Sunday, December 25, 2011

To Whom Do You Surrender?

Do you ever get overwhelmed with your own desire for change?  You want to be like Christ…but that desire seems almost like a ‘pipe-dream.’  Something that vaguely stirs you to change, but seems so far from an attainable reality that you lose hope?  If so, believe me, my friend, you are not alone.  The great Apostle Paul may have felt that way when he penned, “I don't really understand myself, for I want to do what is right, but I don't do it. Instead, I do what I hate.” Romans 5: 15 NLT

Some people believe that Paul was struggling with some ‘great sin’ that threatened to overpower him.  I believe every sin is a ‘great sin’ when it has power over us.  If we don’t conquer it—it will conquer us.  How do we conquer the sin that wars against our better self? How do we realize the dream of becoming Christ-like?  The Apostle Paul verbalizes his own struggle to rise above his sinful (human) nature and take on the nature of his Lord in the following verses and gives us his conclusion in Chapter 8 Verse 5,

 “Those who live according to the sinful nature have their minds set on what that nature desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires.” In verse 6 Paul informs us of his conclusion in the matter, “The mind of sinful man is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace.”  

That is the crux of the matter my friends.  In the secret chambers of our heart there is a battle raging. Our desire to be like our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ is at war with our desire to control our own destiny.  William Ernest Henley penned it well in his famous work,  Invictus “I am the master of my fate, I am the captain of my soul.” Unfortunately, Henley died at the age of 53 and one would hope he surrendered control to a higher power, the Creator of the Universe, before his untimely death.

The question we must ask today is this: to whom do I surrender control?  If we surrender to addictions, this world’s system of thought which is contrary to the known will of God, our own desires to gratify our sinful nature (as Paul said), then those are the powers that will control us.  If we surrender to the Holy Spirit and yield control of our lives to him, we will experience life and peace.

Someone once said, “Jesus said it.  I believe it. And that settles it.”  A simple philosophy that may become a guiding light to us if we internalize it and purpose to live by it.

To whom to you surrender?  I pray that you surrender your mind, will, and emotions to the control of the Holy Spirit and begin living a life of peace in Him today!

Linda Settles

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