We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life. For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we will certainly also be united with him in a resurrection like his. For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body ruled by sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin - because anyone who has died has been set free from sin. Romans 6:4-7
Don’t you know that when you offer yourselves to someone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one you obey - whether you are slaves to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience, which leads to righteousness? But thanks be to God that, though you used to be slaves to sin, you have come to obey from your heart the pattern of teaching that has now claimed your allegiance. You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness. Romans 6:16-18
As a line of cars honked their horns, I realized that my driving career was off to a less than stellar start. The issue at hand was whether I looked at oncoming traffic when attempting to yield. I felt I had (and to this day, I still do), but according to my driving instructor I had not.
And for whatever reason, he felt rush hour was the ideal opportunity to slam on the brakes and lecture me regarding the importance of paying attention when yielding to oncoming traffic. The people behind didn't concur with his assessment.
Paying attention when yielding matters a great deal while behind the wheel of a car; it matters even more as it relates to our heart. Today's scripture reminds us that we yield our allegiance and affection to everything and anything. What we submit to defines us and determines our direction.
Unfortunately, because the pace of our lives is so hectic, we barely give the condition of our heart a second glance. We think we're looking, but really we're not. And since our world functions somewhat smoothly, for the most part, we reason our soul is in tip-top shape.
It's only when there's a collision or a breakdown that its true state rises to the surface and demands to be noticed. We get stuck in patterns when we fail to address the deeper issues taking place in our hearts. We slam on the brakes and wonder how things got to be the way they are.
If we allow Him, Jesus will come in and confront the things that stand in the way of our transformation. Receiving Christ goes deeper than just an acknowledgment. It involves allowing Him to touch every part of our lives.
The only way to get back on the road to purpose and fulfillment comes when we yield to Christ and His ways. Embracing our identity in Christ is how we become precisely who God has made us to be.
Where are you yielding your heart's affection to things that aren't edifying or life-giving? How is this influencing the condition of your heart?
God, I submit my life to walking in Your way for I know it leads to a full life. May I yield every part of who I am to You and give you the space to shape my character and transform my heart. In Your name, Jesus. Amen.