The only way to experience all of the spiritual riches Jesus has already provided for us through His death, burial and resurrection for us – is when we completely yield ourselves in total submission to Him as Lord of our lives.
It is very counterintuitive. The world says that submission to God is slavery, bondage and oppression. But reality is, when we are living as the world lives, we are in slavery, bondage and oppression to sin that leads to death and destruction. When we submit fully to Christ, then we actually get to experience real freedom, weightlessness, joy, true power, healing, peace and the Treasure of Heaven – Christ Himself.
Often, we hold things back from Him. Until we really get to know Him as He is and as He presents Himself in the Bible, we are tempted to think that it is safer to trust ourselves than to trust God. Of course, in reality, the best place to be in the universe is under the sheltering wings of the Rock of Christ and the scariest place to be is on the sinking sand of trusting self. We don’t have all power and all wisdom. Our motives are not always good. Only God is good. He is incapable of sin. We deceive ourselves and our human wisdom cannot begin to compare to God’s perfect wisdom.
So, we try to half-heartedly serve Jesus Christ. But we try to maintain control of the things that are most precious to us. That is something different for each person. For some, they try to hold onto money, material things, power, control, health, fame, a career, beauty, feeling loved, a dream, marriage, a relationship, family members, the future… There is no limit to what we may attempt to hold back from Christ.
But, what does our Lord say about this?
23Then he said to them all: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me. 24For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will save it. 25What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, and yet lose or forfeit their very self? 26Whoever is ashamed of me and my words, the Son of Man will be ashamed of them when he comes in his glory and in the glory of the Father and of the holy angels. Luke 9
Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. 25For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it. 26What good will it be for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? Or what can anyone give in exchange for their soul? 27For the Son of Man is going to come in his Father’s glory with his angels, and then he will reward each person according to what they have done. Matthew 16
And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wifee or children or fields for my sake will receive a hundred times as much and will inherit eternal life. 30But many who are first will be last, and many who are last will be first. Matthew 19
25Large crowds were traveling with Jesus, and turning to them he said: 26“If anyone comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters—yes, even their own life—such a person cannot be my disciple. 27And whoever does not carry their cross and follow me cannot be my disciple. 28“Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Won’t you first sit down and estimate the cost to see if you have enough money to complete it? 29For if you lay the foundation and are not able to finish it, everyone who sees it will ridicule you, 30saying, ‘This person began to build and wasn’t able to finish.’ 31“Or suppose a king is about to go to war against another king. Won’t he first sit down and consider whether he is able with ten thousand men to oppose the one coming against him with twenty thousand? 32If he is not able, he will send a delegation while the other is still a long way off and will ask for terms of peace. 33In the same way, those of you who do not give up everything you have cannot be my disciples. 34“Salt is good, but if it loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? 35It is fit neither for the soil nor for the manure pile; it is thrown out. “Whoever has ears to hear, let them hear.” Luke 14
You want us to love You with ALL of our hearts, minds, souls and strength. You want our love for You to be wholehearted. You want ALL of us. Thank You that when we yield ALL of ourselves, You give us ALL of You. You have already provided more than we could ever ask or need. We just don’t access the spiritual riches and treasures we have in You because we are not fully submitted to You. There are areas where we want to try to keep You out of our hearts and lives. There are places that we want to leave the doors locked and not let you come in.
Today, put Your finger on those places where we don’t trust You and where we are saying, “You can have anything but THAT!” And let us see You for Who You are and open our understanding and spiritual vision. Let us see that You will bring us healing but that first we must be willing to surrender ALL to You. Thank You that we can trust You and that You will only do what is best for us when we trust You completely. Some of us are afraid. That is because we don’t know You. Illumine our hearts with Your Word. Draw us to Yourself. Help us to have BIG faith in You. Help us to know You. That is eternal life that we might know You and the Father. Speak to our hearts about the areas where You are not Lord in our lives. Let us willingly submit fully to You today. Let Your Word and blazing Light fill all of the darkest places of our souls. Remove the gangrene that is destroying us. Let us count ourselves as dead to sin and let us count our old sinful nature as dead to this world. Let us count ourselves alive in You. We have been crucified and buried with You. And we have been raised to new Life in Christ. Let us live in Your power. There is nothing good in us in our own power.
Let Your power pour through us, let us be totally open to Your Spirit and Your wisdom and Your work to form Christ in us. Let us learn to let You live through us. Let us just rest in the finished work of Christ and stop trying so hard to do this in our own strength. Let us admit, “I cannot do this on my own! I need You! You have to do it all! I can do nothing to please You!” Then let us learn to walk in the Spirit and let our minds be set on Life and Peace. Let us desire what You desire. Let us love what You love. Let us hate what You hate. Let us live in victory over sin because You are living in us and You have conquered sin and death. Set us on fire with deep desire for You!
Let us consecrate ourselves to Your use. Let us set ourselves apart to be used however You desire to use us. Let us crucify our will and seek Your will. Let us say with joy, “I want nothing for myself, and everything for Christ and His kingdom.”
In the Name and power of Christ Jesus our Lord,