The other day, I had lunch with a â€œsister friend.â€ She\’s got a great career with a six-figure income, and as they say, â€˜she\’s got it going on!\’ In the middle of lunch, her phone rang, â€œI need to take this,â€ she said.Â I couldn\’t help but hear that she was talking to someone who appeared to be her child. â€œI didn\’t know you and your husband had kids,â€ I said. â€œWell,â€ she said, â€œwe are raising my brothers kids.â€ It seems that her brother was strung out on drugs and she had taken on the responsibility of her niece and nephew. It had changed her life. She had to make daily sacrifices; her plans often had to be adjusted; even her long-range goals had to be revised. Her witness increased my respect for her and made me think about my own life.
I\’ve come to two very simple, yet profound conclusions about my life. The first is that I believe God is extremely interested in me having a consistent lifestyle of faithâ€”not just the â€œtalkâ€ of faith, but the â€œwalkâ€ of faith. The second is, He wants that lifestyle to be expressed with great humility, so that far beyond any of my meager accomplishments, my life can encourage and provoke others to want to know the God that created and called me; the Christ that lives inside me and the Holy Spirit that guides me.
I have never had the pleasure of meeting William McDowell, but I have fallen in love with the lyrics to his hit song, â€œI Give Myself Away.â€ I give myself away; I give myself away, so You can use me.
What I love about the song is that it\’s a decree of faith and a declaration of humility. My life is not my own, to You I belong.
We live in a world that says, â€œHoney, Do YOU!â€ Most people are absolutely fixated on building their careers, creating wealth for their own pleasure, and achieving visible goals. Most of us (even Christians) get caught up in the cycle of â€œmaking it happen,â€ and somewhere along the way we forget that it\’s all about God and not all about us. We often â€œlook upâ€ and find ourselves in the â€œrat raceâ€ chasing the cheese.
The hard part is that at some point, when somebody moves the cheese, or it becomes smelly or undesirable, we often look around and find ourselves lost in the maze of life.Â We\’ve done all we could do, and our plans and strategies seem to have fallen short of the desired goal. Or, we look up and we realize that we\’ve drifted off course and we have to re-chart the course, but time isn\’t on our side.
In Psalm 25:1-2, David writes, â€œO Lord, I give my life to you. I trust in you, my God! Do not let me be disgraced, or let my enemies rejoice in my defeat.â€
David is one of the most fascinating people in Biblical history. He was a warrior and a worshipper, a shepherd boy who became king. But he faced rejection, ridicule, guilt, fear, family problems, and more. He was conflicted with the dichotomy of his destiny and the rawness of his reality; but David decided to give his life to God; he made up his mind to place his hopes and aspirations in God\’s hands and trust God with his whole heart, soul, mind and strength. He embraced the fact that his total and complete faith in God was essential and foundational to his protection.
David had not just the â€œtalkâ€ of faith, but he had the â€œwalkâ€ of faith. However, the Bible is clear. David\’s life exhibited imperfection. He sinned greatly and he disappointed God; even so, God distinguished him by calling him, â€œA man after My own heart,â€ (1 Samuel 13:13-14, Acts 13:22).
It begs the question: â€œHow could a guy who committed sexual sins, committed murder, and messed up as a father be so esteemed by God?â€
Here\’s the answer. David devoted his heart to God. He was passionate about pleasing God, and he lived out that passion for God. He was a man of great prayer and amazing praise. He demonstrated his trust in God; and when he sinned or disappointed God, he came running back to God because he couldn\’t stand not to be â€œrightâ€ with God. David understood that when his relationship with God was â€œright,â€ his enemies became God\’s enemiesâ€”and they didn\’t stand a chance!
As a Christian, you will only achieve true success and significance when your heart\’s only desire is to glorify God and that desire is reflected in your attitude and your actions. This means that you must:
- Willingly surrender your own aspirations of self-gratification and embrace God\’s purpose for your life.
oÂ Â Â Â Â No matter how young or old you are; no matter how messed up you think you are; God can still accomplish His purpose for your life. â€œAnd we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purposeâ€ (Rom 8:28, NIV). â€œBut they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint,â€ (Isa 40:31, KJV).
- Intentionally seek God\’s will, way and timing for every relationship you engage in.
oÂ Â Â Â Â God will guide you and provide for you the â€œrightâ€ relationshipsâ€”personally and professionally. Remember that â€œThe blessing of the LORD brings wealth, and he adds no trouble to itâ€ (Prov. 10:22. NIV).
- Humbly search your heart daily, and reject any and every thing that doesn\’t align with God\’s word.
oÂ Â Â Â Â Build your faith daily. â€œFaith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word of Christ. (Rom 10:17, NIV). Feast on God\’s word daily.
When you give your heart totally to God; and you place your complete faith in God, your future will be locked and loaded. You will experience a peace beyond your circumstances and nothing will be able to shake you.
You may be saying, â€œI\’m already a Christian. I\’ve already given my heart to God.â€ I used to say that, too; but then when I really examined my patterns, I had drifted off course; so I changed my confession and my conduct.
I encourage you to do the same. Examine whether you really â€œgive yourself awayâ€â€”totally and completely each day; or whether you\’re in the maze with an old, stale commitment? Do you have new spiritual goals for your life?
Listen, beyond your education, experience and intellectualism, you\’ve got to humble yourself and surrender daily, seek God daily and search your heart daily.
Please don\’t let another day go by without making it a habit to wake up each morning and â€œgive yourself awayâ€ by prayerfully surrendering, seeking and searching.Â Oh, and before you pray, set the atmosphere with Mr. McDowell\’s song!