Lately, I've been thinking a lot about 1 Corinthians 6:19-20.
Don’t you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourself, for God bought you with a high price. So you must honor God with your body. (NLT)
Paul inserts this little truth into a discourse about sexuality immorality but the concept applies across the board: we are not our own; we have been bought with a price. And what a high price it was. Our life cost God the price of the life of His only son. Can you put a value on that?
Our life is not our own. That truth has been running through my mind over and over, looping like a race car doing 200 on the oval. Round and round and each time it passes my conscience it says, Look at me, consider me, ponder me. Pay attention to me!
I am the chief of messing this up. I want control. I want to do my life the way I think it should be done, the way I want to do it, the way I believe it will turn out best. And when it doesn't work out the way I'd hoped or planned? The walls come tumbling down.
But this truth has been slowly infiltrating my mind and heart, penetrating the thick skull and hardened cardiac muscle. Slowly, I'm getting it, understanding, and being able to put it into practice.
When you grasp the truth of it you find it's truly revolutionary, freeing, actually. My life is not my own. It's God's. He owns it. He calls the shots. I'm just borrowing it and have the privilege to watch as He directs my steps and illuminates my path.
Think of it this way. Let's say you borrow a car from your friend. It's not your car, right? You don't have ownership. You have no right to do with the car as you like. You can't take it out and go mud-bogging or drag racing without permission. You can't do jackrabbit starts. You can't use the car for a bank heist. It's not your car. You must only use the car for the instructed or permitted purpose. And the owner is the one calling the shots. You have the privilege of using your friend's car. You take care of it; you baby it; you clean it and fill it with gas before you return it. You obey the owner's wishes. To go against your friend's will may bring dire consequences.
Now, some of you may get to borrow a 2016 Cadillac Deville, some are given a 2010 Toyota Avalon, some of us get a 2004 Hyundai Accent, while others drive a 1990 Ford Escort. But no matter the car, it's a privilege to be entrusted with such a responsibility. And part of the responsibility is to submit to the will of the owner, realizing the car is not ours.
Get it? Yes, like all analogies this one is flawed and at some point will totally unravel, but you get the point. Our life is not our own. We have a responsibility to use it in the way the Owner directs us or permits us. If you wanted to take that car to Denver and the owner balked would you be disappointed? Maybe, but you'd realize it's the owner's decision to make, not yours. So it is with our life. We'd be silly to plan an entire trip to Denver without first seeking the owner's permission.
Making this transition in thinking demands a pretty abrupt shift in our paradigm. We are taught and conditioned as Americans that we are the master of our own destiny. That we deserve everything we have earned. It's ours and no one can tell us what to do with it or how to use it. We have freedom and can do whatever we like (within the boundaries of the law, that is). [More on this in a future post]. And in this earthly kingdom that may be true, but in God's upside-down Kingdom that's not how things work. He claims ownership; He calls the shots; and He alone is worthy of that.
So where do you go from here? Think about this, pray about it. It's a big jump, a radical change in direction, but once you go for it you won't regret making the leap.