Lord Take Control
God sent His son to deliver us from our sinful selves and bring us home to him – “It is a trustworthy statement … that Christ Jesus came into this world to save sinners” (1 Tim. 1:15). Yet, the Lord did not just seek a quick conversion and then a safe leap into eternity. In between, He desires a new people; to see them live out the life of Christ in their time here that they might demonstrate His love to the world. God predestined us to be “conformed to the image of His Son” (Rom. 8:29). That we would, in process, be transformed (Rom. 12:2) by Christ living in us (Gal. 2:20); this happens when we choose to be crucified with Him (Gal. 2:20; 1 Cor. 15:31). God seeks to see us die to ourselves so that His Son would live within us. As Clive Calver puts it,
“The heartbeat of Christianity is not to receive salvation and try harder. It is not a life changed by renewed effort. The secret of Christianity is not a ‘changed’ life but an ‘exchanged’ one. We give our lives to Jesus and He gives His life to us and lives it through us. That’s ‘Dying to Live’ – we do the dying so that Jesus can do the living.”
Only when we die can the Lord Take Control of us such that we become a new creation in Christ.
My heart, mind, body, soul. These words are drawn from the first and greatest commandment to Love God with the whole of our being. As Calver notes above, the power of a Christian life is not within us; it is, rather, in the power of the Lord living in us. This is Paul’s mind in Gal. 2:20; it is “Christ in you, the hope of glory” (Col. 1:27). This originates with God and His love exemplified in the cross. I can do no good except the good that God does in me through power and love of the Son. Left to myself I will lose control of my emotions, my thoughts, my flesh and my life. But, when I yield to the power of Christ and crucify the flesh (Gal. 5:24) – God can change me. We will still be imperfect but we can commit to surrender to the control of Christ.
Letting God take control in each of these areas – by crucifying myself so that Christ will live in me – is central to spiritual life in the Son. We must let God control the heart – the inner being and emotions. This comes through sensing His love for us – moved in our hearts by the sacrifice of God and His love for us. The thoughts of our mind should be brought under His control by daily intake in His word. Our bodies are to be presented to Him as “living sacrifices” (Rom. 12:1-2) – they are no longer to be used for our benefit or pleasure but to become sacrificial offerings of worship; set apart to God, and therefore to others, as the lambs and bulls were set apart to be offered to God in the Law. The whole of our life is to come under control of His Divine Will. This will not begin until we decide to daily go the way of the cross.
O Lord, may we commit ourselves, in loving response to your Great Love with which you have loved us and died for us, to die to ourselves this day. Lord, we petition you, humbly, imperfectly, pleading mercy for our failures, to take control of our hearts, our minds, our bodies, our soul. Make us your people. Mold us. Shape us into people who show Christ living in us to the rest of the world; that the world would see the power of the cross, of your glory, in us. All Praise Be to You, O Lord.
~ Jeff Young