“And this they did, not as we hoped, but first gave their own selves to the Lord, and unto us by the will of God” (1 Cor.
8:5). These are the words the apostle Paul wrote about the churches in Macedonia. They gave to Paul’s needs but first gave themselves to God. This idea needs to be our feeling and desire towards God. This is seen in the lives of true disciples throughout the Bible, ones such as Job, Noah, Abraham, Moses, David, Isaiah, Jeremiah and many others.
How were they able to endure the many trials and tribulations that came to their lives? They were not perfect individuals, they made mistakes. Yet when they realized their mistakes, they came back to the one in whom they placed their entire trust God.
This attitude toward God does not come overnight. It comes by developing one’s faith. It is a growing process that takes place gradually. When one obeys the gospel, this is faith in the infant state.
Some might argue about this point, but keep in mind what Peter wrote by inspiration. “And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; “And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity. For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.” (II Peter 1:5-ff).
The growing process is seen in Peter’s words and it must occur if one is to realize the idea of giving themselves to God. When a person gives themselves to God, the happenings in this life will not have so great an effect on them.
Focus and goals of the individual will have a higher target than the things of this present world. They will be focused on “things above and not things upon the earth” (Col. 1:2).
Some try and fool themselves and God by giving a part of their life to God while having their heart tiedto earthly things. Jesus himself said that such an arrangement couldn’t be successful.
“No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon” (Matthew 6:24).
Giving oneself to God is the idea shown in Paul’s letter to the Romans. He was one who had given himself to God. As he was writing to the Romans, he implored them to develop the same attitude in their own lives.
“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.
“And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God” (Romans 12:1,2).
As a Christian he suffered many things (II Cor. 11:24-28). How could anyone go through all of this? It was because Paul belonged to God. He lived his life for God, not for Paul.
Life is difficult and many are searching for answers to difficult questions. God has the answers, but many will not give themselves to God in order to find those answers. God gave the ultimate gift for man – Jesus. Jesus suffered a terrible death so that man could be saved.
The world has many empty answers, but God has the answers. Open your Bible, read, study and obey it. Give yourself to God.