I Am Not My Own: And God Won’t Be Changed

(Reposted from archives)

That’s right.  I am a slave.  I was purchased and now I no longer belong to myself, but to the One whose blood bought me.

And that changes everything.

Yelling in our ears–and from our own hearts, even, is the message It’s about you! What feels right?  What sounds right? Just follow your heart!”

Which is to be expected outside of Christ.  But if you claim to be a Christian?

It is nothing about you at all.  Or your feelings, or what you think life should look like.

Absolute surrender to the One who owns me is to be my sole concern.

Or He doesn’t own me.

The funny thing is, we don’t even realize we’re clasping the “me message” so tightly, but we know how we want to feel and what we want to do and if those needs aren’t being met by what we’ve learned about God…

we change Him.

But never ourselves.

He will not be changed.

Paul and the disciples of Christ understood one thing:  they were not their own and whatever that meant for their lives–comfort or dejection, gain or loss, fame or persecution–it was of no matter to them.  They didn’t try to fit their perception of who God is into a box that would make life “work” for them, or fulfill their emotional needs.

If Paul could hear the sniveling of our current Christianity:

“But if I believe that about God it makes me feel bad and I can’t serve a God like that.”

Most of us wouldn’t stand two minutes in the shoes of those Christians who were cast out, hated, tortured and martyred for their faith.

There needs to be a name for this “new Christianity” which is not Christianity at all.

“Woe to him who strives with him who formed him, a pot among earthen pots! Does the clay say to him who forms it, ‘What are you making?’ “

As purchased property, all that I am and all that I do and all that I believe is no longer my own.  Any agenda outside of serving the One who paid for me is the wrong agenda.  Self-fulfillment must die.

Hard to hear?  Oh my, yes.

And our Lord knew that.  And that’s why “many heard and walked away”.

And that’s why, “Many will say in that day, ‘Lord, Lord’…and I will say to them, ‘Depart from me, I never knew you’.

And that’s why “narrow is the way and few there be that find it”.

And that’s why, “the world will hate you, but remember, it hated Me first”.

The only true fulfillment now is that which is found in losing my life.

To a true follower of Christ, this realization is the sweetest thought that ever entered the mind–a free-fall back into the arms of grace, completely trusting my life into His hands, the One who formed me and knows what is best for me.

To the impostor, it is repulsive.

And the greatest of ironies comes rushing in:

“If the Son has set you free (i.e. you have become My bond-servant), you are FREE indeed!”

 

7 Responses to “I Am Not My Own: And God Won’t Be Changed”

  1. Jennifer says:

    Love this! I’ve been learning a lot about this as I’ve encountered lots of opposition within the church. I head up a Moms Group and my vision is for it to be outreach to moms in the community; to be all-inclusive, even involving moms from a local maternity home. That has become a huge problem among Christians in the church who want to have their own time to kick back and relax and not have to converse with young single moms. Really???? As the Scripture you mentioned says, we are not our own, we were bought at a price. Our time is not our own! We ought to be spending our lives as Christ did! I am definitely learning that straight is the gate and narrow is the way that leads to life and few there be that find it. I have heard over and over throughout my life that we were created to glorify God but am only now learning what that truly means. To glorify God is to be my chief aim, at whatever cost to myself. As Joseph came to the end of years and years of personal cost (slavery and prison) and told his brothers that “what they meant for harm, God meant for good: the saving of many lives”; I have learned that it must not matter what the cost is to myself as long as God is glorified and others are saved. And that is a glorious decision to come to and truly is so freeing! Thanks for your post!

  2. Rick Dunbar says:

    This piece was well written and reflects what Paul is saying in Romans chapter seven when he realized that he was in fact no serving God by keeping the law but serving the Sin slave owner only to be later sold to the Death slave owner. Insufficient time and space does not permit a full unpacking of Paul’s theology. Those who are freed from the Sin slave master become the property of the Life Giving Spirit who is then the master! You are now free to do as the Spirit dictates-but those who are His will do as the Spirit dictates. This does not mean that you are free to sin. In fact, you are freed from Sin so that you no longer are required to follow Sin’s orders. By the way, do you know what it was that made Paul realize that he was a sinner? His claim of righteousness was that he was a law keeper; essentially climbing his way to heaven by keeping law. But he realized that in coveting the law he broke the law. The law made him realized he was a sinner.

    However, the NT word that the NASB translates as bond-servant was NEVER used for bond servant! It is SLAVE! The bond servant was an OT usage and NEVER is used in NT Greek.

    Thanks for listening

    Rick Dunbar, MDiv

  3. Robin says:

    I have one word in reaction to this… AMEN!

  4. Laura says:

    Thinking about this myself lately… There are so many “shoulds” in life and so many “have to’s”…and the more children you have and the harder everthing gets, the “want to’s” get shoved out of the way… and it’s one thing to say that you “should” be a slave of Christ…but how do you get to the point where you WANT TO? There IS a BIG difference. And when I say want, I mean the same way I WANT to eat that double chocolate brownie sunday…or the way I WANT to spend three hours reading a good book or sewing a project that’s been sitting there for months…NOT the way I know I SHOULD get up at 6am every day and walk 2 miles… And sometimes the more “shoulds” and “have to’s” there are, the harder it is to turn away from the “want to’s” that I don’t have time for…Because it feels like there will NEVER be time for those want tos and my preferences will never pick the walk over the double chocolate sunday…sigh…

    • Word Warrior says:

      Laura,

      Ah, but it’s so true. I say eat the double chocolate sunday while you do the shoulds ;-) Seriously, I do think we can find balance, it may just take more deliberate effort. A book that helped me, and it may surprise you because the title doesn’t really sound like it would, was “Organized Simplicity.” She outlined the extremely important task of making a list of your family’s goals and then being extremely guarded against any and everything that would hinder them. Highly recommended.

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