We have all heard the saying, “life or limb”, but the Lord gave me a new way of thinking about this phrase the other day. He has been speaking to me this week about His desire to have a relationship with us, rather than the works we do in His name. He then asked me what my choice of sacrifice would be, my life or my limb (a sold out life surrendered to Him or works of my hand).
It is too easy to get caught up in the works we do for the Lord and push our relationship to the back burner without even realizing it. The Lord is very concerned about our relationship with Him and the fruit produced by that relationship, not so much about the mighty works we may do in His name (Matthew 7:22-23). The works of your hand that are not out of a proper heart motive founded in Christ will not produce Spiritual fruit. All of our works will be tested by fire, the ones not done out of a true love for the Lord will be burned up, we will receive no reward in Heaven for them (1 Corinthians 3:13-15). Our works should flow out of our relationship with Him.
When life gets busy, it seems easy to tell ourselves that we will sit down and spend quite time with the Lord as soon as we get “this” or “that” done. But the enemy jumps on that opening and creates another “this” in our path…and another…and another, until our opportunity to have the quite time is gone. It takes a true commitment and desire to put Him first in our day, making sure nothing is able to distract or pull us away from His presence. The wisdom of putting the Lord first in my day was taught to me by my husband for many years, but it did not really make it into my heart until about a year ago. I always made time for the Lord every day, but it usually came at the end of my day and not at the beginning (I was not much of a morning person). Since my car accident last year, I have had to make sure I walk daily. I have a very busy life and a long commute, so the only way I could be sure to fit it in was to begin walking in the morning before work. I took that time in the morning to pray to the Lord, meditate on His Word, and listen to His voice. I love that time in the morning, and I really miss it when I am unable to get away from everything and everyone and be with the Lord. On the days I am unable to go for a walk; I make sure I take the time in the morning to surrender my will to His and ask Him to accomplish His purpose in my life.
The reality of how important my morning quiet time with the Lord really is hit me when I got “busy” and did not spend those first few moments with Him. On days I would “put off” the morning surrender period with the Lord, I always noticed that I did not seem to have very many hours to get things done (where did my day go?). I always seem to run behind and have trouble finishing tasks set before me during the day. When I prayed about it and asked the Lord to show me my problem, He told me it was because I did not walk out the door covered in His grace and power. I now make sure I always begin my day with Him, and you would not believe how long some of my days are and how much I am able to accomplish in them through His grace.
We must each choose how much of ourselves we are willing to surrender to His will. At the time we give it to Him, that piece of us dies (and it may hurt). Many Christians today selectively give to the Lord the pieces they can live without or they try to work their way to salvation. Either way it is only at most a limb, and their life is not given; the life of the old man will continue to live without the limb(s) and will struggle against the Spirit. We must give our life to the Lord daily in full surrender to His will, to be crucified with Him and live a life in Christ. (Luke 9:23-24; Galatians 2:20; Colossians 3:3) The Lord no longer requires an eye, a tooth, hand, or foot; He requires a life of daily surrender.