C.S. Lewis said that we are not just imperfect people who need growth, but we are rebels who need to lay down our arms. Laying down our arms occurs when we repent of our sins, recognize our need for God, and accept Jesus into our lives. But this is not a one-time event at our Christian conversion. The Christian life as a disciple involves a desire, a bend of the heart toward daily surrender and yielding to God. It involves placing Jesus Christ at the top of our priority list. That is why Jesus said we have to pick up our cross daily (Lk. 9:23).
For the Christian disciple, the attitude of “I want to do things my way,” has to be crucified on the cross. The calling of God for our lives, which displaces our own self-in-charge nature, establishes a Godly context, a clear set of goals, and a very specific arrangement of situations and circumstances, which fashions a path of faith within the course of our lives where the old rebel in us has increasingly more difficulty expressing itself. A genuine walk of faith set-up by Jesus Christ creates constructive and positive things to do that lead to personal growth and ministry to others, absent the rebellion of self-sovereignty.
When Moses received his calling at the burning bush, and obediently set off toward Egypt to deliver the Israelites, he began living in the non-rebel mode. After Paul was converted on the road to Damascus, it was the action of following Jesus within this new context of being the missionary evangelist to the gentile world, which enabled Paul to now live as a non-rebel. When Jesus said to Peter in Luke 22:32, “And when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren”, it is within the actual context of strengthening the newly born Christian church in Jerusalem that Peter is fulfilling his calling in living as a non-rebel.
This is why the genuine gospel message of repentance, salvation, faith, trust, and transformation into a new person “in Christ” is so important. The “truth that will set us free” is the life following Jesus in non-rebellion to His leading. This is why we follow a crucified Son of God. The will and way of Jesus was crucified to the will of God the Father, in the Garden of Gethsemane and at Calvary, for the benefit of all of mankind. Jesus went before us in this regard. The fact that Jesus Himself was without sin, tells us that the way of the cross is perfect.
This is one of the key character attributes which qualifies Jesus to be our leader. We learn daily how to “lay down our arms” and become a non-rebel, in terms of our relationship with God by following the sinless, perfect non-rebel in this regard…Jesus Christ.
Every born-again Christian can examine themselves as to who is in charge in their lives…self or Jesus Christ. Every Christian can enter into their personal “prayer closet”, get on their knees, lift their arms up to God, and ask God to assume a greater role in their lives. Every Christian can ask God in prayer to open up their spiritual eyes, and unclog their spiritual ears, so that they can see and hear God better in the specific ways that God would like to lead them.
If it is possible for God to weep in heaven, this is the type of sincere request from His saints that will probably bring tears of heartfelt joy to God’s eyes. Our walk of faith means that much to God. Jesus died and rose again that we might have an abundant life through this living journey of faith, now and forever.