When I trusted in Jesus as my Savior and He redeemed me from the sin debt I owed, I was on cloud nine! “Yes Lord Yes” was the cry of my heart!
I’ll say yes, Lord, yes
To your will and to your way
I’ll say yes, Lord, yes
I will trust you and obey
When your Spirit speaks to me
With my whole heart I’ll agree
And my answer will be yes, Lord, yes! (Lyrics by SHIRLEY CAESAR)
My spiritual birth had come about after understanding that God loved the World and gave His only son, Jesus, to be the Savior of the World, and all who would believe in the Son were saved from perishing (a nice word for HELL), and it was a long-term commitment – forever (John 3:16). As I grew in my faith and learned more of what the Bible declared for me, a child of God, I gave Him the reins of my life and presented my body as a living and holy sacrifice, asking for the transforming work to be done in me (Romans 12:1&2). Trusting and obeying was my heart’s desire. And yet, I wanted my life to count, I had felt the call and looked forward to doing GREAT things for God! “So, what do you want me to do, Lord? Travel the world and talk to people about Jesus? Be a “world class” painter and share my testimony? What about a famous speaker or teacher? I could be a writer!” However, as I glamorized the spiritual life and lived it the way I thought best suited me, I soon began praying, “Lord, send me anywhere but there! Lord, ask anything of me, but that! Lord, I could do so much more if you just let me!” My focus changed from “Yes, Lord, Yes” to Me, Lord, Me.
God’s Word was not elevating me to “cloud nine” anymore. I barely was making it off the ground. I started uncovering some pretty serious things, and the Lord was showing me that I had previously received an assignment. “I have already told you what I want from you. My Book, have you read it?” “Well, of course. And there are a lot of parts that sound great and I am trying to put into practice, but Lord, there are a handful, maybe more, that are beyond my capabilities. Submit to others? Love my enemies? Persevere in affliction? NEVER take your own revenge?” “That’s why it’s in MY strength, and it’s MY list, not yours. It’s all about Me, not about you. Through the difficulty of the task, beyond your capabilities, and through the power of the cross, my son’s payment, I receive the glory!”
The transforming work is a renewed mind doing the will of God. For not one of us lives for himself, and not one dies for himself; for if we live, we live for the Lord, or if we die, we die for the Lord; therefore, whether we live or die, we are the Lord’s (Romans 14).
“But, Lord . . .” And I heard loud and clear,
“And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death- even death on a cross! Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is LORD, to the glory of God the Father. . . . Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky as you hold firmly to the word of life” (Philippians 2:8-16).