As Christians read, study and meditate upon Scripture there occur some shifts within them. God’s Word begins to layer our minds and hearts with truth that seeps down into that mysterious place called the soul. When this happens to us we begin to live with the mind of Jesus Christ as the Holy Spirit weaves His life into our own. The bible becomes to us a pipeline from Heaven’s throne through which love, power, wisdom and joy travel. The believer who prioritizes God’s Word will soon happily discover that significant changes are occurring within. God the Spirit will erect pillars within our hearts and minds upon which the rest of our lives will be supported. It is a beautiful thing when the Christian can begin to recognize some of these pillars that are shaping the way they think and bringing definition to who they are. Here is one that gripped me within the first few months of my conversion. This truth shapes my entire approach to life and I leave it with you to consider for your own life.
“…You are not your own, for you were bought with a price…” – 1st Corinthians 6:19-20
I do not belong to me. My life is a gift from Another and given with the intention that I will proactively spend it for the fame of the One who gave it to me. I am forbidden to live for lesser things, and it became my reality that I did not any longer want to live for those things. There is no way I can take credit for this transformation because, prior to my salvation, I lived in utter selfishness. I orbited around my own presumed rights and my own natural desires. I was for me. People were for me. Things were for me. I expected God to suit my whims, to grant everything I demanded and to endorse my plan. He was to ignore my rebellion, clear my pathway, crush my enemies and rescue me from the trouble I regularly created for myself. No matter that I lived in opposition to Him, His promises, His expectations and His truth – God was to take me to Paradise when I finished up my self-indulgent life on Earth. This was how I lived.
Then Jesus Christ had the sovereign audacity to pounce upon me with mercy, grace and love in the summer of 1994. He saved me and began to reveal His desire for my life. Everything would change, and I do mean everything.
When God began to use His Word to show me all that He desired for me, trust began to be born in my heart. Somewhere during those early weeks of my journey with Jesus I began to understand that He had not saved me to turn me loose back into the well-worn paths of my former life. He pointed me in an altogether different direction and I sensed that I was wholly His. I knew that I belonged to Him. My mind was now His. My mouth was now His. My body was now His. My purposes, resources, time, relationships and life-trajectory were now under the sole proprietorship of Jesus Christ. Far from this awakening being an anvil on my freedom, it actually brought me great joy for, since I was His possession, I was also His responsibility. He made it clear to me that He takes care of those who live in surrender to Him. I had finally come home and I rejoiced to know that I would stay.
Consider today that what might be missing from your faith-journey is this experience of realizing that you are completely His. Living in yieldedness to Christ is the only way for the believer to experience the fullness of what God has to offer us. Any division within our hearts and wills serves to impede the flow of God’s peace, power and joy. This, I believe, is why many (if not most) Christians live in some level of regular frustration and emptiness. They have the awareness of Christ’s lordship…but not the functioning reality of it. Time is short so my encouragement for you is to find your point of total surrender. If it eludes you then ask for God to bring it to you and you to it – He will surely affirm that request. Merely recognizing the truth that we are not our own does not make it a reality. It is a reality whether we recognize it or not, yet recognizing it gives us entrance into the very best experience that God extends to all us. Trusting obedience has always been the gateway into His beauty. Go ahead and cross the threshold. Let your life rest securely upon this glorious pillar.
Give to the ministry