Once your life is given over completely to the Lord, you will no longer be intimidated by circumstances or swayed by what others think. Paul said, “All things are yours, whether Paul or Apollos or Cephas or the world or life or death or the present or the future—all are yours, and you are of Christ, and Christ is of God” (1 Corinthians 3:21–23).
Paul also said, “No matter how many promises God has made, they are ‘Yes’ in Christ” (2 Corinthians 1:20).
When we understand who Christ is and surrender our lives to Him, we recognize that He is not a tyrant who sits on a high and mighty throne, shaking His finger at us and saying, “No!” Paul tells us that in Jesus all the promises of God are “Yes!”
When the Lord calls you to consecrate your life to Him, He is looking for a living, breathing, moving sacrifice. He wants a total surrender of your will, your intellect, your mind, your five senses, your emotions, your actions.
This, then, is the ultimate secret: We hear and respond to the call of God when we surrender ourselves to Him. Each of us has been given one life and the choice as to how we will live it. The apostle Paul pleads with us:
I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—which is your spiritual worship. Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.
What will you do with your self? Many men and women are still in darkness, trying to figure out the meaning and purpose of life. But no matter what you try to do with your self—whether you deny it, obliterate it, annihilate it, accept it or express it—believe me, it is still alive and kicking.
Jesus tells us what to do with the self: “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me” (Luke 9:23). But questions remain: How do we follow Him? How do we hear God and implement the power of the Gospel in our lives?
This can happen only through an all-out surrender of ourselves to the Lord Jesus Christ. It means acknowledging the Lordship of Christ in our lives, not just in theory but in practice. Jesus asks us to love Him supremely, more than anything or anyone else, and to let Him live in us and through us. Paul expressed it beautifully: “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me” (Galatians 2:20).
When I let Jesus live in and through me, my self is no longer the one that directs and dictates to me. Now it is Christ, His will and desires, living and acting through me. This is why the habit of compartmentalizing our lives must end. All of me, all that I am, belongs to Christ.
It is a daily practice to learn this principle and live it out in our lives. The choices we make are ultimately not collective ones that we make as a church, a family or even a couple. They are choices we make as individuals.
I pray that you will take a closer look at who you are. From now on you can live your life for a different purpose than for this world alone. I pray that you will hear the call of God and begin to consider eternity as your perspective.
But I must also warn you: If this is your decision, know that you have chosen to walk a narrow road. When Jesus called His disciples to follow Him, He set some conditions before them. The choice you make to follow Christ involves a cost. There will be inconveniences, difficulties, pain and counterattack by Satan.
But praise the Lord, whether you are standing or have fallen, you can rejoice because you have surrendered your self to Him. When everything has been said and done, and the earth as we know it is only a memory, Jesus will say to you, “Well done, good and faithful servant.” And His approval is all that matters.