You probably just read the title of this post and thought, “What? You don’t already love God??” My answer to you would be yes, I do love God, but I have a horrible time showing my love.
Let me give you some background, my entire family is church people. I grew up in a small Baptist church with my entire family around me. Think I’m kidding? Thinking back to my younger years, I would guess-timate that I was related to probably 85% of my church family and the other 15% had been around so long they might as well have been blood relatives. Don’t get me wrong, it’s amazing to have a family that knows the importance of the church and lives it out. It was nice to feel so at home in the church I attended growing up, but I think it also caused me to become complacent.
I was saved when I was 7. When I told my mom I wanted to be saved she asked me to wait and answer some questions for her first. She asked me what salvation was, why I wanted to be saved, what salvation meant to me, and probably several others. She wanted to make sure I knew what I was doing. Not because she was against it, on the contrary- she was thrilled! But salvation is so much more than praying a pray and then continuing to live life. The effects of salvation for a 7 year old looks a lot different than it does for a 40 year old.
Salvation isn’t knowing who Jesus is- the Devil knows EXACTLY who Jesus is and he isn’t saved. Salvation isn’t being a church member or part of a certain denomination. Salvation is not a prayer- contrary to popular belief.
Salvation is a three-fold process. Salvation is an understanding of the mind and being able to discern truth from lies. Salvation is a movement of the will; it’s surrendering our will to accomplish God’s will. Salvation is an application of the heart; salvation is manifested in our lives by a loving obedience to God and that means caring for the poor and broken-hearted, it means seeking ways to show people God’s love physically and then explain it to them spiritually. A saving knowledge of Jesus Christ changes your life, your personality, your attitude, they way you think about things, it changes you for the better.
Salvation is a conversion to become Christ-like and to seek to glorify Him through our time here on Earth. It’s glorifying Him above us.
Deuteronomy 6:4-5 says this, “Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.”
Well, how do we do that?
- Loving God with all your heart= Surrendering your will
- Loving God with all your soul=Surrendering your affections/relationships
- Loving God with all your mind= Surrendering your intellect to His revealed truth
- Loving God with all your strength= Surrendering to Him all your being, to love Him with literally your whole self and life
I want to love God with all my heart, soul, might and strength. But where do I start? I take things fore-granted because I’ve always been surrounded by Godly people that really never had to take a stand for their faith because we live in America. Well, we start with being honest with ourselves and accepting that fact- we may be asked to do something completely out of our comfort zone. We may be asked to relinquish control and to say Yes before we know what we’re saying Yes to. We may be asked to give up things that are important to us- relationships, careers, money, security, the list goes on.
I’m scarred. I don’t know what surrendering looks like for me yet, but I plan to find out. I hope you’ll join me in fully surrendering ourselves and becoming a living sacrifice for the one true God. I want people to be able to see my love for God in my actions every single day. I don’t want just to tell God I love him, I want my love for God to radiate from every part of my being.
And so for now, “just as I am, though tossed about with many a conflict, many a doubt, fightings and fears within, without, O Lamb of God, I come, I come.” Just as I am, I come to God and surrender my all.