By creation, we belong to God, just as the artist owns the unsold painting, or the musician the music written. By redemption, that ownership deepens, but before the Redeemer came, sin took away the art, the music and threw them into a great death. Our loving Creator then sent His Son to the rescue. The Savior leaped into the abyss and died instead that we might be given back to the One who created us from dust.
Jesus came to reveal to the world the Creator we had abandoned. Then the Creator presented all of us to Him so we, with shame and great joy might belong to Him as His rescued ones. In His prayer to the Father, He says . . .
“I have manifested your name to the people whom you gave me out of the world. Yours they were, and you gave them to me, and they have kept your word. (John 17:6)
Those who have abandoned all else to follow Jesus understand that we are not our own. We have been bought with a great price. Because He loves us, we love Him and gladly give ourselves to Him.
Chambers says that when I can say, ‘I am not my own’ I have reached a “great point in spiritual nobility.” This is “the deliberate giving up of myself” to Jesus Christ. Yet I see His part in this more than my part. Like many who come into this faith kicking and screaming, I sometimes resist His ownership, even fall into the error of serving myself instead of Him. I’m humbled that only by the goodness and gentle but powerful persuasion of the Holy Spirit have I “kept His word.”
The Holy Spirit cultivates the nature of Jesus to me in order to make me one with Him, not to make me a special saint or as Chambers says, “a showroom exhibit.” God’s goal is that my life is defined by the reality that I belong to Jesus.
Chambers says something else that strikes my heart. This belonging is not characterized by what I do but by “being a perfect delight to Him.”
I know what it is to be a delight to another person; to have someone else glad to see me, look me in the eye with joy, delight to call me a friend, takes interest in me, and is pleased with me but not because of any of my accomplishments but because of who they are — a person who shines with the love of God.
What a wonder that Jesus Himself builds that relationship with me — that I am a delight to Him, not because of what I do or do not do, but because He is my friend who loves me.
“Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.” (John 15:13)
These truths I have known, but today they seem deeper, more vivid, more precious than ever. Jesus is my friend. I also belong to Him.