There are plenty of us who are half-way Christians, says biblical counselor Donna Hart, PhD. Wonderfully, she describes 4 steps toward “all in.” Her article appeared first here and is used with her permission.
We will give up possessions, power, position, and friends and still not be able to submit ourselves in total obedience to God. But it is difficult for us to submit ourselves in complete unreserved obedience to the Lord.
Luke 11:34 says,
Your eye is the lamp of your body. When your eye is healthy, your whole body is full of light, but when it is bad your body is full of darkness.
This is a life that intends to be wholly obedient, listening, and submitted to the Lord.
The result of total obedience is deep peace, joy, and humility. This is a love for the Lord that is likened to the simplicity of a trusting child. This was the life of the apostle Paul too. He resolved to know nothing among men accept Jesus Christ and Him crucified.
4 Steps out of Half-Way
The first step to this obedience of the other half is through meditation upon the life and death of Jesus. As Psalm 73:25 leads us,
Whom have I in heaven but you? And there is nothing on earth that I desire besides you.
The second step is to obey right now with the obedience we have no matter how small.
Step three is to be constant in silent prayer offering ourselves in continual obedience. We each ask God to open our lives and guide our thoughts toward Him. We also ask for His will to be done in our lives. Over time words may cease. And we will find ourselves with an attitude of adoration and rejoicing in the glory of the Lord.
Lastly step four is our failure plan. If we forget God and our stubborn self-wills kick back in, don’t spend too much time in anguish or regret but begin again. We relax and submit ourselves again to the Lord.
Benefits of Wholeness
The result of this continual posture is humility, a passion for personal holiness, and a craving for purity. We experience being emptied of ourselves in order that He may become all. Then in humility we stick close to the Lord and count our power as nothing if it is not submitted to the Lord. And we start to see the wonder of God and our works as works of straw.
We discover true self-hood is full of Him. Our growth in humility is measured by our growth in the habit of a Godward-directed mind. The more Godward-directed our minds become the less fearful we will be.
Only the inner vision of God, only the God-blindedness of unreservedly dedicated souls, only the utterly humble ones can bow and break the raging pride of a power-mad world… Be not fooled by the world’s power. Impossible institutions of war and imperialism and greed are wholly vulnerable for they, and we, are forever in the hands of a conquering God.
These are not cheap and hasty words. The high and noble adventures of faith can in our truest moments be seen as no adventures at all, but certainties. (Thomas R. Kelly, A Testament to Devotion).
When we live in complete humility in God, we can be patient and assured that God is in control, and will work all things together for our good. John Woolman says,
Now I find that in the pure obedience the mind learns contentment, in appearing weak and foolish to the wisdom which is of the World; and in these lowly labors, they who stand in a low place, rightly exercised under the Cross, will find nourishment.
Where do you struggle the most with obedience to Lord? How can you push past the halfway point and press forward to total submission to God?