Never suppose for a moment that preachers are simply telling other people what to do. The scariest thing about preaching is that the truths you say aloud are those which definitely cause your own heart to beat that little bit more quickly. There’s never any sense of superiority in preaching, in my experience: more a terrifying humility, because you know the truth of James’s words: “Not many of you should become teachers, my fellow believers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly.” (James 3:1) If that doesn’t scare you, I don’t know what will!

So I have been wrestling long and hard with the simple words of the Apostles’ Creed “I believe in Jesus Christ… our Lord.” Such simple words. The Lordship of Christ is not a difficult concept to understand at all. There are loads of things in the Bible that I don’t understand, but what I find even more frightening than that are the things I do understand but find so hard to do!

Surrendering ownership of our lives is one of those things. The Bible studies on Romans have been showing us Paul’s inexorable logic in arriving at the conclusion he does in Romans 12:1. In view of God’s mercy, grace and love, the logical and reasonable conclusion is for us to offer ourselves – our whole lives, our feelings, emotions, will, mind, money, belongings, jobs, relationships, the whole job lot – to God as living sacrifices. Not hard to understand. But not always easy to do.

As always, I find others can capture the questions and yearning of my heart so much better than I can.

“If You washed away my vanity
If You took away my words
If all my world was swept away
Would You be enough for me?
Would my beating heart still sing?

If I lost it all
Would my hands stay lifted
To the God who gives and takes away?
If You take it all
This life You’ve given
Still my heart will sing to You

When my life is not what I expected
The plans I made have failed
When there’s nothing left to steal me away
Will You be enough for me?
Will my broken heart still sing?

Even if You take it all away
You’ll never let me go
Take it all away
But I still know
That I’m Yours
I’m still Yours” (Kutless, ‘I’m Still Yours’)

No matter what happens, we make the choice – at times with tears streaming or through gritted teeth – to surrender our lives and find that God is more than enough to meet every need.