I believed in God, went to church and read my Bible. And… that was about it. There was really nothing else that marked a difference between me, a Christian with the Holy Spirit of the living God inside, and a non-believer.
I went to an IF:Gathering conference one February weekend, and God put such a clear impression on my heart: was I in, or was I out? I was walking a fence between following Jesus and following my own desires, and now my fence had run out of posts.
I remember saying “yes” to God that weekend. I was in. But I didn’t have a clue as to what my life was supposed to look like or what I was supposed to do next. I didn’t know the formality of his name, Adonai, but as I look back, that was exactly what I was saying “yes” to: Lord. His way, not my way. There was no more inbetween. Because there is only one God. And He is it.
Before the commandments are given, God says, “I am the Lord your God.” He declares his Lordship over his people and goes on to say, “who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery” (Exodus 20:2).
And maybe that’s the part that we don’t give enough attention to: sin is enslaving.
The Israelites would have never left Egypt on their own and they would have never stayed out on their own. They needed a mediator. God used Moses to rescue the Israelites and to intercede between them and himself, to remind them of who they were and whose they were, and to keep them from turning back.
And hundreds of years later God would send another mediator. For all people. To break the chains of spiritual slavery and set his people free.
It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery. (Galatians 5:1)
Maybe it is hard to give certain areas of our lives over to the Lord, but the things that we hold on to will be the things that hold on to us. God is serious when he calls us to love him with all our heart, soul, mind and strength (Mark 12:29-30). It is what we were made for, the reason we were created. And when we live in that purpose, we will taste freedom.
Saying “yes” to God as Lord, Adonai, over every part of my life continues to shape and change me in ways I never could have imagined. It is not always easy. It actually is usually painful and outrageously difficult. But death is like that. “Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit” (Galatians 5:24-25). The irony is that when we die to the things of this world and instead surrender to the Lordship of Jesus Christ, we gain a life and identity that will last for all eternity.
This blog is full of stories of “yeses”, practical examples of ways that God can use simple obedience to change everything. I don’t write because I think my stories are so important, but I write to put God’s glory on display. I write to show his great and mighty work in the life of an average person, a stay-at-home mom who has no social media influence and no seminary degree. I write to show off how much better life is when we let this God, Adonai, be our Lord and be in his rightful position in our lives. He is so abundantly worthy. And it isn’t because he gives us wealth or health or big houses. He may or he may not. But what he does give and what he promises to anyone who receives him are gifts for all eternity. That in Christ Jesus we might be welcomed into the family of God. That we might know him and have life forever in his kingdom. That we might share in the inheritance of his Son. And that we might bear the fruit of his Spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self control (Galatians 5:22-23).
I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. – Galatians 2:20
“Do not be afraid,” Samuel replied. “You have done all this evil; yet do not turn away from the Lord, but serve the Lord with all your heart. Do not turn away after useless idols. They can do you no good, nor can they rescue you, because they are useless. For the sake of his great name the Lord will not reject his people, because the Lord was pleased to make you his own. As for me, far be it from me that I should sin against the Lord by failing to pray for you. And I will teach you the way that is good and right. But be sure to fear the Lord and serve him faithfully with all your heart; consider what great things he has done for you.” – 1 Samuel 12:20-24
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart. – Hebrews 12:1-3
Read: Galatians. The whole thing. It’s only 6 chapters and just packed.
Stepping in: Have you given your entire life to the Lord, Adonai? Spend some time in the word and in prayer over his character, ways you’ve seen God work in your life and areas that are difficult to surrender.