If you’re a Christian, you’ve probably heard and used expressions like “I am His” or “I belong to Christ“. But have you ever paused to reflect on what that truth means?
In talking about our relationship with God, we often focus on our decision to claim God as ours. After all, one becomes a Christian by claiming Christ as their Lord and Savior.
And He is ours. But the cool thing is that, when He becomes ours, we also become His.
He belongs to us in the sense that He is the God we’ve chosen to follow, the King to whom we’ve sworn allegiance, the Friend we can always turn to, the Parent who gave us (new) life and identity, and so on. But we also belong to Him in the sense that we’re His creation, His dependents, the objects of His love, the people He protects and leads.
In fact, if we had to argue over who owns who more, the balance is heavily weighted in His favor. He made us, He paid for us. He was here first and made the first move. And He does most of the moving still.
So let’s face it: God owns us. God owns you.
How cool is that?
But what does this mean for us in practical terms? What does a life owned by God look like?
Live God’s Way
Identity shapes behavior. Loving children imitate their parents, avid students learn from their teacher, loyal supporters emulate their leader.
If you’re a Christian, you’ve already claimed Christ as your Leader and Teacher, and God as your Parent. It’s only natural to follow through by learning from Him and applying His teachings and example to your own life.
If you need motivation, think what He’s done for you. He didn’t just create you – He died for you. And along the way, He set an example to follow, a picture of what a life of integrity, love, and obedience to God looks like.
He knows this life is hard. He knows this world is distracting, confusing, overwhelming, even dangerous. He knows that doing the right thing can cost you every earthly friend you have, can get you mocked and murdered and left outside the city gates for passersby to shudder at.
But He did it anyway. He pushed through it all. For you.
Before you loved Him, He loved you. And He still does.
And all He wants in return is for you to repent of sin, to love Him with all your being, and to love your fellow humans as yourself.
Sometimes it’s hard. Sometimes it’s mundane. But He’s not asking you to do anything harder than what He did for you. And He’s there for you, with you, whenever you need His guidance, His strength, or simply His presence.
God Is Responsible for Our Care
Let me be clear: We can (and should) take steps to care for ourselves and those who depend on us.
But we only do so with what we’re given – and it’s God who gives. We don’t need to stress over what we can’t control or don’t know – because He knows and controls everything.
And He will provide. Because we’re His.
What good shepherd doesn’t watch over his sheep? What good parent doesn’t care for their child to the best of their means? And we know ours is more than able.
God’s faithful care is one of the hardest truths in the Bible to grasp. Because we can all think of times when we felt less than cared for, times when God seemed less than able or willing to act in what we felt sure was our or others’ best interest. What kind of God lets children suffer? What kind of God lets people forget who their own loved ones are? What kind of God lets His creatures do horrible, senseless things to each other? And why doesn’t He at least tell us why?
What kind of God gives up His privileges to suffer among us, in all the ways we suffer? What kind of God dies at the hands of humans to save humanity? What kind of God gave us the honor of choice even though He knew we might make the worst choices? What kind of God forgives the kinds of things humans do – puts up with it for millennia while He works quietly, surely, miraculously to overcome evil through love rather than universal destruction?
“He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?” (Romans 8:32, NIV)
God doesn’t promise us what we expect or hope for or desperately want. He promises us what we need.
He doesn’t promise a trouble-free life. He promises to give us peace that makes no sense.
He doesn’t promise a detour around the valley of death’s shadow. He promises to walk with us through it.
He doesn’t promise we won’t die. He promises a spiritually rich, purposeful life now, and a glorified, immortal, resurrected life later.
He doesn’t promise to set everything right now. He promises that He will when Jesus returns. Until then, He’s working.
He doesn’t promise answers. Because the answers aren’t our responsibility.
Give God Everything
When Jesus warns potential followers about the cost of following Him, He tells them (us) that they’ll have to “take up their cross”, putting their lives and hopes and dreams and wants and preferences on the line in order to go wherever He leads. They’ll have to love Him more than anyone or anything else in the world, even their own families, if they want to call themselves by His name.
Sounds like a tall order. But it comes from the one Person who would and can do anything for us. And proved it.
And He doesn’t just ask for the things we hold the tightest. He also asks for the things we long to get rid of but can never seem to find someone trustworthy enough, willing enough, able enough to take. The fears, the hurts, the worries, the shame, the anger, the loneliness, the disappointment and disillusionment – He wants those, too. Not to use against us, but to save us from.
So hand them over. Hand them all over. Both the things you love and the things you hate. Because the One you belong to, the One you follow, the One who takes responsibility for your care – He’s worthy. His nail-scarred hands are gentle enough to cradle broken things, yet strong and capable of doing whatever needs doing with whatever you give Him.
So give everything. And keep giving. Because He keeps giving to you.
One of the great things about belonging to God is that it’s for keeps. He never lets us go. He never misplaces us, sells us, or throws us away. Nor can we be stolen.
Once we’re His in Christ, we’re His forever – His Spirit marking us, His blood atoning for us.
So rest in the certainty of His care and claim. Walk wisely, humbly, and joyfully in the way of your God. Trust Him with all you are, all you need, all you want, all you have. Knowing He is worthy.
Knowing Whose you are.
“Therefore, my brothers and sisters, you also were put to death in relation to the law through the body of Christ so that you may belong to another. You belong to him who was raised from the dead in order that we may bear fruit for God.”
–Romans 7:4 (CSB)