“Having been born into the kingdom of God, I do hereby acknowledge that God’s purchase of my life included all the rights and control of that life for all eternity.”* What a profound statement. I can almost hear my pastor’s voice saying, “And all God’s people said … ‘Amen.’”
After all, this is Christianity 101, right? Wouldn’t we all agree that those purchased from the slave block of sin become willing bond-servants of their Redeemer? Someone summed up that transaction by saying, “A bond-servant’s will becomes altogether consumed with the will of their heavenly Father.” That’s great theology. But I wonder what it looks like practically for you and me to fully submit to the control of our Redeemer.
In the midst of family, schedules, ministry responsibilities, and to-do lists, how do we truly embrace the words of the chorus, “Here’s my life, I lay it down; I surrender it all to you … I let go and give it to you”?
Singing a song is one thing, but when “great theology” becomes “rubber-meets-the-road reality,” it can be a bit more challenging. I came face-to-face with that challenge one afternoon in the middle of my kitchen floor.
For months the Lord had been speaking to me about an area of surrender. It began initially as a simple question from my husband, “Would you be willing …?” I laughed at the ridiculousness of the thought. Surely he wasn’t serious.
As time passed, the question resurfaced, only this time it was in the Sunday morning sermon, then on the radio, then in my quiet time, and of all places on a billboard! (No, I’m not kidding.) I could no longer avoid the obvious. Clearly the Lord was asking me to set aside my plans, desires, and dreams. Was I willing to lay it all down? The cost seemed inconceivably great.
I knew obedience was the right response. I understood surrender brings deeper intimacy and the blessings of my heavenly Father. And yet, I wavered. Logical reasoning and personal desires battled against the call to lay it all down. Did I really believe my Lord had a right to call the shots in this area of my life? Could I thank Him for calling me to surrender even if it didn’t make sense in my mind?
With trembling heart, I knelt on my kitchen floor and whispered, “Here’s my life, Lord. I don’t understand. It doesn’t make sense, but I know You are trustworthy. I will obey … regardless of the cost.”
Though several years have passed, my heart overflows almost daily with gratitude for all the Lord has done as a result of that call to surrender. My life truly has never been the same!
Know therefore that the LORD your God is God; he is the faithful God, keeping his covenant of love to a thousand generations of those who love him and keep his commands (Deut. 7:9).
The transaction happened in a moment. The acknowledgment of what was already true: God has full rights to my life. It’s not mine … it’s His.
What’s He asking of you today? Is there an area where you need to say, “Here’s my life, Lord—I lay it down”?
*Excerpted from Russell Kelfer's "Promise Pledge."