2002-09-18 - Twelve Steps for Christian Living
Part 3 - Decision Time
Step 3: We make a decision to turn our lives over to the care and will of God.
Matthew 11:28-30 (NLT) Then Jesus said, Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke fits perfectly, and the burden I give you is light.
Eugene Peterson beautifully paraphrases this passage in The Message: Are you tired? Worn out? Burned-out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and youll recover your life. Ill show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with mewatch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I wont lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and youll learn to live freely and lightly.
In Step One, we admitted that we are powerless over our sinful nature. In Step 2, we came to believe that God, through his Son Jesus, could restore us to sane living. It is one thing to believe Steps 1 and 2 are true, but quite another to actually implement this Biblical plan. Step 3 brings us to that implementation, to a decision time. Are we truly going to turn our lives and wills over to the care of God? Steps 1 and 2 are the basis for our decision. The Bible must have authority, in order for us to have this basis. The steps are not the foundation for our decision in Step 3, but rather tools to give us the realization that we must make a decision.
Let me illustrate with this story. There was a large pasture filled with people. The pasture had a wooden fence running down the middle. Jesus and the Evil One were watching the people milling around. Jesus calls out to the people: All of you that want to follow me, go to the right side of the fence. After a while, Jesus and His followers walked away. One person was left standing on top of the fence. The Evil One said to him, come with me now. The man replied, but I am on the fence. The Evil One answered, I own the fence; come now.
Proverbs 16:3 (NLT) Commit your work to the Lord, and then your plans will succeed.
If you are on the fence, it is time to make a choice. It is time to acquire the Power that is greater than us. It is time to receive the One Who can turn our broken, weary, insane and unmanageable lives into the lives that He has planned for us.
1 John 4:15-16 (NLT) All who proclaim that Jesus is the Son of God have God living in them, and they live in God. We know how much God loves us, and we have put our trust in him.
Are you ready to take Step 3? Are you ready for Christ to be the basis for your decision? Are you ready to truly turn all parts of your life and will over to His care? Are you ready to start really living? If you have made a commitment to change your life and turn it over to God, can people around you see the change? For some of us, it is time to move the head knowledge to our heart and then on to our feet. It is time to make your changed life obvious to those around you. I asked a horse trainer friend of mine recently about another trainer. In his dry wit, he replied, "well, if horse training were a crime, it would be a crime to hang him." In other words, there was no evidence of him being a true horse trainer. Is there evidence in your life that you have made the decision to grow? If you accepted Christ before, maybe it is time to recommit your life and will to Him.
Romans 10:9 (NLT) For if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.
Come on and get off the fence. This simple prayer will take you to the right side of the pasture.
Jesus, I am a sinner in need of a Savior and a manager of my life, will and eternity. I believe in You. I believe that You died and rose again so that I may live. Come into my heart today and take control of my life. By your authority I pray, Amen.