Do you want to reach spiritual maturity? Then you need to learn these 3 bible-based ways to take ownership of your spiritual life.
We sat in the lawyer’s office making small talk and anxiously signed a stack of papers about 4 inches tall. After some shuffling, copy-making, and official stamps, we heard the words, “Congrats! You’re officially home owners!”
There were smiles, hugs, and a family picture as we celebrated the closing on our memorable purchase. But what did all of this mean?
Sure, we were now the “owners” of a new investment, but what had we really gotten ourselves into? Fast forward many months and several headaches, and I can tell you what “ownership” means: Ownership means responsibility, decision making, and commitment.
It’s being the one with “The Buck Stops Here” on your figurative desk and shouldering that “buck” with consistency. While all that sounds serious, ownership brings a lot of joy and pride: an opportunity for our family to use our hands for the glory of God, and a chance to enjoy the simplicity of His creation. Ownership.
What was the first thing that you ever took ownership of as an adult? Did you feel like you were signing your life away? Did you feel nervous knowing you were making an intimidating commitment, but were also excited about the undeniable benefits that came with the purchase?
Most of you have probably taken possession of at least one valuable object at some point in your life; it’s likely you’ve signed multiple documents that led to ownership of a car, house, phone, or beloved pet.
While all those earthly objects can bring enjoyment, have you ever considered that LIFE also requires ownership?
The Bible tells us in Romans 14:12 that, “…EACH of us will give an account of himself to God.” Paul reinforces the idea of individual accountability when he wrote to the Philippians in chapter 2:12, “…work out your OWN salvation with fear and trembling.”
When my husband and I walked out of that lawyer’s office, it meant we now assumed the full financial responsibility of our purchase. In that same sense, as humans, we are each held accountable for our daily thoughts, words and actions; and will ultimately answer to God for how we choose to exercise those avenues. Ownership.
3 Ways to Take Ownership of Your Spiritual Life
So how does one take ownership of his/her life? I’m so glad you asked! I have developed three examples that I hope will be helpful as you journey down the path of ownership to reach spiritual maturity.
1. Admit Your Mistakes.
Let’s look at Genesis 3. Adam and Eve had eaten from the fruit of the tree that God specifically told them NOT to eat from (Gen. 3:3). When God went for a walk through the garden, He confronted Adam about the choice to eat the fruit.
While on the “hot seat,” Adam throws Eve under the bus saying, “The woman whom you gave to be with me, she gave me the fruit of the tree, and I ate.”
So, God directs His attention to Eve and asks, “What is this that you have done?” But Eve cannot own up to her sinful decision and replies to God, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.”
When it came time for them to own up to their mistake, they couldn’t do it. Neither could say, “Yes, God, I ate the fruit. I disobeyed.”
When we make mistakes in life, we must act differently. No excuses, no blame games, just pure acknowledgement of our sin; we must be honest with ourselves and God.
If we cannot recognize and assume responsibility of the sin in our lives, we will never ever achieve ownership.
2. Show true repentance.
David the shepherd boy is referred to as “a man after God’s own heart” (Acts 13:22). I believe one reason David has this title is because he was a man of confession and repentance.
David was painfully aware of his own shortcomings (Ps. 51:3) and did not simply accept that he was sinful, BUT deeply desired to make things right with God. David knew that on the path to a relationship with God is the bridge of confession and repentance.
I love the graphic words David uses in Psalms 32:3-5: “For when I kept silent, my bones wasted away through my groaning all day long. For day and night your hand was heavy upon me; my strength was dried up as by the heat of the summer. I acknowledged my sin to you, and I did not cover my own iniquity; I said, ‘I will confess my transgressions to the Lord’, and you forgave the iniquity of my sin.”
Growing up in the South means experiencing powerful heat during the summer. Have you ever worked outside all day in the hot sun, and felt absolutely zapped in the evening? It’s awful! You feel like a 15 hour nap and a gallon of sweet tea is in order.
What a wonderful analogy. David compares the summer heat and our demise of strength to bottling up sins: it’s draining, defeating, and leaves us in need of some serious help.
Realizing the presence of sin in our life means nothing if we aren’t willing to confess those faults and turn to live a life in the light (1 John 1:7-9). We must continually walk in the light to have the forgiveness of sin.
3. Submit to God’s Plan.
What better example do we have of how to live life than that of Jesus? When I think about Jesus, the word “submission” comes to mind. Isn’t He the best example of letting go and allowing God’s plan to take effect?
He was submissive and faithful even to the point of death (Philippians 2:8). While Jesus did not commit sin as we do (1 Peter 2:21-23), He was certainly tempted as we are (Hebrews 4:15), BUT remained firm in fulfilling His purpose: to be about His Father’s business (Luke 2:49).
So what does this have to do with ownership of your life? It starts with the realization that all thoughts, words and actions fall short of perfection and the Father’s mercy and grace is desperately needed!
True ownership is achieved by submitting to the commands and good works that God has planned for YOU, thus, being about your Father’s business!
True ownership is found when we turn ourselves, our entire lives, over to God who has unthinkably wonderful plans for our days on earth (Jeremiah 29:11). Jesus, perfect in all ways, submitted to God fully and through that, was the greatest example of owning up to a life of love, compassion and redemption. Ownership.
Ownership is a two way street. While it requires considerable responsibility and effort, it also brings great rewards and joy.
Don’t you think it’s time to take ownership of your life and allow God’s perfect gifts to bless you and those around you?
Tell me in the comments: Do you find it difficult to admit your mistakes and submit to God? What helps you?
Mary Emily is a Nutritionist and busy homemaker for her family of four in Athens, AL. When she’s not chasing kiddos, she enjoys nature, watercolor painting and encouraging others to live their best life. Her family attends the West Hobbs St. church of Christ in Athens, AL.