicker said. “Still, we must yield totally. Present your body – that’s everything – and glorify God in your body, which is the temple.”
Instead of laying our issues down before God and then picking them up again, Wicker said we must open our hands and give everything to God for good. “No longer is every discussion a turf war. Put yourself on the altar, not as a dead animal, but as a submitted believer. It’s a daily sacrifice.”
Rather than think too highly of ourselves in making this sacrifice, Wicker said to remember, “All of our good deeds are for the glory of the Father, in the name of the Son, in the power of the Spirit.
“To yield the right of way means to be worshipful – this is what King David wanted to know – how to worship and surrender.”
Wicker said that ultimately, it is about obedience and surrender on a daily, constant basis. “’He must increase. I must decrease.’ That’s yielding the right of way until we see the bridegroom face to face.”
The mission of Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary is to glorify the Lord Jesus Christ by equipping students to serve the church and fulfill the Great Commission (Matthew 28:19-20). Southeastern is an institution of higher learning and a Cooperate Program ministry of the Southern Baptist Convention.