I was mowing the yard this past Saturday, listening to music, singing my heart when a song came on that struck me funny. The song wasn’t a surprise, after all it was my playlist that I was listening to. This time, however, the song burdened my heart in a way that it never has before. Ever since then, God has brought to my attention various forms of greed and selfishness in my world. I’m not blind to the fact that there is a constant state of self-centeredness in the world, but since Saturday, God has seemed to intensify it, calling it to my attention. It has reached a point where I am unable to have very much patience with what I am seeing. The part that hurts the worst is that this is not some run of the mill selfishness from any old person on the street, God has shown me the selfishness of His followers and He is using people close to me to show it. Now, before I go on there is something that you need to understand. I am not excluding myself from this. He has dealt with me on more than one occasion and I have had to pull a couple of U turns because of it.
The song that came on my headphones was Clay Crosse’s I Surrender All. That got me thinking the rest of the weekend. And then it hit me that we fail to do what that song says- we don’t surrender all to God. We have managed to compartmentalize Christ in our lives. We have stuck Jesus in a box and we only let him out in our lives when it is convenient for us- usually on Wednesdays, Sundays, and any time we need help. We don’t release Him to show our co-workers that He is Lord of our lives. We suppress Him every time we get into a situation with our friends who may or may not be followers. We disguise Him so that no one will notice that we live differently from the crowd. And we quiet His spirit when He urges us to ask the hard questions about someone’s eternity…..
Instead, we put Jesus in His box, tell Him to behave and not to cause us trouble, and if He is good maybe we will let Him out at the next revival on a Friday evening. We put Jesus in His box and we leave Him in the back seat of our car while we hit the bars, the clubs, the parties. We leave Him in His box and put him on our shelf next to the paper & leather paperweight we call our Bible. We keep Him in His box so that no one catches a glimpse of Him because heaven help if they asked about our faith. We stuff Him in the box every time something doesn’t go our way or every time we are placed in a situation to share Christ because it makes us uncomfortable. I can not for the life of me think of a reason that Christ makes us uncomfortable- or can I?
You see, I believe that we compartmentalize Christ because we do not surrender to Christ. We box Him up because we KNOW we don’t live the life we should. We KNOW we don’t exalt the name of Jesus the way we should. We KNOW that instead of making His name famous, we try to build up our own lives. The lyrics to the chorus speak volumes:
“I surrender all, my silent hopes & dreams. Though the price to follow cost me everything. I surrender all, my human soul desires, if sacrifice requires that all my kingdoms fall- I surrender all.”
You know, I have always found it very interesting that sitting at the center of the word Sin is “I.” I think it is very telling for a lot of us that we need to get ourselves out of the center and put God back in the center of our lives. For some of us- it is time we step up and step out for the cause of Christ. For some of us, its time we put pride aside and start being the followers Christ called us to be. For some us, its about making a decision to never wait for someone else to do what God has already called us to do. For all of us- it is high time that we surrender all of our lives, our plans, and ourselves to Christ, because He did so much more for us on a cross at Calvary.
In Christ Alone,
Rev. Bro. Coach