My back and my knees are aching as I hang the last piece of drywall. Stepping back I take a look around the room and say to myself, “Wow, how in the world did I do all that?” The only reason I am able to renovate my basement is because some of my friends stepped up to teach me and help me, and there’s no other way it would be happening. Similarly, I can step back and take a look at who I am today and where I’m heading and say to myself, “Wow, how in the world did I ever get here?” The only reason I find any success today is because Jesus stepped up and helped me, and there’s no other way it would be happening. Success, with my basement and in life, came only when I stopped trying to do everything myself and I started surrendering some of my control.
In Romans 6:19-23, I believe that Paul reveals The Definitive Reason Why Surrendering Control Leads To Alignment
Lets look at the text to get us to the answer…
1. Your starting point had you heading toward results you truly didn’t want
Romans 6:19, “I am using an example from everyday life because of your human limitations. Just as you used to offer yourselves as slaves to impurity and to ever- increasing wickedness, so now offer yourselves as slaves to righteousness leading to holiness” NIV
Your starting point matters.
Complacency was a towering hurdle separating Believers from the benefits that Jesus wanted to give. So Paul speaks plainly and uses an illustration about slavery, something that most of his readers should easily understand because it’s their starting point.
Honestly, God has something much better than slavery in mind for Believers. However, to get to the awesome benefits of God, namely freedom and eternal life, Paul starts where his readers understand.
Where is your starting point?
Most Believers appreciate the benefits that come as a result of responding to Jesus, but Jesus’ benefits require more than a simple acknowledgment of Jesus as Lord. It is imperative that we come into alignment with Jesus, and to do that we first need to acknowledge what our starting point is.
2. Your former activity only produced negative gains
Romans 6:20, “When you were slaves to sin, you were free from the control of righteousness” NIV
Where you came from matters.
Continuing the illustration of slavery, Paul makes reference to the pre-Believer condition. Before coming to Jesus people are compelled to sin and have no other option. While people have the capacity to do good things, they are not empowered to honour God.
Who were you before you came to Jesus?
Most Believers appreciate that the life they used to live no longer dominates their present and future because they have been set free, by grace. Believers now have the power to do what is needed: we need to come into alignment with Jesus.
3. Your submission to Jesus changed your future
Romans 6:21-22, “What benefit did you reap at that time from the things you are now ashamed of? Those things result in death! But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life” NIV
The catalyst of your change is important.
Paul compares the results of a person who lives without faith in Jesus against a person who chooses faith in Jesus. As we would expect, Paul paints a bleak picture of the person who lives without Jesus, using words like “shame,” and “death.” And, as we would also expect, he paints a positive picture for the Believer using words like, “free,” “holiness,” and “eternal life.”
Do you remember your catalyst?
Paul’s point seems to be about control. If you’re a Believer, then you have surrendered control to Jesus. It’s only when you surrendered your control that you received freedom and the power to live a God honouring life that would see you into eternity. Alignment with Jesus is an issue of control: will you choose to surrender the leadership of your life to Jesus?
So, what is The Definitive Reason Why Surrendering Control Leads To Alignment?
Jesus is the catalyst of change. The moment you surrender to Jesus you are given the power to live in freedom.
How do You Surrender Control To Jesus?
Personally, I know that I need to surrender control to God by pursing righteousness (living life God’s way). I also know that I need to embrace and pursue repentance by reflecting on my own sinful behaviour so that my actions bring glory to God. And, I know that I have the power to do that, not because of anything I’ve done, but because I’ve chosen Jesus as my leader.
Please choose Jesus as your leader.
Reflect on your own direction. Choose to pursue repentance so that your activity honours God. Moment by moment, one day at a time, choose Jesus as your leader so that your life continues to line up with Jesus’ intent for you.
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