Saturday, January 25, 2014

Transitions: Triplets of Surrender – Following Him

As we have seen, everyone undergoes physical transitions throughout life. For those who place their trust in the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 15:1-4) as the only way to Heaven (John 14:6), their spiritual transitions from death in sin to being born again (John 3:3-8) to abundant and eternal life (John 10:10; 3:16) are of infinitely greater significance than their physical transitions.

Once we hated God (Exodus 20:5; Deuteronomy 5:9; Matthew 6:24; Luke 16:13; Romans 1:30), loved darkness (John 3:19), and fed our fleshly lusts (1 Peter 2:11; Romans 8:5,13). Even after we are saved, we still have our sin nature and must contend with this evil lurking within (Romans 7:14-25). To be more like Christ, we must follow Him, meaning to obey Him (James 4:6-8), yield to His Holy Spirit (1 Thessalonians 5:19; Ephesians 4:30), and emulate Him, or model our life after His (Philippians 3:10).

Just as God is love (1 John 4:8), light (1 John 1:5) and spirit (John 4:24), the child of God who follows Him begins to walk in love (Ephesians 5:2), walk in light (3 John 1:4), and walk in spirit (Romans 8:1,4; Galatians 5:16,25).

For God’s children, the transitions marking the milestones of spiritual growth define their Christian walk as they grow in wisdom, or knowledge of the truth (Ephesians 4:15; 1 Peter 2:2; 2 Peter 3:18), holiness (1 Peter 1:15-16; 2 Peter 3:11), and faith (2 Thessalonians 1:3; Jude 1:20).

We are saved by grace through faith, not by works, yet we are His workmanship, and He has saved us for a purpose (Ephesians 2:8-10). Accomplishing that purpose requires complete dependence on His guidance, direction and timing. It is like an intricate dance, following God’s lead (Matthew 10:38; 16:24; Mark 8:34; 10:21; Luke 9:23) as He shows us what actions to take, where to go, and when to move or to wait (Psalm 27:14; 32:8; 37:34;119:105; Proverbs 3:5-6; 20:22).

The most difficult transition of our Christian walk may be from total self-reliance, to laying some gifts on His altar, to complete dependence on God. All good gifts come from Him (James 1:17) and our salvation was bought with a price (1 Corinthians 6:20; 7:23), so we must consecrate to Him, for His purpose, all our time, talents, and possessions. We must realize that without Him we can do nothing (John 15:5), so we must yield our bodies to Him as a living sacrifice (Romans 12:1), and that all things are then possible with God (Matthew 19:26).

Ballroom dancers with great technique and superb floorcraft will lose every competition if they dance off time. But even being on time to the music is no guarantee of good results if the dancers do the right steps with good musicality but at the wrong time, crashing into another couple because the man misjudged when he should move out or because the woman decided to step out on her own rather than to follow the man’s lead.

When our son first learned to ballroom dance at 5 years of age, his teacher explained that waltz music is counted as One-Two-Three (3 beats per measure) and that he should step out on beat One. After listening to the music for a while, he gave his teacher a puzzled look and said “But there are so many Ones in this song!”

And there are so many “Ones” in the music of life, so many tantalizing opportunities that seem right even if they may lead to death (Proverbs 14:12; 16:25). We think we know how to do the steps, which direction to head, and even how to follow the cues around us, but if we fail to listen to God’s perfect timing (Mark 1:15; Galatians 4:4, 1 Peter 5:6) we are doomed to failure.

Do we “follow our heart” (which is deceitful and wicked; Jeremiah 17:9) and ask God’s blessing on our plans after the fact, or do we pray first (1 Thessalonians 5:17), asking Him to show us not only what to do, but where and when to do it?  (James 4:2-3) May we surrender completely to His will in yielding submission, anticipating the joy of fulfilling His good pleasure (Ephesians 1:5,9; Philippians 2:13; 2 Thessalonians 1:11) as He leads us through the dance of life into eternal life in Heaven!

© 2014 Laurie Collett
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Michell Pulliam said...

Hi Laurie...wonderful post! I love the analogy of ballroom dancing and our lives! Yes, isn't it a wonderful feeling to totally trust and rely on Him as "He leads us through the dance of life into eternal life in Heaven"! Thanks for linking up my friend...have a blessed rest of your weekend!

Laurie Collett said...

Thanks, Michell! Amen -- He is the only Leader we need! Thanks for hosting, and may He richly bless you and your ministry,

Brenda said...

Hi Laurie,
lovely post. Just as ballroom dancing is a process of learning, so too is maturing in Christ.

Frank E. Blasi said...

Dear Laurie,
I suppose there is just one word which says it all: Sanctification.
Which brings me to the Scripture - Hebrews 10:14, which reads;
For by one offering he hath perfected forever them that are sanctified. (AV)
However, I thank the Lord my salvation does not depend on my dancing abilities. As my wife once said, I was born with two left feet.
A well written post. God bless.

Ceil said...

Hi Laurie! What a darling story about your son! There are a lot of ones :)

I am so happy that we are saved by grace, so that I know nothing comes from me. If I have that faith, it means everything. Really liked all your Scripture references, thank you for that.
Happy Monday!

Laurie Collett said...

Thanks, Brenda! I believe God gives us a variety of learning experiences and growth opportunities to glorify Him, but clearly the main goal is to grow in Him and close to Him.
God bless,

Laurie Collett said...

Amen, Frank! Our salvation, our sanctification, and even our next breath depends on Him alone!
Whenever anyone says that they can't dance because they have 2 left feet, my husband says that we also have 2 left feet -- he has one and I have one! :-)
God bless,

Laurie Collett said...

Thanks, Ceil -- I'm glad you liked the post & the Scripture references! Praise God that He did it all to give us all we'll ever need! May you have a blessed week in Him!

Unknown said...

Dependence is on my heart at the moment too, Laurie for a new series I am doing this week. Have seen this theme in a few blogs over the last few days - God might be stirring this up for us!
Thanks for sharing at Essential Fridays.
Mel from Essential Thing Devotions

Laurie Collett said...

Amen, Mel! Our devotional reading for today was on this theme also. Always a good theme, to rest in Him and not rely on our own flesh! Thanks for hosting & God bless!

Crafts a la Mode said...


a joyful noise said...

Your son's remark was so cute - yes there are so many one's in life, but we must waltz one, two, three with Him. Thank you for sharing your lovely post with us here at "Tell Me a Story."

Laurie Collett said...

Thanks, Linda! God bless,

Laurie Collett said...

Thanks, Hazel, for your sweet comment and for hosting! May you have a blessed weekend,