This morning, as I was journaling and praying, the Lord led me to read some specific Scriptures about surrender, waiting on Him, His sufficiency and strength, the gift of His various callings and finding my contentment alone in Him (Isaiah 40:28-31, Lamentations 3, Psalm 73, 1 Corinthians 7, 2 Corinthians 12:8-10, 1 John 3:2, among others). I also reflected upon the fact that I am no longer my own. I have a friend who is reading a book called Slave by John McArthur. I don't know much about the book, but the title has really got me thinkin' about Christ's ownership of me. I have been bought with a price – the very high price of Christ's blood. I gave my life to Him a little over ten years ago and in so doing, I gave up my own will for His.
Once again, the Lord used this morning's service at RF to reinforce and confirm my time with Him this morning. Even the songs we sung were in line with the Scriptures I had just read hours before: “Your Grace is Enough” (2 Corinthians 12:8-10), “Strength Will Rise” (Isaiah 40:28-31), “Better is One Day in Your Courts” (Psalm 73) and “I Surrender All.” The sermon was about being partners in the Gospel from Philippians 2:19-30. One of the points that Pastor Phil made was that we are slaves to the Gospel of Christ. As humans, especially American humans, we balk at the idea of being slaves to anyone or anything. The Bible is clear, however, that we have no choice. None of us are really free. We are slaves to something: either sin that leads to death or of righteousness that leads to life (Romans 16:16-23; also John 8:34). We either belong to Christ or to Satan and the world. There is no neutral ground. Jesus came to free us from the bondage we are under to sin. Like I said, He paid the highest price and as a result we, who call ourselves Christians, belong to Him. This is nothing short of a radical and total
surrendering of our own desires, plans and will to follow Christ wherever He may lead us. So the question is, how is your Master?
And He said, “This is why I told you that no one can come to Me unless it is granted to him by the Father.” After this many of His disciples turned back and no longer walked with Him. So Jesus said to the Twelve [disciples], “Do you want to go away as well?” Simon Peter answered Him, “Lord [a.k.a. Master], to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life, and we have believed, and have come to know, that you are the Holy One of God.” John 6:66-69
I truly do want all that Christ wants for me. The scary thing, though, is the fact that I don't even and can't even comprehend the depths of all that desire means. All that Christ wants for me includes His refining work, suffering and trials that will make me more like Him in every way along with His very precious promises and presence. There is no doubt that all these things are good and are gifts, but they are not always pleasant or even desirable. As I wait – not always so patiently – for God to lead me to where He wants me, I am learning (Philippians 4:11) to be content. Content in the mundane. Content in Louisville. Content in my singleness. Content in waiting. Content in simply knowing Christ for He is all I need. This period of waiting is not a passive, twiddling-my-thumbs kind of waiting, but an active one – trusting and obeying Christ on a daily basis, living as I am called (1 Corinthians 7:17) and constantly being about the Father's business. Like Moses, enduring whatever comes my way because Christ is more worthy than anything that this world could offer (Hebrews 11:26). Whom have I in heaven but You? And there is nothing on earth that I desire besides You. My flesh and my heart my fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. Psalm 73:25-26