Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Surrendering My Entire Life

Following Jesus is not easy.  If it was everyone would do it because the what Jesus offers us is so great.  I believe following Jesus is the best way to live your life, but it is anything but easy.  It is a radical commitment that requires our entire lives.

John Ortberg wrote; "Millions of people in churches these days could be called 'pew potatoes.' They want some of the comfort associated with the spirituality, but they don't want to risk the challenge that go along with actually following Jesus" (If You Want To Walk On Water, You've Got To Get Out Of The Boat; p. 22).

Take a moment and consider your life. Examine the way you live and the desires of your heart. Now answer this question, "Is that what Jesus wants from your life?"

While we might have desire to follow Jesus our lives tell a different story. We want the promises of God, we want the hope which comes from being a Christian, but we are not willing to live like a follower of Christ. We put on a religious show so people may think that we are spiritual and love Jesus, but we still primarily do what we want to do.  We have not fully committed out lives to Jesus, but we go through the motions of religion so we can tell ourselves that we are following Jesus.

To follow Jesus means that we have died to our idea of what it means to live.  The apostle Paul wrote:
I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me (Galatians 2:20; ESV). 
Remember the story of human history is that we rebell from the Creator's original design, that we have decided what it means to be human, and as a result the entire world is messed up.  We have proven that our way to live life is a bad way to live.

Jesus came to save us from the consequences of our rebellious and sinful actions as well as to show us what it means to be human.  In Jesus we see the way we were meant to live.  For us to do that we have to reject the world's definitions for life, and follow Jesus' definition.

This is where things get uncomfortable and challenging, because we go against what people in our culture (even our church culture) find acceptable.  We truly become foreigners and aliens living in a strange land (1 Peter 2:11).

The foundation for living differently, for getting out of our pews to being disciples of action, is our commitment.  We will not follow through with the life change or the transformation of our beliefs and thoughts if we are not first committed to Jesus.  So the apostle Paul wrote:

I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect (Romans 12:1-2; ESV)
In light of all the great things that God has done for us, including saving us from the power of sin and death, we should offer our lives to Him.  Not just 10% of our lives, but our entire lives.  We are to be, as Paul says, living sacrifices.  Our bodies, minds, actions, and desires are offered to God so they can be transformed, and we can understand His will and how that applies to our lives.

Offering our lives to God is not easy.  The reason is because we still want to be in charge of our lives.  We want to be able to decided what we want to do.  All we require of God is to bless us now and again, but that type of thinking misses the point.  The point is that the only way to truly be human is to living according to God's will.  He is the Creator, and He knows what it means to be human.

So the question we have ask ourselves is this: Do I trust God enough to surrender my entire life to Him?


Mrs C said...

Paul, I totally love your blog! I mostly read in the reader but I read everyday!

You say(better might I add) exactly what i am thinking or even have tried to say.

The last few months of my life have been the toughest yet the best because God has answered a prayer I prayed for a year and I'm certain was a hearts-cry for a lot longer before i found the words for it - and that was to be shown what it is to FOLLOW JESUS, TAKE UP MY CROSS, WORSHIP TRULY, BE TRANSFORMED and not conformed, TO TRULY BE SAVED AND BE AN OVERCOMER TILL THE END... and so on. He has turned(and is) me upside down, inside out, I feel like my guts have all been rearranged, I hurt in everyway possible in the process-its not some magical spiritual thing happening-it's walked out!, I've had to let things go - emotionally, spiritually, physically - that were idols before Him and I have a huge way to go!!!!

BUT I am searching out that narrow path... selling everything I have to obtain that pearl of great price, it will be worth it, He never said it would be easy, but He did say it would be worth it.

you're blog is such an encouragment in a world of people who don't get what hubby and I are trying to do... we disturb the religious peace with our willingness and prayerful asking for refiners fire... true worship at any cost and a quest to find and never let go of a passion beyond words(to live a life of passion) to give as a sacrifice of praise to the one who's passion leaves me speachless.

keep up the writng and most importantly the seeking out of Christ and the yern to follow Him as HE says to rather than soothing your flesh and adding God on as an after thought.


Paul Steele said...

Thanks for the comment Mrs. C. I am glad that I can encourage you in your walk with Jesus. It is also great to hear about people who are willing to step out and follow Jesus, even when it doesn't make sense to other people. Thanks for having that type of commitment.

Accept the Differences

Most of us understand that people are different and those differences are a good thing. The world would be a boring place if everyone beli...