Well, what do you think? Is it a car? Some money? Walking that old lady no one cares for across the road on a summer’s day? What if it is something that you take with you everywhere, but you always seem to overlook in the commotion of daily life?
The thing I am talking about is yourself. How would you even consider giving yourself as a gift? Would you offer yourself as a sacrifice on an altar somewhere; in some freaky and rather random ceremonial event? I doubt it. Fortunately, that is not what I mean, and definitely not what God desires!
What if I was talking about something deeper, something more substantial than that? What if I offered you the chance to give God everything- your entire life, what you do with it, what work you do, what clothes you wear, where your money goes, what to say in that awkward moment when you bump into that old friend at Tesco’s you barely knew in the first place? Would you accept to give this gift with a rejoicing heart, or would you wane to the occasion; almost feeling faint in embarrassment and fear with what might possibly have happened next even if you did?
Well, the problem with this gift is that it relies on complete trust in God. Almost in the same way we trust our friend that we will be ok when we jump off that 20ft cliff off the coast of Monte Carlo, we have to trust that God is a good God; and that he knows infinitely more than we ever could. That, my friends, sure takes guts to do- but it is the only thing which will truly set us free on this side of Heaven.
Check out this passage from Romans 12:1-2; it is a brief explanation on what I have been talking about:
1 And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him. 2 Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.
I genuinely love this passage. All throughout scripture, even with the message of salvation, The Bible has an undercurrent message which goes a little like this: You can’t do it yourself, only through the God who made you. This truly profound and recurring truth teaches us to embrace the impossible and the unfathomable; the wondrous and infinite God we can depend on time and time again. Surely, with even a slight hit of rationalism and logic in a rather irrational and illogical scenario, giving your entire life to God is the right thing to do. Surely, as the passage above teaches, we should ‘let God transform [us] into [new people] by changing the way [we] think’? If he is an infinite God, it almost should be second instinct to let go of our lives- the very thing we should logically never ever ever let go of- and give to God as ‘a living and holy sacrifice’?
So, if what I am arguing is true, how come Christians all around us seem to find it so hard to let go of their lives, and give them to God so he could live their lives for them? Well, ironically the problem is the same problem which grips almost everyone’s life: fear. Christians are afraid to let go of their lives and give them to God, as they are urged to, as they may not like where God takes them. Maybe they like the comfort of their houses, or their jobs, or the fact that they can feel content for picking up a packet of gum off the floor time to time and throwing it in the bin. Maybe, they just want the Religion, and are genuinely afraid of the living God buried beneath it? There are a few passages in the Bible on the subject of fear, but let me highlight this one to you guys (oh, and let this be a warning to any so-called ‘Christian’ who is reading this and are genuinely worried about giving their lives to God):
17And as we live in God, our love grows more perfect. So we will not be afraid on the day of judgment, but we can face him with confidence because we live like Jesus here in this world.
18 Such love has no fear, because perfect love expels all fear. If we are afraid, it is for fear of punishment, and this shows that we have not fully experienced his perfect love. 19 We love each other[a] because he loved us first.
“Such love has no fear, because perfect love expels all fear,”. Surely, if we were Bible believing so-called ‘Christians’, we shouldn’t be living in fear! By this I do not mean fearing the Lord in a way that gives him the genuine respect and credit that he deserves for now and forever (Note: I could quote many passages here that explain that fear and why it is good, but it is not relevant for what I am saying here. Please do check out http://www.biblegateway.com/quicksearch/?quicksearch=fear+of+God&qs_version=NLT and have a good sift around!), but the same fears that we all share; in this case the rather tragic of fearing what God may do with our lives when we offer them to him. If perfect love expels all fear, and God and his holy love is perfect, then how could we sit here considering this choice when it is laid out to us! Surely if we have the option to give our lives to God, surely we should as God is good. Surely if God is good and cares for us dearly, then why do we worry about giving our very lives to him? Surely if we even dare to call ourselves Christian, then we should naturally give our lives to God right away?
But, to tell you the truth, it’s not that simple. We are the ones who do this to ourselves, and God is the solution to our problems. He draws us nearer to him consistently; thus helping us grow in ‘perfect love’ every day- eventually to the point where this very same love ‘expels all fear’. The first step of many is giving our lives to God to help us with the many and various pitfalls of life- to see them through fresh new eyes! Look up at the passage I quoted before; does God change us with some miraculous overture for all to see? No. He does it ‘by changing the way you think’. I can almost imagine God taking us into our house and teaching us what to do constantly; and taking us into the world almost as a guide dog leading a blind man through the streets- showing us what to do in every situation, every moment, every breath. The Christian faith isn’t based on a distant God who wants us to believe that Jesus was the Son of God just as a ticket to heaven, but as a journey! He wants to take us by the hand, show us what to say, what to do, even what to pray! The point I’m trying to convey here is we can’t do any of this on our own, only through the holy God who created us.
So, you say all this is well and good, but how do you start on your journey and give your life to God? I think there are a few basic and simple things which could help us with this, and they are all very easy to do! Why don’t you just ask God to show you how? God loves it when his children ask him honestly for something that draws them nearer to him- so what is stopping you from doing so? Just offer up a prayer to him right now and ask him the question- he won’t mind. In fact, he will love the fact that you bothered to ask in the first place!
Another thing I may suggest is starting the day right. It is so easy in our modern-day society to get distracted from the moment we wake up until the moment we (finally) fall back asleep in the early hours of morning; awaiting the babble of the next day. Maybe, just maybe, we should start the day God focused- with some worship music in the background and some direct prayer to God. If we all got up an hour earlier every day and gave God the time of day; asking him to help us be fully reliant today [with the words we speak, the actions and commands to obey, even the prayers to pray!], then our entire mindset, our entire thinking, will surely follow that for the rest of the day. If it doesn’t, then there’s no harm in trying to start afresh when we get home after school at night, or when we wake up tomorrow!
If these things surely help you, and you feel God guiding your mind into his ways and not the ways of the World, don’t stop! Just let him show you what to do, and don’t worry about following as we all know God is good. So, as Christians, let’s drop this idea that we don’t know what to do until we know the ‘calling on our lives’. Our calling is God, and giving our lives to him, for following him will ‘[let us] learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect’. Instead of waiting for an inspiring moment to happen in our lives, let’s have it right here and right now; with the living God at the centre of our very lives! For God calls us to be ‘children of God’; and in the same way we should fully rely on him and follow his lead wherever he goes.
PS- If you want me to talk more on this subject, please do let me know! There was a lot more I could have written, but I thought that it would be wise to cut it short. 🙂
- Part 2 (Well, Part 3 if I’m Honest!) So what is eternal security then? (onwardswearychristian.wordpress.com)
- Just because I’m losing…. (onwardswearychristian.wordpress.com)
- ‘Lord! Lord! Why have you forsaken me!’ (onwardswearychristian.wordpress.com)
- In return and reply to ‘Lord, Lord; Why have you Forsaken me!’- Part 1, Then who are Christians then? (onwardswearychristian.wordpress.com)