Monday, December 14, 2015

Fully Myself When Fully Surrendered to Christ

In giving myself fully to God, I find myself fully.


Because God is my Creator who chose to make this creature in his own image and likeness.[1]

Because God alone knows how much sin has done to make me different from his own image and likeness, making me different from myself.[2]

Because God is my Redeemer, my Savior, my Deliverer, who has saved me from the clutches of sin, death, hell, and the grave, in order to restore me to his own image and likeness, and he alone knows what that final restoration looks like.

Because God has justified me through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ in order that I now wear the imputed righteousness of the Son of God, the image into which I will now be returned.

Because God is working my sanctification through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ in order that I am daily being conformed into the same image as my Lord and Savior “from one degree of glory to another,”[3] until the day I am fully like him.

Because God has already secured my glorification through faith in Jesus Christ whereby he will so complete the good work he has started in me[4] that, one day, “when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is.”[5]

So it is that, through my justification, I now have a new nature in Jesus Christ that is “created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness,”[6] making me feel that I have truly found myself, no matter how immature and unfinished myself may be.

Through my sanctification, I see God leading me through my battle against fleshly independence, in a Spirit-led journey that makes me feel more like myself every day of my life. Even though the world, the flesh, and the devil, conspire to make me like them, God’s work continues relentlessly, transforming me through the renewal of my mind,[7] filling me with the fruit of the Holy Spirit’s presence,[8] that make me feel more like myself than any self-centered sarkiness[9] could ever do.

And, with a constant hope in my promised glorification, every mistake and failure, every regretful surrender to temptation, is overcome by faith,[10] so that I continuously learn this lesson, that I feel more like my true self when I rest in the righteousness of God by faith, than anything I have ever felt at my most selfish and self-dependent moments of life.

I do not agree with the pendulum-extreme that suggests we are to so glorify God that we completely lose all sense of ourselves in the process. Neither do I swing to the other pendulum-extreme that suggests that God comes into our lives in order to give us complete self-fulfillment in whatever way our sarky selves imagine fulfillment would be.

Instead, I believe in the plumbline of God’s Book that tells me to, “Delight yourself in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart.”[11] When I delight myself in the LORD, then I am truly delighted. When I find the true desires of my heart, to be just like Jesus Christ my Lord, he gives me the very thing I desire.

It cannot be otherwise than this, that God’s glory and my glorification go hand in hand. God cannot restore me to the image and likeness of his Son without me feeling as loved as Jesus feels loved, as joyful as Jesus feels joyful, and as truly myself as Jesus feels truly himself.

It is no wonder that my brothers of old would declare that, “Man's chief end is to glorify God, and to enjoy him forever.”[12] He is the most glorious person in existence. How could we fully glorify him without enjoying him in his glory? If God is to be glorified in his work in us, it will be as we are the most joyful and satisfied and peaceful and content people the world has ever seen.

John Piper’s summary of these things resonates with so many of us because it calls us away from the two extremes of the pendulum, to the glorious plumbline of God’s word. He states that, “God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in him”.[13]

This captures what Scripture shows so clearly, that the most joyful people in the world are those who most revel in the glory of God through faith in Jesus Christ his Son. The greater we find our satisfaction in him, rather than in the world, the flesh, or the devil, the greater we give him glory for who he is, and what he has done to restore us to himself, and to his image.

Jesus said to his brothers, “These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.”[14] When we give ourselves fully to living the words Jesus has spoken, we will know this double-sided, impossible-to-separate experience, where we feel his joy in us, and our own joy filled to the full in him. The greater our surrender to his joy, the greater our own experience of joy.

You wonder why I want to strive every day to surrender myself fully to Jesus Christ as a person, and to the fullness of his work in my life? It is because I was created, and saved, to be like him. So, the more I enjoy being like him, the more I enjoy being myself. Selfishness makes me so different from him, that no selfish pursuits can truly make me joyful.

My prayer: that I would fully surrender to the words Jesus has spoken in order that I may feel the fullness of his joy in me, and my joy rising to the full in him. I want to “rejoice in the Lord always,”[15] and fully enjoy myself while doing so!

© 2015 Monte Vigh ~ Box 517, Merritt, BC, V1K 1B8 ~
Unless otherwise noted, Scriptures are from the English Standard Version (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers.)

[1] Genesis 1:26-27 (I absolutely deny and reject the evolutionary religion that claims otherwise. Science continues to sing to the glory of God as our Creator, no matter how many Worldlings disagree.)
[2] Ephesians 2:1-3 is one description of what our submission to sin, and the devil, does to us.
[3] II Corinthians 3:18
[4] Philippians 1:6; Romans 8:28-30
[5] I John 3:2
[6] Ephesians 4:24
[7] Romans 12:2
[8] Galatians 5:22-23
[9] Just a reminder that I like to use “sark” when referring to “the flesh”, hence “sarkiness” means the same as “fleshliness”.
[10] I John 5:4
[11] Psalm 37:4
[12] Westminster Catechism
[14] John 15:11
[15] Philippians 4:4

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