Chapter 7 ~ The Freedom of Abandonment
"My old self has been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. So I live in this earthly body by trusting in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself to me." Galatians 2:20
"Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus:
Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made Himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to death - even death on a cross!" Philippians 2:5-8
As the author shares, "Romans 6:11 says that you should consider yourself dead to the power of sin and alive to God through Christ Jesus. Do you consider this verse to be true in your life? Why or why not?" I'll let you wrestle through that one on your own...
From our study: "Lawrence O. Richards wrote, "obedience is the outward expression of a heart that has turned to God."
I've lived in both types of houses... My temple (body) has been a strong tower, because of Christ and living out His Truth and I have not been swayed in the midst of challenges, trials and difficulties, but I've also been a temple with no foundation and allowed sin, fear, and unbelief cause me to fall, be swept away and second guess His truth. I know by experience that when I am living in His Truth, died to myself and I'm being obedient to what He desires of me ~ no matter what comes into my life, He enables me to stand firm and strong and not be destroyed. No, at those times He is gloried and gives me victory in my life!
And I must remember:
"But the man (and woman) who looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues to do this, not forgetting what he has heard, but doing it - he will be blessed in what he does." James 1:25
Aren't those wonderful and encouraging words? I hope you realize that these words are still not about us choosing the way we live our life, but when we're totally abandoned to Christ, He will bless our lives for His glory. And that's a really wonderful thing!
"So obedience, properly understood, is never a cold or impersonal thing. God's call to obedience is a loving invitation to experience His best." Lawrence O. Richards
I love this quote! If you're anything like me, it's wonderful to feel loved; to be invited into someone's inner circle; to be an important part of a special family! That's what God is all about! He wants all His children to experience His amazing love and when we're obedient to Him, He knows we love Him and, in return, He loves us even more!
Do you still want to keep control over your life? Have you abandoned yourself to God? These verses will help you see a bit more what that "looks like!"
How I desire my life to be testified of in this way, but how short I fall (and so often)... And yet, I know that God continues to transform my life a little each day, each season, each new stretch of my journey here on earth. I do try to live this out in some measure, but I realize what I really need is to completely let go of my control of my life.
Hopefully, you don't feel like an utter failure in working through this week's study ~ and I've just skimmed the surface. There is so much to learn in this chapter. When I read this quote, I smiled. Yes, Lord - I'm making progress. I'm making progress toward You!
This is such a wonderful image. Perhaps it will give revelation to some who read this... He is so good!
To close this week:
Reflections ~ "This is a difficult chapter. It is not easy to give up control of your life, but what we give up cannot compare with what we gain." Are you willing to abandon your life to the Lord that you might really live?
It's not easy to give up complete control. It's not easy to abandon what we have "planned" for our lives, but He's promised to be with us. He's told us that it will be an exciting adventure like nothing we could ever ask or imagine. It could be high profile or humble and simple, but your life will never be the same if you will surrender control of your life to Him. And, you will gain so much more!
Lord Jesus, I've wanted to give you complete control but I know I've always held, at least, a little something back. No more. Today, I'm giving you ALL of my life; surrendering to You. Take my life, crucify it in You so I may really live!