I'm sure that this is a question we rarely ask ourselves, unless perhaps we're feeling overwhelmed by circumstances beyond our control. But most of the time I can feel as though my life really is my own and therefore I can do pretty much what I like with it.
This is certainly how I felt before becoming a follower of Jesus... that is, until I discovered two Biblical truths that turned my assumptions on their head. These truths I can explain through the following story...
HIS BY CREATION
James was a man in his middle years who lived with his family on the south coast of England. Although he worked as a sales rep he was one of these guys who was really good with his hands. The kind of person you see in 'The Repair Shop' whose skill I greatly admire. In his spare time he liked nothing better than pottering in his shed at the foot of his garden. He would work on different construction projects from time to time, one of which was a beautiful model yacht. He spent hours on this taking extraordinary care with every minor detail until he felt it was just right.
He even fitted this yacht with remote control so that he could sail it in and around the beach near to where he lived. But one day, to his horror and totally unexpectedly, the remote failed and he had to watch helplessly in despair as his precious yacht drifted out to sea. Sadly as he made his way home he resigned himself to never seeing it again.
HIS BY REDEMPTION
Several months went by and he really missed his yacht that had meant so much to him. One day his work schedule took him to another town further along the coast, and little did he realise that he was set to get the greatest surprise of his life. As he walked along the main street looking for somewhere to have lunch, he spotted something in the window of a charity shop that looked very familiar. He could hardly believe it. It was his beloved yacht! Well, of course straight away he went into the shop, willing to pay whatever it cost to have it back. And as he made his way home he reflected upon the fact that this yacht was now his, twice over. He had made it and he had bought it back... and of course this is just what God has done for me. But what about you?
HIS... TWICE OVER
You see, I may think, and consequently live, as though my life is my own... but it's not. My life really belongs to God. I am His, twice over... firstly by Creation...
'The earth is the LORD's, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it...'
'...you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made...'
Psalm 139: 13-14
...and secondly, I'm His by redemption... Christ Jesus died in my place at Calvary...
'...Christ died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous,
to bring you to God.'
1 Peter 3:18
'While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.'
So, is my life my own? Well, no ... not if I believe what the Bible says. But surely the challenge for those of us who profess to be Christians is to live in the light of these truths!