I was born in small peach farming community in the foothills of South Carolina. There were two things you knew were going to happen every Sunday: you were going to eat at grandma’s house and you were going to go to church. As a five-year-old little boy I understood the preacher when he said Jesus was the way to heaven, and of course, I didn’t want to go to hell. So I walked an aisle, recited a prayer, was baptized, and proceeded to live an outwardly moral church life. But honestly, I never surrendered my life to him. God was my fail-safe, not my Lord.
I never surrendered my life to him.
God was my fail-safe, not my Lord.
Fairly often, I read my Bible, and I would talk to God. But one night as a high school senior, I actually listened perhaps for the first time. The Holy Spirit convicted me of my superficial Christian lifestyle. He called me to humbly admit my need and wholly submit to Jesus as master of my life and serve him in ministry. I sought council, but in my youthfulness and pride I stubbornly yielded to my own pursuits.
I continued to try to co-pilot my life for many years though knowing it was not God’s intended life for me. I had married my high school sweetheart and developed a successful career as a professional engineer, but my heart would ache that I had not surrendered to Christ’s call. Truth be known, I maintained a moral façade in public, but I was faking the Christian life. Privately, I was enslaved by sin and defeated by self-reliant perfectionism. I didn’t know the grace of God, and I didn’t know the power over sin that comes through the Holy Spirit when you surrender to Him. All those days of wrestling with sin in my own strength without the strength of God were no fun.
I was faking the Christian life…then I
experienced God delivered brokenness…
Then I experienced God delivered brokenness when my wife and I struggled through a lengthy season of infertility. My “perfect” plan was falling apart, and there was nothing I could do. After all the frustration and failures, after all the medical avenues to pregnancy were dead ends, I will not soon forget the specialist’s words to Megan and I, “Maybe kids just aren’t in the mix for you.” That hurt deeply. My plans, my world that I had crafted, came tumbling down leaving me nowhere to turn but to God for His mercy and grace. It was in this moment that, for the first time, I humbled myself wholly unto Him. I admitted my sinful greed and stubborn resistance. I surrendered everything that was left of my life to Jesus – my will and my plans to His will and His plans for my life. I am so thankful he answered my plea. I am so thankful for His ever-loving and never-ceasing pursuit.
God’s plan and his timing for my life and my family have been so much more than I could have ever imagined. Today, God has graciously blessed my beautiful wife and I with three wonderful children: Mollie, Caleb, and Abbey. But before the first new life was ever in Megan’s womb, I received a new life in Jesus Christ. Hallelujah for God’s faithfulness; that “it is God who works in you to will and to act according to His good purpose.” (Phil 2:13)
Where sin did once abound so viciously, now grace super-abounds victoriously!
When I gave my life to God, I gave Him my grief. I gave Him my self-reliance. I gave Him my appetite for the debilitating sins on which I would binge. I gave Him my past, my present, and my future. What I gave Him would not bring a dollar at auction, but it’s what God wanted from me. And in exchange He gave me His priceless life. He gave me hope, and help, and a future. Jesus gave me Himself, and life in Him victoriously and abundantly. I’m still growing into the likeness of Jesus, and I am still not perfect. Not by a long shot. But where sin did once abound so viciously, now grace super-abounds victoriously! (Rom 5:20)
I want you to know that God wants your life too… all of it.
Has there been a time when you have surrendered your life to Jesus as your Lord and Savior? It’s time. It’s time to turn from your sin by confessing them to Jesus and trusting him for forgiveness. Then, in the strength of the Holy Spirit, follow Jesus and join him in his mission to free other slaves of sin and brokenness. Want to know more? I encourage you to watch this short video.
When you surrender your life to Jesus, the Bible tells us to make public what God is doing in your life. So I encourage you to share the great news of God’s work in your life with a trusted pastor or friend in a local church today.
May your humble faith in Jesus Christ open up the doors of heaven to you!