It is a pleasure to have author and TV show host Joni Lamb with us here today. Joni is the host of the Christian television program Joni and co-founder with her husband Marcus, of the Daystar Christian Television Network . Welcome Joni!
Joni, I am sorry to say that until I read your book Surrender All, I had never heard of Daystar Television Network. It excites me to know that you might be available somewhere here in Canada! Now, I just have to find you! Just in case someone else is in the same boat as me, can you tell us a little about yourself and your ministry?
Well, I guess the short answer is I married my sweetheart in 1982; we traveled as evangelists for two years and while in the Holy Land, the Lord began to speak to my husband about getting involved in Christian Television. We built the first Christian TV station in the history of the state of Alabama and came on the air in 1985. There were many bumps in the road but God was faithful. We moved to Dallas in 1991 and built KMPX-TV 29 and the rest is history. It’s been a 24-year journey that has now turned into the Daystar Television Network that reaches into every city in America and every country in the world. I am a wife, mother of three, co-host and host of a daily women’s show called “Joni”. Has it been easy? No… but “surrender” was the key for me.
In Surrender All, you talk about how you and your husband Marcus Lamb learned how to rely completely on God for everything. How hard is it to surrender to God like that?
Surrender is a daily process. It’s never easy to give up control of anything but when we allow the Lord to direct our steps, we realize that amazing things can take place in our lives. In the early days, it was difficult because there wasn’t a lot of resources to do what God had commissioned us to do, so day by day we had to learn how to rely on Him, trust Him and be obedient. The neat thing about God is that He is no respecter of persons. He loves us all the same and wants to move in each of lives individually if we will allow him the opportunity to do so.
You talk about a path to surrender. Can you tell us about that?
As I mentioned above, it is a day by day walk. When you have a relationship with God, you can talk to Him about anything. I wake up in the morning knowing that He has a plan for me that day. Learning to listen, pray and obey is what helps me each and every day.
How can you tell if it is God’s will and not your own?
That’s not an easy question but if it’s God’s will, it will line up with the Word of God. You will have peace, and it will be confirmed through other godly people in your life. We don’t always get it right, but we learn with each situation of life. In the end, God gets the glory for all He does in our lives.
Is surrendering to God an ongoing process?
Yes, it is an ongoing process… day by day. The more I learn about the Lord, the more I realize I don’t know. And yet, the journey is amazing and He proves faithful time and time again.
Is there a specific verse in scripture that commands us to surrender to God?
Luke 9:23-24, “Then he said to them all if anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will save it.”
I love this quote from the Tyndale commentary concerning this verse… “When man gives up all for Christ, he finds that he has entered that life that is life indeed. There is one place in the universe of perfect peace and that is in a ‘surrendered life’ to our Creator. Who better to trust than the one who created us… who fashioned us from our mother’s womb and uniquely gifted us. Who better to trust with the design than the designer himself.”
Can a Christian have a life devoted to God without surrendering?
Yes, there are many Christians who have not surrendered totally to the Lord. They love God but they never take the time to ask Him what His plan is for their life. They go through life making decisions without consulting God. And most never walk in his diving purpose and destiny.
It sounds like those Christians are missing out on the greatest part of walking with God. Tell me, what has been the hardest part of surrender for you?
The hardest part for me was believing that I could do what He was asking me to do. So many times, I felt inadequate but He would gently nudge me and say, “I am with you, don’t be afraid and trust me”… I say in the book that I felt like I have left skid marks in the carpet where God and my husband would push me way out of my comfort zone over the last 25 years.
For those who are new to the Lord, does surrendering to God mean we stop thinking for ourselves?
Of course not. God is the one who inspires us with ideas and uniquely gifts us. But, when we surrender to Him, it enables Him to use those talents and abilities in a way we never dreamed possible. When I wrote my surrender letter to the Lord at age 20, I had no idea what God had in mind for my life. If you had told me at that point what all it entailed, I wouldn’t have believed you. God plans are so much better than any we can imagine… but again, the key is “surrender”.
Thank you Joni, for taking the time to talk to us today about a life that is surrendered to God. I am sure there are many new Christians and maybe some old, who have struggled with a surrendered life. Remember, readers - leave a comment and you could win a copy of Joni's book Surrender All. It will bless you and encourage you in your walk with God. To quote author Francine Rivers it is a 'book to be savoured and saved!'