But seek first his kingdom, and his righteousness; and these things will be given to you as well. – Luke 12:31
I have always been the kind of person who knows what she wants and goes after it. There were times in my life that my dreams demanded that I be daring, even brave. Moving to California by myself at 21 years of age is a great example of this. Raised in Wisconsin, my deepest desire was to live where palm trees and fresh fruit grew in abundance, the sun always shined, and the saying “dead of winter” held no meaning.
So off I went. I didn’t think about my parents and how much they would miss having their daughter around. My six siblings, their spouses, and all my nieces and nephews would go on living without me after I moved over 2,000 miles away. I didn’t consider all the holidays, weddings, and births I’d miss and later regret.
I truly only thought about my own immediate happiness and so I packed up my belongings and moved away. Actually, that’s not true. I moved and let my poor mom pack my stuff and ship it to me.
If you are getting the impression that I am bragging, then you are reading this with the wrong tone of voice. This is really just a confession that I lived a good portion of my life pleasing only myself.
Long before I knew that Jesus was the one true, living God, my God was myself. As long as my goals were accomplished or my desires fulfilled, nothing else mattered. The world allowed for, even condoned my selfishness. When I wanted something, I did whatever it took to get it. Which, of course, made me appear strong and independent, something the world applauded.
Shortly after becoming a Christian – okay, now use a sarcastic tone – I was much more Godly about pleasing myself. First I would pray about it, you know, “Lord I really want this or that.” Then I would go out and get it and thank Him for it. When “getting it” was beyond my reach, well then obviously the only thing left to do was cry really hard during prayer because what man can resist a woman in tears? (End of sarcasm.)
It didn’t take long to find out that the Lord can not be manipulated.
In His almighty wisdom and unfailing patience He has been faithful to teach me what it truly means to trust in Christ. Placing my faith in Him for my salvation goes far beyond simply accepting His forgiveness for my sins. Jesus Christ can not be my Savior unless He is also My Lord. Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, they go together, eternally. A soul saved by Christ must also be one surrendered to Him. My self-life traded for His eternal life. It is no longer my job to make myself happy. I am no longer a slave to my self-life, my flesh. I have been set free from bondage to my selfishness and am now a slave to His righteousness.
Sometimes my flesh still tries to pull one over on me, lying to me that living for my own needs is what will bring me happiness but I know that all of my needs, wants, and desires are in God’s hands. He will not only place Godly desires in my heart, He is also faithful to fulfill them. More exciting though, God is able to do abundantly more than I could even dare to dream. I say this with a joyful heart knowing full well that the life I surrendered to Him, the life I traded Him for this new life, wasn’t worth a grain of salt. The God of creation is an awesome, loving God who can be trusted with all that I am and all I hope to be, do, or have.
Friend, all that is true for me is true for you. The God who created you is the only one who knows your full potential, what you’re actually capable of accomplishing. Have you completed the trade, His life for yours? Or are you still living to please yourself? These are questions worth answering.