Wouldn’t it be reasonable for the Lord Who made us to demand His right to our lives?
The LORD created us (Genesis 1:26-29). Of course, then, He has rights and privileges due Him regarding our lives. In Genesis 2:7 He formed us from the dust of the earth in perfect Wisdom – indeed, in the very Image of God the Trinity: “Let Us [Father, Son, and Holy Spirit] make mankind in Our image, after Our likeness, …” (Gen.1:26a) – with a perfect Plan in His Mind for each one of our lives individually, and also for mankind as a whole (Eph.1:7-10). He suffered like no one else on Earth ever has or ever will so that we, as fallen beings, could have a personal relationship with the very Trinity Who made us (Isa.53:3-5); Heb.4:15,16). “He Who knew no sin became sin for us, so that we might be made the Righteousness of God in Christ” (II Cor.5:21). Is it not reasonable, then for Him Who did all this for us – and infinitesimally more – to have and demand the right to our lives? in their entirety? But consider what He chose to do instead …
Rather than demand His rights to us, He draws us.
He doesn't want us to respond to a demand through fear but rather to His drawing us by Love. Click To Tweet
“Faithful is He Who is calling [drawing] you to Himself … and He will also do it [fulfill His call by hallowing and keeping you].” (I Thess.5:24, Amplified). In other words, He woos us to Himself with lovingkindness, with His unfailing and everlasting Love (Jer.31:3; Hos.2:14) and speaks tenderly to our hearts. He doesn’t want us to respond to a demand through fear but rather to His drawing us by Love. Essentially, He had to do it this way because He had “stripped Himself [of all privileges and rightful dignity] … and was born a human being … He humbled Himself [still further] and carried His obedience to the … death of the cross!” (Phil.2:6-8) After this unspeakable manifestation of “First Love” (Rev.2:4), He now wants us to respond with our free volition to that never-ending Love, and, motivated by It, to surrender our rights to our own lives and hand them over to Him – just as He Himself had lived toward the Father (John 5:19,30).
“Draw me, and we will run after You …” (Song of Solomon 2:4)
When we are personally drawn by and to His Love for us, we will obey as soon as we hear His directives (Psalm 18:44). Click To Tweet
When we are personally drawn by and to His Love for us, we will obey as soon as we hear His directives (Psalm 18:44). We will love His Will and delight to do it (Psalm 40:8) Our response to His Word, to His requests, will be instant rather than delayed, affording Him the joy of giving Him full rights to our lives. But we don’t necessarily arrive quickly at this level of maturity in our relationship with Him, as the Shulamite woman in Song of Solomon illustrates.
“He is mine, I am His” (Song of Solomon 2:16)
First she declares her right to Him, then mentions His right to her. But that order of “possession” didn’t sustain her nor maintain her loyalty toward Him in a time of temptation to neglect Him. In chapter 5, verses 1 through 7, we see her delaying her response to His intense initiation of Love towards her and is just too comfortable or passive to answer His call to commune with Him. She then loses the security of His Presence and seems to have lost Him. At this point she runs after Him, remembering His undying, fervent Love for her. During that time of seeming loss, it appears that she is delivered of familiarity towards Him, towards Who He is and towards all that He means to her ( 2:4-17; 5:10-16). Now her confession of possession changes: “I am my Beloved’s, and He is mine” (6:3a). Then finally, she internalizes the Love He has for her (7:6-9) and is able to proudly, whole-heartedly proclaim: “I am my Beloved’s, and His desire is toward me!” (7:10)
He does not demand His right to our lives; He lets Love make us willing.
We don’t have to strive to give Him His due rights to our lives. King David wrote in Psalm 86:11, “Unite my heart to do Your Will.” Also the Psalmist in 119:32 declared, “I will not merely walk but run the way of Your commandments [ = to do Your Will and let You enjoy Your due right to my life], when You have given me a heart that is willing.” Even the apostle Paul knew that in himself, by himself, he could not do what was needed to make him willing to hand the reins over fully to the Lord Jesus Christ; the Holy Spirit through him gave us this often-comforting promise in Phil.2:13: “It is God Who works in you both to will and to do of His good pleasure.” And it was this same great man of God who declared, by the Spirit’s prompting, the power of God’s Love for us to keep us on the right path where He has all rights to our lives: “For the Love which Christ has [for me] presses on me from all sides, holding me to one end and prohibiting me from considering any other, wrapping itself around me in tenderness, giving me an impelling motive…” (II Cor.5:14a, Wuest)