I gave my life to God yesterday, but I must renew that commitment today. I can't expect yesterday's promise to get me through today. Yesterday the Lord may have asked me to obey Him in a particular way, but that moment has passed. If I would obey Him today, I must decide in advance to do so. If I decide in advance that He has His way in me, then there is nothing He can ask that will frighten me, or cause me to hesitate to be obedient. If I choose to live my own path and plan, then His call to obey will be secondary to my own wishes and desires. That simply can't be. He must have His way first, then whatever else may come will get what is left over of me.
Lord God, I am not my own. I was bought with the price of Jesus' sacrifice. Today, I will follow You and obey You. I will honor You and serve You. If You ask something of me, my answer will be yes. If You call me away from something or into something, then my answer will be yes. Help me to not hesitate. I give You full and complete permission to every area of my life: to take from me what needs to be taken, and to give to me what needs to be given that I might serve You wholeheartedly and grow in the grace and knowledge of my Lord, Jesus. AMEN.
This surrender must be repetitive or I will likely wander. My emotions, my will, my desires, my plans will keep rising and attempting to take up residence on the throne of my heart. Jesus alone must occupy the throne of my heart. This is the essence of holiness: repetitive surrender. Holiness is not a label, not a rule or list of rules, not an appearance, and not a code of ethics. Holiness is Christ-likeness, and I can't hope to attain to such a beautiful thing if the world is crowding my thoughts and my life. My physical location in this world has nothing to do with my obligations or to Whom I am obliged. The world may contain my flesh, but the LORD must have my heart and mind.
If I'm not willing to seek this then what else is there? Religion has nothing to offer but holiness is the key to seeing God. Busyness will me a false sense of productivity, but holiness will give me a sense of authenticity. The world is a smoke-screen of lures and temptations, but holiness is clarity and purity of the true reality and nature of all things. The world wants me to elevate my self, holiness calls me elevate Jesus.
And when this day is done and, beyond the sleep of the night to come, I awake to a new day, I will ... I must surrender all over again.
Brett Heintzman is passionate about the spiritual formation of God's people. These writings are designed to draw us close to God and to help us live out of the riches of His presence. It's all about being in the world but not of the world.