3) Know ye that the Lord he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.Psalm 100:3 (KJV)
Freedom from Ourselves – Bible Study
There are no self-made men in God’s economy. Not literally, for he created us, and not figuratively because we owe all we have to him (2 Cor. 3:5, Rom. 11:36, 1 Chron. 29:14). Who we are (our being) and what we own (our possessions) all come from God.
These realities though sit diametrically opposed to our natural inclinations, desires and aspirations. Just look at history, take a cursory glance at the lives of notable men and women and you’ll undoubtedly discover many who have declared themselves to be authorities unto themselves. Military generals, royal monarchs, dictators, business titans, intellectual giants – the examples are endless.“Who we are (our being) and what we own (our possessions) all come from God.”
However, you don’t have to be a sovereign monarch or self-styled tycoon to believe that your success is due entirely to your own merit. We all tend to think at one time or another that we’re the kings and queens of our lives. Some are just not bold enough to announce it from the rooftops. Still, God knows our hearts (Ps. 139:23, Prov. 16:2, 1 Sam. 16:7).
No man is an authority unto himself. Rather every person is accountable to God, and while it can be hard to accept that, when we do acknowledge and embrace it, our lives open up to what they’re really meant to be, set apart for God’s glory, and that’s a very good thing.
Making It Out Alive
What happens to those who assert that they’re the captain’s of their own lives? The arbiters of their own destinies? Eventually they die, just like everyone else. Their kingdoms crumble, their businesses fade and their regimes become forgotten.“There’s nothing you can do on your own to make it out of this life alive. You can only make it out alive by having Jesus Christ carry you into heaven.”
No power you grasp, wealth you cling to, beauty you relish, intelligence you claim, or anything that gives you the right to think you’ve arrived, you’re on top or that you’ve “made it,” can save you from an eternity separated from God in heaven after you pass from this life (Matt. 16:26, Matt. 6:19, 1 Tim. 6:17-19).
Moreover, not only can you not take anything with you out of this life, things in this life change with the wind. Fortunes, opportunities, health, it all comes as fast as it goes. Relying on anything apart from God is akin to, as Jesus said, building the foundation of your life on sand (Matt. 7:26-27).“God wants you to be dependent on him, not on yourself, fame, beauty, social status, politics, or idols.”
There’s nothing you can do on your own to make it out of this life alive (Eph. 2:8-9, Is. 64:6, Jas. 4:14, Jn. 3:3, Rom. 6:23). You can only make it out alive by having Jesus Christ carry you into heaven (Jn. 14:6, Lk. 23:43, Matt. 25:34, Lk. 12:32, 1 Pet. 1:4).
You need an advocate, a righteousness that is not your own to cover your sins, a savior, and you have all of that in Jesus Christ! (1 Jn. 2:1, 2 Cor. 5:21, Matt. 10:32).
Life in Christ
When we take ownership of everything in our lives and things fall apart we lose hope instead of relying on a God who is in full sovereign control of the universe. Ultimately, there is no real help in this world from men (Ps. 146:3).
When we believe we’re at the center of the universe, that everything that happens to us can be controlled by us, we run in endlessly exhaustive mental circles where we try to be good enough to earn the favor and approval of God, others and even ourselves.“In God’s program freedom begins when you relinquish being your own authority and accept that God is the authority of your life.”
Perhaps most debilitating is that without God we have to make sense of everything in our lives when it is painfully obvious that we cannot. You don’t have all the answers, and I don’t have all the answers, only God does.
But we don’t have to make sense of everything in this life. Knowing that God knows what’s going on, that he is bringing all things to pass for his good eternal purpose brings sense to the chaos of this life (Rom. 8:28, Jas. 1:12, Matt. 24:35, 2 Pet. 3:13, Gen. 50:20).
You can’t have any of that peace though without knowing and admitting that you belong to God. This comes only by accepting his Son Jesus Christ’s death on the cross as the price paid for your sins (Rom. 5:8, 1 Pet. 2:24, Jn. 3:16). That’s how you find new life in him! (Gal. 2:20).“He gives us a second chance and extends to us his hand via the good news of the gospel message that by faith and grace alone we’d grab hold and accept him as our savior so he can spiritually re-create us.”
God wants you to be dependent on him, not on yourself, fame, beauty, social status, politics, or idols. Remember, he created you physically. Your mind, will and emotions are his. He gave you the breath of life and knew you before you were even born (Gen. 2:7, Ps. 139:13, Jer. 1:5, Rom. 8:29, Eph. 1:4-5).
