Clicking here goes to information on the icon.Welcome to the St. Luke Web Page.
Search the site.Listen to Father Borichevsky's restored radio programsSee What St. Luke Orthodox Church has planned.Visit and sign our guest book.Contact the St. Luke Orthodox Church Web Development Team.
Find something on the site in a hurry.
St. Lukes Orthodox Church Home PageDonate Now!Shop for Orthodox goods from your Computerchurchdirectory Pages that deal with St. Luke the Evangelist Orthodox Church. What's the news at St. Lukes.View all the previous and current Evangelist newsletters.View the Sunday bulletin.Information about St. Luke Orthodox Church including the Mission and Vision statements. Pages for 'keeping in touch' with God. Information on prayers and prayingView the prayer of the week and all other previos prayers of the week.Need to pray for something? What is the Orthodox Church and how/why do Orthodox Christians worship? What is the Orthodox Church of America?Who were the Saints, and why do we honor them?Find and explore many different liturgical texts we have available, including the Divine LiturgyWhat is Pascha?  See what it's like at St. Luke's.How is Orthodoxy playing a role in the present times?Learn what are icons and how are they used in the Orthodox Church today.BellsSee what we have to offer!Current Issues Pages for Organizations of St. Lukes. Christian Education, Youth Group, Music, Church Resource Center, Adult Education, and Junior Olympics.Maintenance, New Building, Strategic Planning, Cell Phone Tower, Inventory, Cemetery/Memorial Book, and Historian.Outreach, Charities, Internet, Evangelist Newsletter, Media, Prison, Sanctity of Life, and Mission.Liturgical, Altar Servers, Bell Ringers, Cemetery, Readers, Greeters, Choir, and Vestments.Fellowship, Supply Coordinator, Prayer, Women's Ministry, New Americans, Sunshinem, Flowers, and Vestments. Some stuff Study the bibleSearch the bibleOrthodoxy on the lighter side...Words of Wisdom...If you've got the taste for great Orthodox foods, this is the place to be.Children friendly section of the pageMessages

Worship Requires Surrender
By Ken Stevens

Having been involved with the St. Luke Purpose Driven Life group for the past several months, one of the core premises around being "on-purpose" is the act of worship and its inherent meaning. An entire chapter in the book is devoted to a discussion of the notion that the very heart of worship is surrender. While the word "surrender" itself can elicit negative connotations, when it comes to the Lord, surrender is the only way. Romans 6:13 states it succinctly: "Give yourselves to God...Surrender your whole being to Him to be used for righteous purposes."

I'd be the first to admit that total surrender is all but impossible, but should be the goal of every Orthodox Christian. As we learned in our seminar, there are three barriers that block our total surrender to God: fear, pride, and confusion. We naively believe it's a lot easier to control our own lives...surrendering our will to God's care is not an easy task. Although all three barriers are noteworthy, for me personally, fear or lack of trust in the Lord comes to the fore. While I gain strength for trust in the Lord through prayer and devotion, time and time again the pull of the secular world allows worry to rear its ugly head. It's a constant struggle of spiritual warfare, that is, trust in God versus anxieties of the world.

We learned that the more we realize how much God loves us, the easier surrender becomes, and that He loves us infinitely more than we can image. The group also discussed the realization that love is not just is a multi-dimensional word that denotes awe, trust, obedience, admiration, and other characteristics that together constitute love of God. We also learned that surrender is requisite in both good and bad times in our lives. We are all faced with hurdles in life - we live in a fallen world, and no one is immune from the pain and distress of life's challenges. But as the book states, "...genuine surrender says, 'Father, if this problem, pain, sickness, or circumstance is needed to fulfill your purpose and glory in my life or in another's, please don't take it away.' This level of maturity does not come easily; it is intense warfare against our self-centered nature."

We learn in Orthodox theology that surrendering -- getting closer to God -- is a continuous process of growing in Christlikeness (i.e. theosis). It may take a lifetime, and sometimes in my impatience to grow in the Lord, it is incredibly frustrating for Type A's such as myself. Innately and selfishly, my attitude is "I want it now," when in fact, God's grace from surrendering it's not something you get by putting 50 cents in a pop machine. Surrender is a struggle against our self-will, our stubborn pride, and our own personal ambition. God's purpose for our lives precludes intense focus on ourselves. While I wish that I could experience one moment of surrender that lasts for my entire lifetime, I realize it is more a process or practice of surrender that must be continually nourished as the pull of life and the Evil One is unrelenting.

We pray that God will bless our lives with a full measure of steady and escalating surrender, and that our sacrifice will be acceptable to Him.

Back to Previous Article
Back to Evangelist Listing
Go to Next Article