And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns. Philippians 1:6
One of the easiest ways for us to impede the Holy Spirit’s work in our lives is to assert our rights.
You know what that sounds like, right? It might sound like “I have the right to be treated respectfully” after a disagreement with a friend or family member. Or it might sound like refusing to alter our plans, “I don’t have time to do that right now, God. Maybe next week.”
To follow Jesus, we have to relinquish some rights that we’ve given ourselves:
The right to be comfortable.
And he said to all, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. Luke 9:23
God didn’t call us to be comfortable. He regularly calls us out of our comfort zone. Following Him means dying to ourselves and our comfort every day.
The right to follow our hearts.
The human heart is the most deceitful of all things, and desperately wicked. Jeremiah 17:9
A prevailing theme in our culture is that we should follow our hearts. We cannot follow our hearts; the Bible says they are deceitful and wicked. We must choose to follow God and His word, even if our heart tends to disagree.
The Holy Spirit will guide us, and we must follow His direction instead of our own. The Spirit will never lead us in a direction that is contrary to God’s word.
The right to stick to our plan.
We can make our plans, but the Lord determines our steps. Proverbs 16:9
I believe God wants us to plan (Proverbs 21:5, Luke 14:28), but not to prioritize our plans over His. We have to be willing to adjust our plan and schedule when directed.
The right to mind our own business.
Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Philippians 2:4
There are many verses I could quote here about loving our neighbors as ourselves and as Christ loves us.
We are not our own; we have been bought with a price. We represent our almighty King and we no longer have the right to ignore needs around us. We have to relinquish our right to mind our own business- people in need are our business.
As a disciple of Jesus, he calls us to a life committed to him. We must prioritize his purposes, his timeline, and his direction over our own. It takes relinquishing our rights to him day by day and moment by moment.
Which of these rights is the hardest for you to give over to God?