William Booth, the founder of the Salvation Army, was once asked. “What’s your secret?” Booth thought pensively for a moment and said, “God has had all there was of me!” Few can really say that. But some can, with all honesty and candor. One of my spiritual heroes, Dwight L. Moody, could have said the same thing. He was known for the declaration, “The world has yet to see what God will do with a man fully consecrated to Him. I will strive to be that man.”
“Right,” we mentally say to ourselves, quickly adding, “But I live in a different world. It’s a jungle out there, and if I don’t defend myself and go for the gold, I’ll be stomped on, or left behind.” In other words, we believe “I’ve got to be in control of my life and my future.” I’m convinced one of the greatest fears of people is what might happen if they really turned their lives over to Jesus Christ. Singles are sure they will end up alone for life. Young people in business fear that turning their lives over to God would mean that they couldn’t succeed, and youth are convinced that they would have no fun at all in life.
Spiritual commitment isn’t the same thing as putting money in the bank, expecting interest on your money
We can relate to the businessman who approached D. L. Moody after a meeting and said, “Mr. Moody, I have turned my business over to God and ever since then, it has gone downhill.” Never being one to mince words, Moody replied, “Well, if you turned it over to God, what are you worrying about?”
“Yes, but God doesn’t pay my bills,” you counter, still fearful of what might happen if you recognize the force of five words that Paul wrote to the Corinthians when he said, “You are not your own,” quickly adding, “you were bought with a price.”
The same word was used of a slave in the marketplace who was bought or redeemed by another. The analogy Paul uses is that we had become slaves to our old nature, to greed, to lust, to selfishness; and the bondage was broken through the price of His very life when Jesus Christ went to the cross.
Apart from the negative thoughts, most of which are completely off base, what does it mean to commit your life to Jesus Christ? Is this to suggest that you are going to be a financial success, a popular person, one with a well-rounded personality, a spiritual guru who gets his prayers answered on the first request, or what? It’s the “or what?” that needs to be addressed briefly.
The word to commit means “to put or place” something. What happens from that point on isn’t necessarily your responsibility. Spiritual commitment isn’t the same thing as putting money in the bank, expecting interest on your money, or investing in the stock market with the anticipation that your investment will grow by a reasonable amount. In simple terms, it is the recognition that you belong to Jesus Christ and that He is your Lord. It means you are His to use or to put on the shelf, His to touch the lives of thousands or to bless only your family and friends, His to command whether it be by sending you through the dark valley or to the heights of the mountains.
A closing thought. In the context of what Paul wrote to the Corinthians, I have to add that when you make this commitment, God’s Holy Spirit—God Himself takes over the direction of your life. It means He gives you guidance and strength, wisdom and direction that you would never have any other way.
Remember, William Booth said, “God has had all there was of me.” Can you say that? If not, what’s holding you back?
Resource reading: Proverbs 3.
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