By Mike Luna
Although every Christian is not called to be a Pastor, every Christian should be wanting to be more like Christ. But I think there’s a lot of misconceptions of what that means. Christianity is a person, the Lord Jesus Christ.
Christianity is life, his life lived in those who have trusted in him as Savior and Lord. This life must be lived in this world and therefore it is a practical thing which concerns the 24 hours in each day, the 60 minutes in each hour and the 60 seconds in each minute.
Many of us desire a deep inner heart transformation of our souls, but the change we hope for seems to be quite elusive at times. One of the many factors for this is that we don’t understand the seed of our problem and therefore cannot see the way out of it. During the last generation there has been a great advance in the study of the human mind and heart. A little more than a century and a half ago Sigmund Freud was born, and he and his followers have vastly enlarged the knowledge of what makes men tick. Yet their study is tremendously lacking because they do not go back far enough to the very root of what is wrong with mankind. Our problem isn’t complex: It’s a strong disposition toward personal autonomy, the desire to be our own master and have our own way in life. The path out isn’t complex either: the unconditional and total surrender of ourselves to God and to His purposes.
Gary Thomas in his book Seeking the Face of God makes this statement: “Christian health is not defined how happy we are, or even how many people we have led to the Lord in the past year. Christian health is ultimately defined by how sincerely we wave our flag of surrender daily.” I think he makes a great point. For a large amount of Christians especially in ‘the West’, we tend to assume that the only time we surrender to the Lord is at the moment of our spiritual birth: when we by faith believe the Gospel. While this is true, there is another aspect of surrender in the life of the Christian, and that’s part of our daily sanctification (being made or becoming holy.) And that’s a daily surrendering to the Lord. Many new converts tend to think they have no responsibility in growing because they have been saved once, and thus the cliché “let go and let God.” When think this way we abuse the grace of God. We should be more on the side of “better pray and get going.”
When the Apostle Paul writes in Rom. 12:1 “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.” What the Apostle is writing by the leading of the Holy Spirit is profound. He’s saying that the only thing we have is ourselves. The surrender God wants is the surrender of our bodies to Him. Our lives and all that we have are to be at God’s disposal. No longer are we to use our legs, hands, feet and minds to commit cosmic treason (sin) against God. Since we have been saved by Christ , we are to surrender the very members of our bodies to God and do what is good in his sight.
As we begin a new season at Acts with our new building, which the Lord so graciously gave, I would implore you to renew yourself to a total surrender, not just on Sundays but everyday: Holding dear to what the Lord did when he saved you and how his mercies and grace are extravagantly sufficient. Then, with the Holy Spirit’s help, we must reaffirm this surrender, choice by choice, as life unfolds before us. We need to be totally dependent on his perfect life, and work on the cross not just for salvation but for sanctification and growth. The same power that saved us is the same power that continues to save us. Let us lay down our autonomy and cleave to him, the lover and sustainer of our souls. Granted, this will sometimes be hard, but it is the most direct path to where we wish to go.