It’s My Life

Dear BPCWA worshipper, We live in a society that baulks against restraints and vaunts individuality. Whether in time past or time present, pop music hits resonated with this sentiment, whether it was about doing things “My Way” or “It’s My Life”. Growing up in the world, such a mindset may also rub off on the Christian – must I live my life in this restrained way, being told how to live?

The struggle. The Christian’s life and walk go against the natural man. God irresistibly draws His elect into salvation. But after salvation, walking a sanctified and consecrated life is not irresistible. We can grieve the Holy Spirit by resisting His conviction (Eph 4:30). We are constantly hounded by the call of the world, the call of the flesh, and the indwelling lusts that remain. Those who want Jesus Christ to be their Saviour but not their Lord cannot be saved because they reject God but just want to go to heaven. In every born-again believer, the Holy Spirit puts in his new heart a desire to live above the world and to please our Heavenly Father. But the remaining flesh seeks to resist it, “For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.” (Gal 5:17). Even after salvation, children may resist doing what their parents say, even though they know it is Biblical. Adults may resist the life that is taught on our pulpits though they know it is the Biblically more excellent way. Many may walk with Christ, but not all the way. We sing “Is Your All On the Altar” but may question “Must it really be all”? Isn’t life outside church life my life? Can’t I choose who I want to hang out with without God coming into everything, even in my leisure and hobbies? Don’t some older children complain that they’ve got to be the “model” child for the younger sibling and can’t do what they want? Do we get upset when we have to refrain from doing what we want because it sets a bad example for another brother? Do you think, “How I decide my family should function and be run is my own business?” Even as the popular English phrase goes, mind your own business . . . it’s my life! The underlying struggle is fundamentally about whether we need to be fully and wholly dedicated to Christ. Because the love of many has waxed cold, the carnal Christian walk has become the norm. Some would compare their lives with carnal Christians around them and use that as a standard, “After all, I’m doing better than other Christians so why isn’t that good enough?  Look, they have their own life, not everything and every day must be about Christ?!”

My redemption. The only answer to that question begins with salvation and what Christ did. Salvation is only possible because of the redemption of Christ. But when it comes to redemption, most mainly focus on the aspect that Christ paid for the penalty of our sin. This aspect of redemption is certainly Biblical because that is the judicial payment for our sins. This is the fact that Christ gave of Himself to pay the price to recover us from the penalty and power of sin. However, God is certainly very clear about another aspect of redemption that may be less popular to focus on. This is the part about the fact that after redemption – we belong to God. Redemption is not merely to pay the price to free us. God says that “ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s” (1Co 6:20). Hence, redemption is also to buy for one’s use. There is no optional clause in this statement. Christ did not pay half the purchase price to free us from the penalty and power of sin. “He hath purchased with his own blood” (Ac 20:28) every child of His and He paid for it in full using Himself. It is therefore only reasonable that He now lays claim to us fully as well. There is no division of our lives between church, work, and family, because Christ must now take supremacy. This is repeated when we are told “Ye are bought with a price; be not ye the servants of men” (1Co 7:23). God has exclusive rights to rule every part of our lives.      

My life. Does the statement that God has exclusive rights over you make you baulk? To belong completely to the Living God must fill us with immense joy and a sense of meaning in life. To know that the Living God wishes to make me wholly His must fill me with a sense of tremendous privilege. When we struggle against giving ourselves wholly to God in any of the aspects already listed above, we must not only be reminded of the price of this redemption, but the purpose of this redemption, “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.” (Eph 2:10).  So, if anything in my life that I wish to follow or do at any time and in anything is unbiblical, I will submit to God because I belong to Him to do His will. That holds even if that submission goes against the grain of what I want in my life. This is essentially the first commandment where God claims supremacy in our lives. This means our work, leisure, pursuits, school, family, time, and every other pursuit that we claim for ourselves – is His to dictate. If even something as basic and necessary as eating and drinking must be done for God’s glory (1Co 10:31), how can we even think that obedience to God to the jot and tittle is “too much” or “restrictive”? There must be nothing that we refuse to yield to Him. But let us remember this – God claiming our lives for Himself is the greatest privilege for us to have and to fulfil. His love is infinite. His dictates for us are out of this infinite love. Making my life to be His is the wisest choice I can ever make in this life. When we see this, we gratefully say as the Apostle Paul said,

I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me. (Gal 2:20)

Yours in our Lord’s service,