Everyone has preferences of the partner they would like e.g. tall, dark and handsome. Does giving your life to Jesus mean giving up on those preferences?
A friend asked me this question the other day and the first answer that came to my mind was that giving your life to Christ means having His preferences over yours. I sensed a bit of fear on his end about this topic, it felt like something he had been mulling over for a while but he held back from making that crucial decision. I know this because he’s been very inquisitive about my walk of faith and thus we’d been sharing a lot on it. The question didn’t get me off guard but it made me reflect back on what it meant, for me, to give my life to Christ.
Most people are afraid about giving their lives to Christ, for one reason or the other. Some fear they will lose control over their lives. Some fear they will be forced to live a bored life. Some fear their imperfections will hinder them from living a righteous life. So many reasons have been given to justify our fears but if we take a keen look at the source of all these fears, it goes back to us; we have placed ourselves on a pedestal and made the focus all about ourselves. It’s all about us, we will fail, we will get bored, we are not good enough, we, we, we… It’s no wonder then why we fail because we, with all our flaws and imperfections, have set ourselves as the standard thus we are doomed to fall short.
Any time we place ourselves as the objects of attention we should brace ourselves for failure. Because that is akin to pride, worshiping ourselves (self-glorification). Pride is self-obsession, pride is preoccupation with ourselves; our successes (self-exaltation), rubbing our successes in others faces (self-promotion) and ultimately pride is the origin of sin. Some may argue and say the reason am afraid to give myself to Christ is because am too imperfect, am worthless, I don’t deserve His love, how can this be termed as pride? Well am afraid that it is pride as well because pride is not only about focusing on our strengths, it also takes form when we beat ourselves too hard for our failures (self-degradation/self-demotion).
Whether we are obsessed about our successes or about our failures, bottom line is, we are still thinking about ourselves, we are still obsessed with ourselves and that is pride.
What does surrendering my life to Christ therefore mean to me?
It means I take a humble bow and acknowledge on my own, I can’t hack it and I need Christ in totality. It means I come off my high horse; I come off the pedestal and put God at the centre of it all. It means I completely forget all about myself (self-forgetfulness), stop fixing the focus on myself (die to self), and I focus on God. It means I choose the path of humility as opposed to the path of pride because the bible is very clear God’s stand regarding pride. He opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble. 1st Peter 5:5 Clothe yourselves, all of you, with humility toward one another, for “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.”
Does this mean I lose myself in the process?
I don’t think of it as losing myself, I think of it more like getting an upgrade to the best version of me.
In my weaknesses, He perfects His strength. 2 Corinthians 12:9 9 And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore, most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
In place of my heavy burdens, He gives me His light yoke; He gives me rest. Matthew 11:28 Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.
In place of all my worries and anxieties, He gives me peace. Philippians 4:6-7 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
In place of my mourning, He comforts me and gives me the oil of Joy. In place of ashes, He bestows on me a crown of beauty. In place of despair, He gives me a garment of praise. He calls me His oak of righteousness, a planting of the Lord, for the display of His splendour. Isaiah 61:1-3
Do I need to be perfect?
No. God does not need your strength; He has more than enough of power of His own. He asks for your weakness; He has none of that himself and He is longing, therefore, to take your weakness, and use it as the instrument in His own mighty hand. Will you not yield your weakness to him, and receive his strength?
What happens to my dreams? My desires?
God gives us dreams and desires that burn so passionately within us. If He will not fulfil them, He’ll take away the desire. Even before we were born, even before we were conceived in our mothers’ wombs, He knew us, He set us apart. He has great plans for us, plans to prosper us and not to harm us, plans to give us a future and hope.
All our plans, desires and dreams put together cannot match up to the great destiny God predestined for us. So if I was to choose between the two, I definitely choose God’s will, God’s plans, God’s way for my life because ultimately, am choosing the best.
It doesn’t mean I gave up on my tall dark and handsome preference, (Lord knows we debated about this for a while because I was so stuck on choosing the outward appearance over the inner beauty, lol), I learnt my lesson and am excitedly watching Him fulfil the desires of my heart.
The best part of my walk of faith has been letting go and letting God. I let go of the reins in my life and I gained freedom; freedom from worry, freedom from anxiety that things are not going right. It’s more of I stepped out of the driver’s seat, I let Jesus take the wheel and I settled at the back left. So now am easy, we are cruising at His pace. I don’t need to be all worried about which path to walk, which decision to make, which turn to take, that’s all entirely on Christ, the driver of my life. He knows what’s best and I know Him, period!
It sounds easy? I know, lol. But it is easy, trust me..
Wait don’t trust me, Trust Christ. That is the absolute surrender!