How do you make your little decisions in life? Often we make big decisions by consulting God in prayer, but not so much the little ones.
Yet if you are a Christian then your life and everything you have is not your own to decide what you want with. It is God’s:
Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s. 1 Corinthians 6:19,20
Jesus Christ redeemed us with a price – His death on the cross. So we are His, set apart and consecrated to God, to be holy, to glorify Him with everything we are, have and do. As Clarke says in his commentary:
‘You have no right over yourselves, to dispose either of your body, or any of its members, as you may think proper or lawful; you are bound to God, and to him you are accountable.’
The parable of the talents in Matthew 25:14-30 illustrates this clearly with a story of a master who has a servant and before going away entrusts them with varying amounts of his property in the form of ‘talents’ or large sums.
When he comes back he rewards those who invested it wisely and rebukes the one who did nothing with it. It is symbolic of us with Christ as our master, and everything we have as what He has entrusted to us.
What are we doing with it? Are we investing it wisely, or are we spending it in a way that He wouldn’t be pleased with?
It should change the way we view and do things
Since our life is not our own, and everything that we have comes from God, we should view life differently.
We should be looking at what we have in terms of stewardship – we are stewards of our bodies, our gifts, our time, our money, our possessions, our children. We are looking after these things and should invest them wisely for our Master.
I remember reading once about a lady whose daughter died, and she viewed it like God had lent her the child for a time, and had now taken her back again. That has always been a challenge to me, and I try to think of my children this way when I am worried about them, as I know God gave them to me and will protect them or take them home as He wills.
Here are some things to think about with stewardship in mind:
- Time – on our days off, do we still think how can we use our time to glorify God?
- Money – do we consult God about what we spend our money on?
- Body – do we look after it so we can serve God longer or just do what everyone around us does?
- Possessions – do we look at them as a gift from God, so they should honour Him in what we do with them, and share them with others in the same way?
- Gifts and talents – do we find ways to use them to glorify God?
When I became pregnant I suddenly changed the whole way I thought about myself. I was no longer just me, I was me and my baby. So I didn’t run across roads in between cars anymore and I was careful not to eat things that might give me food poisoning whereas before I would have taken the risk.
In the same way we should view our lives as not our own, but as God’s. And we should consult Him about what we do with it, and do all of it for Him.
And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him. Col 3:17
Take my life and let it be…
There is a great hymn which puts this into words, called ‘Take my life and let it be consecrated Lord to Thee’ by Frances Ridley Havergal.
There are a number of tunes to it so I have linked to them all at the bottom of this post and you can choose your favourite! I think my favourite is still the one I grew up singing – the last one.
There is also a very challenging and thought provoking book that she wrote based on this hymn, called Kept for the Master’s Use
– one of my treasured books.
This is what she writes in there:
‘So let us go on to another prayer. Having already said, ‘Take my life, for I cannot give it to Thee,’ let us now say, with deepened conviction, that without Christ we really can do nothing – ‘Keep my life, for I cannot keep it for Thee.”
She later goes on to explain consecration:
‘Not for ‘me’ at all, but for ‘Jesus;’ not for my safety, but for His glory; not for my comfort, but for His joy; not that I may find rest, but that He may see the travail of His soul, and be satisfied! Yes for Him I want to be kept.
Kept for His sake; kept for His use; kept to be His witness; kept for His joy! Kept for Him, that in me He may show forth some tiny sparkle of His light and beauty; kept to do His will and His work in His own way; kept, it may be, to suffer for His sake; kept for Him, that He may do just what seems to Him good with me; kept, so that no other Lord shall have any dominion over me, but that Jesus shall have all there is to have…
Is not this, O you who love the Lord – is not this worth living for, worth asking for, worth trusting for?’
Take my life and let it be
Consecrated, Lord, to Thee.
Take my moments and my days,
Let them flow in endless praise.
Take my hands and let them move
At the impulse of Thy love.
Take my feet and let them be
Swift and beautiful for Thee.
Take my voice and let me sing,
Always, only for my King.
Take my lips and let them be
Filled with messages from Thee.
Take my silver and my gold,
Not a mite would I withhold.
Take my intellect and use
Every pow’r as Thou shalt choose.
Take my will and make it Thine,
It shall be no longer mine.
Take my heart, it is Thine own,
It shall be Thy royal throne.
Take my love, my Lord, I pour
At Thy feet its treasure store.
Take myself and I will be
Ever, only, all for Thee.
by Frances Ridley Havergal