MAKE THE CHOICE
Choice 3: Consciously choose to commit all my life and will to Christ’s care and control.
Over the past two weeks we’ve been reading and sharing a lot about the issue of control. It seems to be a common thread in our lives – control the world around us in our way and hope it all works out as we planned. But as we’ve seen we don’t have the power to control our lives, despite what we may think. It is only through surrendering to His control that we truly find life.
As I went back through my book for today’s blog, I was struck again by John Baker’s personal story on page 81. I felt as if I was reading my own story. I was saved at 14, and did all that I thought I was supposed to do – Sunday School, youth groups, retreats, even Christian college. But something was still missing. In my youth, I surrendered all I thought I should surrender, but it wasn’t truly ALL of my life. From college I made wrong choices with relationships, hurt people closest to me, and kept running from the one person who could truly set me free from my fears and worries. God. And, just like John Baker, no matter how bad my choices were, God was still waiting for me with outstretched arms. I can think back to times He was trying to get my attention and pull me back, but I brushed it off and kept going “my way.”
When I ended an engagement at a young age, I heard God questioning my decision. But He just didn’t understand. When my husband said we were moving out of state, against my wishes, I heard God telling me to speak up. But He just didn’t understand. When I battled infertility, I cried out to God begging to know what I did wrong to deserve this trial. I didn’t hear Him respond. When I was starting an affair, God was calling me out. But He just didn’t understand. When my marriage fell apart and I was moving the next guy in, God tried to get my attention again. But He just didn’t understand. Do you see a pattern here? Me, a little speck on this earth, telling the God of the Universe that He doesn’t understand! Wow, talk about pride!
On May 11, 2001 the world came crashing down around me in ways that no one could have ever seen coming. People I thought were friends left me. Family no longer supported me because it was too difficult a reminder of what my ex had become. There was no greater example in my life of how little control I really have over anything than at this time of my life. But, I also heard God very clearly that night, “Do I have your attention THIS time?” He wasn’t judging me, or giving me any “I told you so” type lectures. He greeted me with open arms and the patient love only the Father can give.
God reminded me that He had been with me all the way, through every poor decision, every time I pushed Him aside because He didn’t understand my plans and way of doing life. He also reminded me of one precious gift He had given to me, a little ray of sunshine I called my daughter. She was the inspiration I needed to get out of bed and keep moving until I could think clearly during these rough days. She had no one but me, so I had to keep going. I realized that while He didn’t bring the chaos and pain to my life, He allowed it to happen for my good. We are reminded of this in Romans 8:28: “And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.” (NLT)
Two years later, I heard a song on the radio that brought instant tears to my eyes … another God-message for me. Martina McBride released a song called “In My Daughter’s Eyes” and sings, “She was sent to rescue me”. (http://youtu.be/eLS0Y40WwlA) I truly believe that God sent my daughter to rescue me, and to return me to His fold. You see, by medical standards she should not be here. Doctors cannot explain how I was able to get pregnant and managed to carry a child to term with the health issues I experienced. Seven years of infertility and suddenly, this miracle. The last time my doctor said this to me was after my hysterectomy in 2010. We were discussing the pathology report and his surgical findings, and he said, “I just don’t know how your daughter is here.” I just smiled and said, “That’s because you didn’t create her.” I knew she was fully and entirely God’s plan for my life. But through her life, God gave me the wake-up call I needed to throw up my hands in surrender, and return to His open arms.
This week, we focused on committing ALL of our lives to Christ, not just the areas we think He should have, but ALL areas. As I read Chapter 3, I was reminded of a song from my early church days, “I Surrender All.” This clip is one of my favorite versions by Jaden Lavik.
Now is the time to ask Christ in to your heart if you have not already done so. Admit you are powerless without Him, acknowledge His death on the cross for your sins, and the power of His resurrection for your eternal salvation. Are you ready to make this decision for Christ?
If you are part of this study and do know Christ, use this time to rededicate your whole life to Him, asking Him to take full care and control over the areas of your life you’ve previously guarded. As the song says, “All to Jesus I surrender, all to Him I freely give.” He won’t bully His way in and take over. It’s a choice you must make to freely turn over your life.
1 Corinthians 5:17 tells us “this means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!”
What does this verse mean to you?
Go back to your notes from Chapter 1, how do you feel today compared to when you first made those notes?
What are you having a difficult time surrendering to God?
What are some things you will ask God to do in your “new life”?
If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.
Making a decision to commit your life to Christ is the most important decision you will make in your life. Yes, more important than your choice of spouse, career, or home. This decision remains with you for eternity, and what an awesome promise that is for us!
Take time this week to let others know about the reason for the changes in your life. Share with them about the freedom, joy and hope you are learning to experience. Encourage them to surrender to His care and control and allow Him to change their lives, too.
Ephesians 1:13 NIV
And you also were included in Christ when you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation. When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit.
Acts 16:31 NLT
Believe in the Lord Jesus and you will be saved, along with everyone in your household.
2 Timothy 3:16 NLT
All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right.
Phil 4:13 CEV
Christ gives me the strength to face anything.
Lord, what a precious gift You have offered to each of us! You said in Your Holy Word, Romans 10:9 that if we confess the Lord our God and believe in our hearts that God raised Jesus from the dead, we shall be saved. We admit that our choices haven’t followed Your plans for us, but we seek to follow You more closely. We surrender our lives to You, placing ourselves fully in Your care and control. We know that You desire the best for us, and we need to learn to trust this truth on a daily basis. Thank You for Your awesome gift and the blessings You have given to each of us. Amen.
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