By: Andre Barracks

The words of Christ found in Matthew 22:37 says, “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.” Jesus is recorded as saying “this is the first commandment” in another portion of scripture. The intriguing aspect of the word “all” is that in essence it means nothing left, everything, not leaving a trace. The requirement on our part as Christians is a total abandonment of self to the lordship of Christ. So why is our true heart’s song “I surrender some“, not all? The Bible clearly declares that when we become saved ‘ behold ALL things become new and old things are passed away’. However, one quickly realizes that does not happen overnight. God sees the finished product from the beginning, thus declares what we are to be despite our present circumstance.

As humans our sinful nature is rebellious to the ways of God and we must diligently train ourselves to conform to His image. The issue of control is one reason why we do not completely give our all to Christ. We believe we are capable of handling certain areas of our lives and need not turn it over to God. God in His infinite wisdom is fully aware we cannot navigate this life by ourselves. In Matthew 11:28-30, Jesus says, “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.  For my yoke is easy and my burden light.” A very poignant admonishment from Christ that we not attempt to take on this life on our own.   The presence of a prideful spirit often leads us down this pathway. We think of ourselves more highly than we ought, thus not putting God in His proper place in our lives.

A classic example is Christians dating  non-Christians. The conviction by which each live does not equate, thus we as believers often compromise our standards to appease our significant other.  The Bible declares we should not be “unequally yoked” and “what fellowship does darkness have with light?” As believers the relationships we have in life affect our relationship with God.  The act of compromising in our walk only stunts our growth, delaying our divine destiny and purpose.  The effects of intimate involvement with one whose life is not yielded to God, have far greater consequences than our natural eyes perceive. The Lord prompts us and pricks our hearts to let go of the relationship, for He opposes anything that keeps us from Him. The circle of friends we have must be scrutinized as well. We can be acquaintances to those who do not know Christ, but close friendships must be evaluated differently.

A major hindrance closely connected to intimacy is promiscuity amongst believers. Our bodies are the temple of God and can never be fully used by Him if we are engaging in illicit sexual conduct. We become defiled vessels in His kingdom tainted before His presence. God desires all of our being and devotion to pour out His spirit in us, but sexual sins leave no room for Him to pour into.  Our heart is the center of our emotions and the true indicator of how we feel towards God and people.  Our actions and demeanor may say one thing, while our hearts are the total opposite. The Bible declares ‘man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart’.  God knows the true state of our hearts despite any facades we portray.

A heart that does not forgive will always hinder us from serving God wholeheartedly. Forgiveness is a basic kingdom principle, which is at the foundation of our life in Christ. Jesus forgave us of our sins and accepted us as His own.  We in turn ought to forgive others and not hold malice in our hearts.  The absence of forgiveness causes more harm to us than the person we have not forgiven.  In essence, we hold ourselves hostage to a feeling that prohibits God to move freely in our lives.  It is so important that forgiveness is a major point recited in the Lord’s Prayer, which Jesus taught His disciples.

God gave His all for us and expects nothing less in return. Whatever situation or habits we have that hinders God’s manifest power reigning in our lives should be dealt with immediately. God has a designated purpose created for our lives and He desires for it to come to pass once we surrender our ALL.