Abraham Kuyper, theologian, pastor, and Prime Minister of Netherlands (1901-1904) wrote what I believe to be a beautiful definition of the wholehearted Christian life:
The fellowship of being near unto God must become reality, in the full and vigorous prosecution of our life. It must permeate and give color to our feelings, our perceptions, our sensations, our thinking, our imagining, our willing, our acting, our speaking. It must not stand as a foreign factor in our life, but it must be the passion that breathes throughout our whole existence.
For every believer there is the tension of the flesh and spirit, the sacred and secular. In America today, spirituality or religion in general is categorized as something we do, we attend, we intellectually believe in—one of many activities that we create or pursue. We can think it has little to do with the rest of our life. This is precisely why we have pastors having affairs, Christian leaders embezzling money, and a nation leading the world in pornography.
Yet the Kingdom of God pervades everything! It is precisely in surrendering all to Christ that we experience the fullness of Christ. Few Christians today see their relationship with God as the totality of their being. Few realize that who they are, the way they treat people, and the world they live in is under a sovereign God who cries out, “Mine!”
When we give ourselves to Christ and the Kingdom of God, He begins the unique work of taking over everything! His powerful dynamite (Greek-dunamis) Spirit enters in and desires to take control of our desires, passions, speaking, acting, and thinking. It’s a corporate takeover of the Kingdom by the King. He takes your heart of stone and makes it into a heart of flesh. He takes our broken weary lives and infuses us with new life. This is just what Paul is writing about:
For if by the one man’s offense death reigned through the one, much more those who receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ. (Romans 5:17)
God wants each of us to reign in life. This new standing we’ve been given is to be subordinate to Christ in everything we do. It’s in such surrender that His power and love can reign through us.
On the Road less Traveled,
Steve Holt D.D. MA