This morning I read a wonderful article by my friend, Tom Tarrants. Although the article is not written with any eye to Advent, it does focus on living a surrendered life, and what better time to think about committing, or recommitting, your life to Christ than at Christmastime. The primary text is Romans 12:1-2, which as I’ve written elsewhere, has been tremendously life-altering for me. The first verse talks about offering our bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God, as a spiritual act of worship.
Tom writes, “Unfortunately in the past century many well-meaning believers have seen this text as something akin to the U.S. Army appealing to its regular troops for volunteers for the special forces…giv[ing] the impression that Paul is calling believers to an optional higher level of commitment.” (emphasis mine). Instead Tom argues that a sold-out, spirit-led level of commitment should be the norm. And I agree. Was Jesus not more than vivid about how He feels about people who are lukewarm?
Yet somehow we are so eager to hold back some part or parts of our lives! I decided to see what Matthew Henry wrote in his commentary — which is a commitment in itself both because it weighs about ten pounds and because the print is infinitesimal. But I love how he explained this verse about making ourselves a living sacrifice.
He said, that we need to transfer to God all right, title and interest. Have you ever signed over a title? Because we just traded Will’s car in a few weeks ago and brought the title along to the dealership. There is a sense of gravity in that. We had owned that trusty car for a long time, brought babies home in it. In fact, it was my car when I had a job — yeah, we had it forever. But we signed it over without trying to argue that maybe we could keep the sunroof or hold onto the soft, worn leather. We just signed it over. Period.
Have you done that with your life? Have you given it over completely to God? We all need to do this at a moment in time (I wrote about mine in my book, but it was on 10/22/2006). We will always need to keep relinquishing our lives every day, but you should know the day you truly said to God for the first time and without reservation, “here it is, my whole life, it belongs to you.”
We celebrate the birth of Jesus in just sixteen days, how wonderful would it be this year to rejoice in knowing you’ve signed over the title to your life to the Person who knows you best and loves you most?
Lord Jesus, thank you for loving me. Help me to live a surrendered life, to make surrender a daily commitment and to rejoice in knowing that you have a good plan for my life.