What kind of life should we as Christians be living? Well, I guess you know what I think already: it’s the title of this post. To really live thelife of love and servant-hood that Christ calls us to, we must recklessly abandon our entire lives to God. You might be asking, “Seriously, Joel? Doesn’t God want to prosper us in our lives and give us money? Why would He want us to abandon them?” If you are, I’m glad you asked. There’s plenty of Biblical evidence for this.
“Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.”
How can we live in victory over sin? By recklessly abandoning our lives to God. Let me tell you, I’ve always been a naturally introverted person. I keep things to myself: things I’m feeling, problems I’m going through, offenses I’ve taken. The problem is, I end up putting myself in a box. This box, walled by sin, prevents me from living righteously and holy.
The box is “my life”. I’ve created it for myself, and no one else. On one hand, I find comfort in it: everything in there, I know intimately. If I need to feel something, I’ll reach in there and pull out some prejudice that was placed there long ago. On the other hand, I hate it with a passion. That box prevents me from ever seeing the world through God’s eyes. Everything I do and say is first passed through that filter, then comes out, not as great as it was supposed to be, and usually just as silence.
Sometimes, I think it’s the most natural “Christian” thing to do some “spiritual housecleaning” in your box. You know that one sin that’s been hurting you lately? Yeah, take it out of your box. Throw it in the trash! Never look at it again. It seems like a good idea, right? Here’s the problem with that strategy: you still have a box. What came out yesterday can just as easily go right back in today. You don’t really throw anything away; you just put it in a junk pile in the corner, ready and waiting to be put right back in that box. Even an empty box has the potential to be filled with evil. As long as you hold on to at least a part of your life, you will never be free.
Here’s a better strategy: throw the whole box away. Even better, give your box to God to throw away, because he’ll toss it as far as the east is from the west, man! Lose it! When a sin tries to creep back in, it won’t even have a place to grab onto! Take that nasty old filter and replace it with a new one. Think of an air filter. You know that nasty old one you have? No matter how much you wash it, it will never be new. No matter how much caked-on dirt you pull off, there will always be more. It will never be clean until you throw it away completely and get a new one. That new filter comes from God, and you won’t ever find it by yourself. It won’t be given to you until you relinquish the old one.
Your own desire, your own passion, your own will, your own life: they aren’t anything compared to the life God has prepared for you. Everything: that’s a lot of things. God wants it all. God wants all of you. Everything–giving your whole heart, nothing more and nothing less. It is only by submission, surrender, the abandoning of yourself that God can give you a new heart. That’s what I call salvation. That’s what I call Lordship. That’s what I call the blood of Jesus that takes away sins of the world. If you’ve given your heart and life to God, but are still holding onto a corner of that box, let go. It is nothing. God has so much more for you than you could ever imagine. Step out in faith, and let go completely.
“Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will
find it.” -Matthew 10:39