In him you live, and move, and have your being (Acts 17:28, Job 12:10, Col. 1:17). In addition, to be made by him is not just to be created, but to be prepared and fashioned, you’re his accomplishment, a reflection of him, and you’ve been prepared for good works and relationship with your creator (Eph. 2:10).
And he lets us live even though we have rebelled and are separated from him in sin. Not only this but he gives us a second chance and extends to us his hand via the good news of the gospel message that by faith and grace alone we’d grab hold and accept him as our savior so he can spiritually re-create us (Eph. 2:8-9, 2 Cor. 5:17, Tit. 3:5).“God’s only Son Jesus Christ died for you to bring you back into relationship with God. He was delivered for your offences, and was raised again for your justification so you can be right with God.”
Through Jesus Christ God brings us back into new life with him, a new life that is totally dependent on him. He alone keeps us until the end, and he is to us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption (1 Cor. 1:30).
In God’s program freedom begins when you relinquish being your own authority and accept that God is the authority of your life (Matt. 28:18).
God cares so much that he wants you to know that the Lord is God, that he made you, and that you are his. To know this is to acknowledge it through a fully reasonable faith and embrace new life in Christ.
Conclusion – Depend on God, Not Yourself
My plea for you today, just like it was for the Psalmist, is that you accept Christ and be brought back to him.
You weren’t created to carry the awful burden of having to constantly control everything because you can’t. You weren’t made to rely on a broken heart that wavers like a tempest, or follow a will that falls to temptation or place all of your confidence in a mind that grapples with debilitating psychological ailments.
You’re not perfect, but God is. He wants to make you his child, carry you through life, and sanctify you to make you more like his Son Jesus Christ (Gal. 3:26, Eph. 1:5, 2 Cor. 6:18, Rom. 8:29).“God doesn’t just save us from something (sin, and a life apart from him), but unto something, to be made more like Jesus, to be conformed to the image of his Son.”
You were created for peace and relationship with God and others. And even though you have gone astray to follow your own way God wants to bring you back (Is. 53:6, Lk. 15:3-7).
You are not your own, you’re bought with a price (1 Cor. 6:20). God’s only Son Jesus Christ died for you to bring you back into relationship with God. He was delivered for your offences, and was raised again for your justification so you can be right with God (Rom. 4:26).
And he died not only to make a way for you to have him as your savior and to be right with God, but also to begin a process in you, a new thing whereby you are born again spiritually and whereby he renews your mind, gives you a new heart, lives in you and works in you to make you more like him (Jn. 3:5, 2 Cor. 3:18, Ps. 51:10, Ezk. 11:19, Eph. 4:22-24, Rom. 12:2).“God is our sufficiency. He gives new mercies everyday. He gives us richly all things to enjoy, and he works in us to finish the good plan he has for us until we see him one day as he is, face to face.”
The Christian life is not an easy life, Jesus never promised us it would be, and sanctification is a life-long process, however apart from God, you can do nothing, but with him you can do all things by Christ who strengthens you, especially in your weakness (Phil. 4:13, 2 Cor. 12:9).
God doesn’t just save us from something (sin, and a life apart from him), but unto something, to be made more like Jesus, to be conformed to the image of his Son (Rom. 8:29).
He is the vine, we the branches, when we cooperate in obedience to him and avail ourselves of spiritual nourishment we grow spiritually (Jn. 15:5). Pure thoughts, kind actions, loving those who are our enemies, and all sorts of fruits of the Spirit spring forth in our lives (Gal. 5:22-23).
God is our sufficiency (2 Cor. 3:5). He gives new mercies everyday (Lam. 3:22-23). He gives us richly all things to enjoy, and he works in us to finish the good plan he has for us until we see him one day as he is, face to face (1 Tim. 6:17, Phil. 1:6, 1 Cor. 13:12).“Will you relinquish control over your life and trust in Jesus Christ alone by faith?”
He uses all the circumstances of our lives, even the hard times, to make us more like him (1 Pet. 5:10, 2 Cor. 4:17, Heb. 12:6-7, Jas. 5:11, Ps. 119:71).
Today, will you relinquish control over your life and trust in Jesus Christ alone by faith? (Eph. 2:8-9, Rom. 10:9-10). I hope you do. I hope that you will enter into God’s gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise (Ps. 100:4).
That’s the attitude of all who have accepted Jesus’ death on the cross for their sins and believed on him.
What do you say? Will you permit his divine hands to mold you like clay into an image more and more like him that is suited for his eternal Kingdom and for his service? I pray you will.
Soli Deo gloria!
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