“Will you give your heart to Jesus?”
That’s what we most often hear from ministers of the gospel – evangelicals, at least. But what we hear from the Spirit of God, if we will listen carefully and diligently, is something very different. It is more on this order:
Will you give Me your mind and its preconceived notions and opinions? And will you give Me your habits, your first and best time, and your secret sins? Will you give Me your ears and eyes, so that your attention is focused on what I want it focused on? Will you give Me your hands? Your feet? Your money? Your talents, abilities, goals, hopes, dreams? Will you give Me your loved ones? Your place in this world? Your destiny, your path in life, your very will, personality, thoughts and emotions?
What we will discover in the process of saying “yes” to God in all of these is that we are naked. As naked as Adam was in the beginning.
We may even realize that we never really had anything of our own, after all. It was all given to us.
Our parents gave us our DNA and much of our personality, values and opinions, and certainly, what we like or dislike about our appearance. They and our acquaintances gave us our resentments, prejudices, habits, and secret sins. Our culture gave us education, fashion and valuations of what would be important in life. And what they gave they borrowed as well. We all simply picked and chose what to keep of the transient in the process of defining ourselves.
God gave us life, grace, faith, love, intelligence, the ability to reason and speak, and everything else that is a good and useful aspect of life.
Paraphrasing Paul, we might ask, “What do I have that I didn’t receive?” Even our will was a gift from God, one that He hopes we will return to Him.
In essence, we are already naked before God, whether we answer yes or no to His requests.
So why do we hold on to all of this as though it actually defined us and gave us value? What’s the point of resisting God’s call to lay it all down?”
Do we really prefer the temporal and trivial above the eternal and priceless? Do we really treasure the approval of a dying and afflicted world over the approval of the One who calls us to eternal life?
Each of us has to answer those questions.
And we do, intentionally or by default.
In these flashes of insight, when the curtain is pulled back and we see the reality of God’s offer before us and how ridiculous our hesitancy is, let us wholeheartedly commit to Him everything – and just as wholeheartedly, ask for His grace to never waver or renege.
Pat McWhorter operates Grace Warrior Ministries and is the author of several Christian teaching books focused on discipleship and grounding new believers in the faith. He also teaches discipleship in Georgia and assists ministries in Africa and Pakistan with disciple-making efforts.