Since approximately 4 months ago, when I began my sophomore year in university, I have noticed a recurring big theme happening in my life: the idea of being a sacrifice, of surrendering totally and bringing your passion and desires before the Lord. Prior to this, “Desiring God” by John Piper and “The Weigh of Glory” by C. S. Lewis were among the writings that I read, and somehow they seemed to prepare me for this period in my life. Along the way came “Passion and Purity” by Elisabeth Elliot and “When I Don’t Desire God” by John Piper.
Now, my purpose of writing this – highly encouraged by my mentor in a fellowship “to make sure [my] talent is not wasted but giving impact to others” – is not to share my reading but what I have learnt thus far in this period.
Surrendering to the Lord is very hard, maybe the hardest and most tedious attempt I am currently trying my best. I would be very glad to discuss to whoever popularised the notion that Christianity is an easy way to live, for honestly it is not. Ever since this fundamental commandment really penetrated my conscience – Matthew 22:37 and Romans 12:1 are some of the basis – I have had episodes and realisations that I am not offering myself wholly before the Lord. Even what drove me to write this was when I had woken up and realized that my feelings, my affections, were not under His reign.
Turning back to the Bible – it can be argued that the only other face you can turn to in moments like this is your trusted siblings in faith, but the eventual reliance is the Word of God – I was again reminded of His promises and assurances that He who guards my heart is also the One who guards the hearts of the people I care about. And again this was the time where my surrendering became fully again to Him.
Here you may pause and wonder what my point really is. There are at least 2 lessons I want to share. First of all, consider your own life, and reflect whether or not you have brought yourself – every aspect of your life, including miscellaneous things like words you speak, your study, and romance – and surrendered yourself before the Lord. This is how Christians should live as it is no longer us who live but Christ (Galatians 2:20). Secondly, I know that to live more than what Lewis termed as “mere Christianity” would be extremely tough, but all the pain and sufferings and experiences are worth it. I dare to say that now after looking back to all the groanings I have uttered in the past four months, and to see how far God has since blessed and guided me in this period of life, that I made no sacrifices at all. Instead, my joy in Him has reached new, deeper dimensions of wonder and awe, and as I keep offering myself before Him – though it was not me but His grace and works (1 Corinthians 15:9-10, Ephesians 3:7) – it will be enriched more and Him more glorified. Here I stand, God be my witness.
S. D. G.