Give Up Your Heart

by Rachael Osborn

SDB Church of Boulder, CO

As 2015 turns to 2016, the entire world seems to reflect on the previous year and resolve to be better in the upcoming one. You’re going to drink more water, and she’s going to lose weight, and he’s finally going to finish that one project. Our lives change so drastically in the span of a mere 24 hours as we begin the new year with determination. Yet, no one seems to last. Maybe you’re feeling really determined and you make it all the way to May before you give up — but, you still fail. We all do. We’re flawed. But maybe our failure is less of a lack of dedication and more of a lack of perspective. How can we expect to improve in any way when we are so wrapped up in ourselves and our desires? The only way to anything worthwhile whatsoever is through Jesus Christ. Maybe we should put less emphasis on self-improvement and more on self-sacrifice.

God has been laying on my heart how comfortable I am with a passive faith. Lately, life has gotten so much in the way that I’ve missed out on truly living with a limitless faith. I have been so stuck. I try to get myself unstuck and I end up digging an even bigger hole for myself. The truth is that I cannot read my Bible enough, or listen to enough sermons, or dig deep enough into any theology to ever compel my heart on my own. For Christ’s love compels us (2 Corinthians 5:14). My head knows this, but my heart has a hard time believing it. So often I fall back into a pattern of complacency that leads to self dependence. I fail time and time again and wonder why. But, what is the Gospel but complete, utter failure on our part and the glorious grace upon grace of Jesus Christ? In trying to become better, I become worse and need Jesus more and more with each passing day. We all do.

So, we become comfortable. We fool ourselves into believing that we are good enough, and mature, and where God wants us to be. Yet, we miss so much. What if David was “too comfortable” to fight Goliath? Or if Esther was “too busy” to go speak to the king? We have so many limitations. We know the truth. We know the incredible truth of the gospel and yet we live like we don’t. If the fact that JESUS IS ALIVE doesn’t completely change everything, then maybe we are only fooling ourselves. If I say with my mouth that Jesus is Lord, yet I hold on to my dreams and my plans for my life, then I am saying with my life that He is not in control over me. If I say that I believe in the gospel, and yet, I will not GO and proclaim it to others, then I am diminishing the power of what Jesus Christ has done. If I say that Jesus is alive, and yet, can’t and won’t give up my heart and my limitations, then I am saying with my life that He is still in that tomb. If we truly have encountered the beautiful truth of Christ and who He is, then we will be able to say with Paul that nothing else compares. But whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ. Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord (Philippians 3:7-8). I am convinced that there is nothing in the entire universe that is as worthy as the Lamb who was slain for us. I so desperately want to rid my faith of mediocrity. I am tired of singing “take me deeper than my feet could ever wander” or “take my life” and still holding on to my ideas and dreams and limitations.

So let’s turn from our limitations, and pride, and from ourselves to a God with radical plans for our lives. In this new year, let’s look to Jesus Christ in everything, presenting our bodies as living sacrifices (Romans 12:1). This is all He ever wants and the only thing we are still so reluctant to give. As we look into 2016 with fresh eyes, let’s stop reaching towards self-improvement. Don’t give up a habit. Give up your heart.

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