As I was listening to a podcast today about the need for us as Christian men to be walking in greater purity, I was struck by a statement that said we are two times His, therefore we have no right to think that we are free to do whatever we want.
Two times His. That made me think a lot about who really should have full control of my life. It allowed me to see just how much I am to be in submission to His authority.
First Time His – He is my maker, my creator. He is the artist and I am just the canvas. I was nothing and He made me. I was the empty plot of ground and He became the architect that designed the building that now stands. I was the empty wheel and He was the master potter that created a piece for His display. I was the block of stone and He was the sculptor who fashioned me for His glory and His purpose. Should the canvas have a right over the artist? I don’t think so. Should the building have a right over the architect of the building? I think not. Should the clay be able to say to the potter, “I am now free to be on my way?” You know the answer.
Why then do I think that I have the right to choose whatever it is that I want to do? He is my maker. I am the created, but He is the creator. He is the only one who should have the say in how I am to be displayed. I am not free to choose how I wish. I was nothing. I have no investment in me. He is the one who made all the investment. He provided all the ingredients to fashion me. I didn’t add a single thing. So, how ludicrous it is for me to think that I can just be on my merry way and do as I please. I am not my own authority. He must be my complete authority. The artist has complete authority over the canvas, does he not? The potter can shape, reshape, or destroy whatever he makes on the wheel, can he not? The clay cannot say to the potter, “I don’t like how you made me so I think I am going to take over from here.” And yet, without me placing myself completely under the authority of Jesus, that is exactly what I do. How absurd to think that I have the freedom to call the shots. I am not the creator. I don’t have any right to call the shots.
And yet I have tried to do so in many ways. And this only led to my demise of being lost and steeped in sin for so long. I tried to call the shots…and I ended up in a pit. Have you been there before? And please know that I am talking about this happening as a Christian. Yes, when I “accepted” Christ at age 19, I surrendered my heart and my life to Him. I trusted in His grace to forgive my sin. I trusted in the atonement for my sins through the cross. I trusted Him for my eternal salvation. And, as best as I understood, I yielded my life to Him. But you know something? I wasn’t fully yielded. I did not surrender ALL. I wanted to believe I surrendered all, but the truth is that there were many places in my heart that were not fully surrendered. Have you been there before?
And so, over the near twenty years of walking with Christ, I was partially surrendered and partially not surrendered. Is Jesus truly satisfied with such a heart? Now, I am not heaping shame on me here by any means. I know that the Christian journey is one of sanctification, which is an on-going process. But, have you ever been stuck? For so may years, I have been stuck in many areas of my life. True sanctification is on-going. It’s moving. It’s growing. It is not stagnant. It does not remain in one immature place for such a long time. So, I understand about sanctification and the process. But, I am talking about areas of stagnation that are not producing fruits of sanctification. What is one to make of that? For years, I lied to myself and others and stated that, well, my growth is slow, but its coming. But the truth is that in so many ways I was stuck. And I was stuck for a reason. I was doing it my way. I was not fully submitted under the authority of my creator. I was the canvas that was not allowing the brush strokes of the master artist to take me where He wanted me. I was the shape on the potters wheel that preferred not to have the potter touch me in certain areas, and as a result I grew hard under the hot sun. My way has caused many faults in the foundation and building that the architect has designed. My way has caused blotches on the canvas, hazards in the building, hardened pieces on the wheel, and malformed pieces on the sculpture.
Second Time His – So, with the mess I made the first time around because of such foolish notions that I can do whatever I want, like I said, it landed me into a pit that I simply could not get out of. The pit was called sin. The owner of the pit was the devil. The place of the pit was in darkness. And the destination of the pit was the fires of hell. And there I was, completely stuck, simply because I wanted to still do it my way. Have you been there?
But what love has been shown me from my master creator, the one whom I rebelled against, even after pledging my love and devotion to Him. I became His the first time because He made me, therefore I belonged to Him. Why did I argue with such a notion? I mean, if I make something, then I have ownership of it completely and I can choose to do whatever I want with it. That is not unfair. If I want to make something incredible just to give it away, then I can do that. If I want to make something beautiful just to then trash it, then I can do that too. And if I want to make something simple and plain and then just cherish it for myself, I can do that also and it should not upset anybody. Why then could I be so foolish to think that I could do whatever I wanted and that my creator would just have to deal with it? O the blindness of the human heart.
And so, the one whom I already belonged to first now makes a way for me to get out of the pit. And He did not have to do that. He didn’t push me into the pit. I was the one who walked into the pit because of my own rebellion. He doesn’t owe me anything. If there is one who owes, it is me. And the price that the owner of the pit was asking was too much for me to pay. And so, because of His amazing love, Jesus paid the price for my release. He ransomed my soul from the pit of hell. He took me out of the darkness and placed me into the light. He released me from the chains that the owner of the pit had bound me with. I could not pay such a price to get out, but He paid it with His very life. He gave His life up to the cross, taking all my sin, my rebellion, my pride, my arrogance, and everything else. And as a result, I am free from the pit! But, am I really free?
Yes, I am free from the pits of hell. I am free from the enslavement to the devil. But am I truly free to do whatever I wish to do now? Absolutely not! Remember, He purchased my redemption. Their was a price that needed to be paid for my soul, and Jesus said, “I will pay the price.” Therefore, since Jesus bought me at a price, who do I belong to now? The answer is so obvious. I belong to Him, which means that I am not free to do as I please. Remember, that is what got me into so much trouble the first time around. No, I am not free to be on my way. I am bound to Him. He must become my ruler, my Lord, my master, my ultimate authority whom I place myself under. I became His…again.
What love my Savior has for me!! How should I not want to bow in complete submission to His authority. His authority will only lead to green pastures. His authority will only lead me to the rock of truth on which to stand. His authority will lead me to joy. His authority will lead me to eternal pleasures in His right hand. His authority will lead me right into the very presence of God. O, I gladly bow to Him as my authority. I only pray that my heart reflects this truth from here on into eternity.
Yes, I am two times His!!! And may His brush strokes now run wherever He so chooses. – Cody