June 13, 2009

We Are Not Our Own

We are not our own: let not our reason nor our will, therefore, sway our plans and deeds. We are not our own: let us therefore not set it as our goal to seek what is expedient for us according to the flesh. We are not our own: in so far as we can, let us therefore forget ourselves and all that is ours. Conversely, we are God's: let us therefore live for him and die for him. We are God's: let his wisdom and will therefore rule all our actions. We are God's: let all the parts of our life accordingly strive toward him as our only lawful goal...Let this therefore be the first step, that a man depart from himself in order that he may apply the whole force of his ability in the service of the Lord...From this also follows this second point: that we seek not the things that are ours but those which are of the Lord's will and will serve to advance his glory.
John Calvin - Institutes of The Christian Religion: 3.7.1-2
If we are not our own but God's, what Calvin notes that we are to do should be easy for us: Serve the Lord and advance His glory; but our wishes, wants and desires in the back seat. The fact that we struggle with this is an indication that the sinful self has not let go; pride and arrogance still struggle for dominance in a life which the heart and head knows belongs to God; but the flesh fights it still.

The fact is the flesh may never let fully go; the fact is the fight may continue until your last breath here on this earth. If that is true, just remember, we are not our own but His:
21They said to Him, "Caesar's." Then He said to them, "Then render to Caesar the things that are Caesar's; and to God the things that are God's."
Matthew 22:21 (NASB)
We need to keep that in mind. Be in the world, not of it. Seek the Lord not praise of others. Strive to put God first in your life, and He will put your life in the order it should be in.

We are not our own. That is a good thing, for we surely make a mess of our own when left to our own.