My dear children, I write this to you so that you will not sin. But if anybody does sin, we have one who speaks to the Father in our defense—Jesus Christ, the Righteous One. He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world. We know that we have come to know him if we obey his commands. The man who says, “I know him,” but does not do what he commands is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But if anyone obeys his word, God’s love is truly made complete in him. This is how we know we are in him: Whoever claims to live in him must walk as Jesus did. -1 John 2:1-6
Everyone asks the question “when do I know I’m saved?” We are saved through our faith in Jesus Christ as the son of God and the sacrificial lamb who rose from the dead. So perhaps the question can be modified – when do I know I truly believe and understand what it means to have Jesus die for me? THAT question can perhaps be answered by verse 3 “We know that we have come to know him if we obey his commands.” Verse 4 clarifies that if we claim to know God but do not obey, the truth is not in us.
One word…three times. SUBMISSION. SUBMISSION. SUBMISSION…SUBMISSION. Four. I can’t get over it. I don’t want to submit to Jesus – sometimes, I don’t care enough about what is right to stop doing what is wrong. And for you who believe in gray areas…I don’t care enough about what I should be doing to stop doing what I shouldn’t.
I’m leaving this broad because a lot of us tend to crucify one sin with a verse, and nod and smile…while all our other sins nod and smile next to us.
This subject of submission is the big picture to the sins I struggle with – when it all comes down to it, I don’t want to give God control. But the thing is, everything that we live for, all that we strive in, all that we care about – and I mean truly care about – all of it rests on the fact that if we don’t submit to Christ, if we don’t die to ourselves, we will be dead to Christ. Even now, Jesus is looking down on my trampled carcass, trying to save it. If I submit to his care, He will do all He can for me. If I reject His help, He will move on to another, and I will rot.
The good part? It’s our choice. The bad part? It’s our choice. No one else can make it but ourself. A lot of us, including me, are held back by a simple thought – I just don’t want to all the time. A lot of the reason why, at least for me, is sometimes I just don’t feel like it. I think all of us feel like if we just loved God, following Him wouldn’t be a problem. But we don’t feel that emotion of love, and that’s why we don’t. We say we have no feelings for God. Look into your heart and see if there isn’t something you’re holding back from God, or that you’re bitter against Him for. That thing is what’s in the way of you and God. I asked my dad last night, “What can I possibly do when I don’t care enough about doing the right thing to stop doing what’s wrong?” He looked at me and said. “Pray with me, every night.”
Submitting sounds easy – all it takes is a line we hear in so many christian songs, “take all of me”, “take it all”, “I’m falling on my knees, offering all of me”. But getting to that step of commitment can take a long time – and a lot of work. If you don’t want to do it…find someone else who wants you to do it. It’s called an accountability partner. You’ll thank them later.
One thing is for sure. If you’re sick of doubting whether you’re saved or not, if you’re sick of doubting whether you really know God, if you’re sick of doubting whether you’ve really got your own relationship with God without your family, friends, or church…submitting is the first step.