Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Do You Really Mean That?


Last Sunday in church, we sang one of my favorite songs from Sovereign Grace Music, called “All I Have is Christ.” This song is always deeply stirring for me, for several reasons. First, it is a sobering reminder that, in this world of change, the only sure thing for believers is Christ. He is the same yesterday, today and forever (Hebrews 13:8), and we can always be sure of His love and faithfulness to us. There is never any reason to doubt that His sovereignty is real, or that He will always do the absolute best thing for me, no matter what. In this world of uncertainty, He truly is all that we really have.

But the line that really got to me this time was, “Oh Savior, use my ransomed life in any way you choose.” Honestly, I must confess that I didn’t actually sing those words this particular time. I don’t like to sing words that I’m not 100% sure that I mean, and this one gave me pause. Can I really sing that, and mean it? Can I tell the Lord that since He has paid for my freedom, He can use me however He wants to—less pain or more pain; able to walk or unable to walk; mobile or house bound; Wow, that is a pretty serious statement to make! Can I say it, and truly mean it?

As I wrestled with these questions, one thought kept returning to my mind: It makes no real difference whether I want to cooperate with Him or not. I belong to Him, and He will indeed use my life in whatever way He chooses. It will be easier on me if I am submitted to what He chooses but, regardless of my selfish desires, He is the One who does the choosing, and He does all that He pleases (Psalm 115:3). The best thing for me to do is to trust in His goodness and mercy, and cling to the promises He has made, trusting that He is able to fulfill them.

So how do I get myself to the place where I can sing the words to this song and really mean them? Well, for these words to ring true from my lips, there must be a joyful and willing submission. This requires some careful thinking. I must be focused on His glory, not my comfort. I must think on my eternity with Christ, not my earthly troubles. And I must reach out to others, sharing the hope and strength that my God has shown me in my own weakness. I must glory in my weakness, thanking my Savior for it, and knowing that in my suffering, Christ is made glorious.

Providentially, the answer to whether I really mean those words about using my ransomed life in any way He chooses, lies in my response to the verse just before:

But as I ran my hell-bound race
Indifferent to the cost
You looked upon my helpless state
And led me to the cross.
And I beheld God’s love displayed.
You suffered in my place.
You bore the wrath reserved for me.
Now all I know is grace.

Friends, we were lost in the deepest darkness. Christ suffered and died so that we would know this amazing grace in which we now stand. How could we possibly offer anything less than complete submission and joyful surrender to any light and momentary trouble we may experience in our brief journey here? If we are thinking rightly, there really is no other answer than:

Hallelujah! All I have is Christ!
Hallelujah! Jesus is my life!