January 2018 Theme: “First Steps in Your Disciple-Making Journey”
Imagine over 2 million Jewish slaves wandering in the wilderness. For 400 years they were enslaved in Egypt, providing the hard labor force to support the luxurious lifestyle of its citizens. God had heard their cries and brought them out by His own power under the direction of Moses. Next, they were wandering, waiting on the Lord to bring them into the land He promised them. When the people settled in an area, God gave specific instructions on how to make camp. Certain tribes were to camp on the north and south, others on the east and west. The center of camp was reserved for the tabernacle — a portable structure where the people gathered to worship the Lord. God was at the center.
That is the way God wanted it then, and that is the way He wants it today. You were designed for the purpose of knowing Jesus Christ and making Him the center of your life. You may ask, “What do you mean, make Jesus the center of my life?” It means you acknowledge Jesus as the ultimate authority in your life and you voluntarily yield the control of your life to Him.
Underline that last statement. Let it sink in. For Jesus to be the center of your life, it means He is in control. You no longer desire to independently run your own life, but you surrender your whole self to Jesus and to following His lead.
Now your second question may be, “Why would I do that?” Don’t we all want to be in control? As William Ernest Henley wrote in his poem, “Invictus”: “I am the master of my fate, I am the captain of my soul.” Our wayward self always wants to control our own life, but following Jesus means that you give Him control. He calls the shots. The sign hanging on the door of your life reads: “Now under new management.”
Why should you allow Jesus to be the center and leader of your life? First, Jesus created you and ultimately all things are under His rule — including you. “And he [Jesus] is before all things, and in him all things hold together. … He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent,” (Colossians 1.17-18 ESV). Second, Jesus controls everything. (1 Timothy 6.15 JBP) calls Jesus the “blessed controller of all things.” Third, Jesus is faithful. (2 Thessalonians 3.3 NLT) says, “But the Lord is faithful; He will strengthen you and guard you from the evil one.”
He created you, He controls everything and He is faithful — why wouldn’t you want Jesus to be the center and controller of your life? It’s clear that Jesus can do a better job of running your life than you can, so let Him lead you each day.
Written by Craig Etheredge
This blog is an excerpt that comes from our book Walk with God, which you can purchase here.