“And without controversy, great is the mystery of godliness.” – 1 Tim. 3:16
I was baptized into Christ at the age of ten, and understood the Gospel as a ten year old would. Our minister led us through a series of lessons to explain what baptism was all about, and to ensure that we were ready to take that step. I especially liked the idea of having Jesus as my Savior, having my sins forgiven, and having the promise of spending eternity with Him.
But, the other part of that decision was the acceptance of Jesus as ruler over my life (Phil 2:11). This concept did not register as fully as the idea of a savior did, and it was not until I was in my fifties that God got my attention in that regard. He let me know that I had never really trusted Him, nor had I totally surrendered my life to Him (2 Chr. 30:8). Conditional surrender comes easy, as we give up the little things that don’t matter a lot. But, turning it all over to Him? Well, that’s a whole different ballgame.
Yet, God desires nothing less from us. He wants us, in our very being, to follow and trust Him completely. That seems like a heavy price for us to pay, but it is nothing in comparison to the price that Jesus paid for us when He went to the cross. For me, it was a matter of having to be broken of myself, of realizing and admitting that I was not sufficient; that someone else was needed. That someone was God … the only one who could get the job done.
The way it all worked out after that was a bit mysterious to me. To just say, “I am yours Lord, you do it,” well, that went against my very nature. It was completely foreign to the way I had been doing things my entire life. I no longer was depending upon myself to be in control (since I never was to begin with), but was trusting in Him to take care of things (Prov. 3:5). That makes a lot of sense when you put it all in perspective. He is the Creator and I am a tiny little part of His creation; He is sovereign over everything (Acts 10:36), and I do well to handle a few small details; He knows everything, and what I know might fit on the head of a pin.
So, here I am some 22 years after yielding to Him, and life is so much more than I ever dreamed it could be (John 10:10). Don’t get me wrong, life has been good all along the way. And there are still trials and tribulations; some of which are very difficult, but, I know with great certainty, that He is directing our paths. Even the many “bad” things have turned out for my good — just as He said (Rom. 8:28).