We all deal with seasons in life when all the options are difficult, don’t we? We ask, “Am I up to this?” Or, perhaps, “Do I even want to do this?” Those kinds of situations are even harder when we get conflicting advice about the best course of action. There is one choice that Christ’s disciples always know to be the right one – doing things His way! Whatever decisions we make, the state of the heart is critical. We must ask ourselves – “Am I prepared to let Christ Jesus be Lord, to trust Him?” Or, do we live like a child whose rebellious heart screams “You’re not the boss of me.”?
In Luke 7, Jesus commended a man for something that we all need to note. “So Jesus went with them. He was not far from the house when the centurion sent friends to say to him: “Lord, don’t trouble yourself, for I do not deserve to have you come under my roof. That is why I did not even consider myself worthy to come to you. But say the word, and my servant will be healed. For I myself am a man under authority, with soldiers under me. I tell this one, ‘Go,’ and he goes; and that one, ‘Come,’ and he comes. I say to my servant, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.” When Jesus heard this, he was amazed at him, and turning to the crowd following him, he said, “I tell you, I have not found such great faith even in Israel.” Then the men who had been sent returned to the house and found the servant well.” (Luke 7:6-10, NIV)
That man revealed his faith in submission! He understood authority so whatever was required of him by the government of Rome was what he must do. Amazingly, He realized that was the way that the Kingdom of Heaven operated as well. Recognizing Jesus’ authority, he gained great faith. He expected that Jesus could just speak the order and that the healing he requested for his servant would happen.
Might it be that one of the reasons we do not experience the peace of God in the middle of life’s frustrating circumstances is our unwilling to completely submit ourselves to Him? Do we fail to live under authority? When we feel trapped by hard things, do we go to the Lord, but only with a half-committed heart or with a kind of resignation? This centurion shows us that it is possible to embrace His Will, to find joy in saying “You lead, I’ll follow!”
It is natural to what to live life on or own terms. We like it when others do what we desire, when our children obey us, when our spouse adapts to our plans, don’t we? True spiritual peace can only be found when we love the Lord so completely that we will give up Self. We will not find serenity in our situations as long as we insist on having our way and demanding that God care for us at the same time. Understand this. Most of us are not wanting to do some terrible thing. It’s not like we want to kill somebody or rob a bank. Self-will is much more subtle than that. It says, “I want my way. I want things to flow in my direction. God, make me happy and satisfy my needs.”
Instead, we must say, “I am a person under authority.” In that place of submission we can discover a supernatural peace, one only possible in complete surrender. In my Christian life, I have found that most of the time in the situations that frustrate me, the one who changes is me! The Lord usually does not step in to miraculously make it all better. Instead, He creates contentment and peace in me.
Are you ‘boxed in’ by life this morning?
Are you angry, frustrated, perhaps even ready to walk away from it all?
Do this first!
Kneel! Hold out your hands in the universal gesture of surrender, and invite Him to be Lord of your heart. Make this confession: “You are Lord, I am not.”
When the heart and mind is no longer in a rebellious state, when He is Lord and Master, possibilities are created that are beyond our ability to create for ourselves.
Here is a word from the Word. “Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:5-7, NIV)
“Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.” (Ephesians 3:20-21, KJV)
I will offer up my life in spirit and truth,
Pouring out the oil of love, as my worship to You.
In surrender I must give my ev’ry part;
Lord, receive the sacrifice of a broken heart.
Jesus, what can I give, What can I bring
To so faithful a friend, To so loving a King?
Savior, what can be said, What can be sung,
As a praise of Your name for the things You have done?
Oh, my words could not tell, Not even in part,
Of the debt of love that is owed by this thankful heart.
You deserve my every breath
for You’ve paid the great cost.
Giving up Your life to death,
Even death on a cross.
You took all my shame away,
There defeated my sin,
Opened up the gates of heaven,
And have beckoned me in.
I Will Offer Up My Life — Redman, Matt © 1994 Kingsway’s Thankyou Music (Admin. by EMI Christian Music Publishing) CCLI License No. 810055