This is the first post in a four-part series exploring what it means to belong to God.
"Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies." -1 Corinthians 6:19-20, emphasis added
You are not your own. How many of us really know or think that we don’t belong to ourselves—that we truly belong to God?
We might have read it, heard it, seen illustrations of it, but do we really believe it? I believe we need to see this issue more clearly because understanding it gives us the peace and courage to be who we were called to be.
"If we live, we live for the Lord; and if we die, we die for the Lord. So, whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord." -Romans 14:8
God makes it clear that He created us to be His. But to me, the greatest truth is found in 1 Corinthians 6, which tells us we were purchased into His family at a great price.
When I think of the word “redeemed,” I picture a slave who was purchased out of slavery and given his freedom. You and I were slaves of sin, and now we have been bought by God and have become His children.
One believer shared her feelings from the moment that she came to understand God’s ownership of her life. It demonstrates the joy that is to be ours when we come to see this and to believe it.
“I remember when the first understanding of this divine ownership dawned upon my soul. I was in the Word away from man’s world, almost alone in God’s world of nature. I was reading the verse, ‘you are not your own; you were bought at a price,' when suddenly the sea parted, and I saw what it meant. No words could tell what that sight was! But I had to hold my Bible open and keep my finger on the printed verse to make myself sure that such blessing as had dawned upon me was really true. And from that moment, to belong to God has seemed to me a blessing of all blessings in my life!”
Some Christians want to shrink back from God’s sovereign right over them, but when they do, I think it’s because they don’t realize the depth of His love for His own. John 10:11 tells us that he laid down His life for His own.
"'I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.'" -John 10:11
And David wrote that God “guides me along the right paths for his name’s sake (Psalm 23:3).”
Why would we fear the true and living God who is love and who loves us with a perfect love? He can only seek our highest good and also has the power to carry it out to completion. If God owns us—and He does—why not comfort ourselves in all circumstances that His love demands that our good is intended?
If we are confident of His ownership and loving desire for those He loves, what, then, is our attitude? We are only called to do three things:
- To yield
- To trust
- To obey
If we really believe we belong to the Lord, we must now abandon ourselves to his care and control.
John's travels for ministry behind the Iron Curtain led him to found East-West Ministries International in 1993. John and his wife, Susie, live in Dallas, Texas and have a grown daughter and two grandchildren.