“I will give your life to you as a prize in all places, wherever you go.” (Jeremiah 45:5)
This week ten years ago we started the 721 Ministries men’s weekly meetings. We had 3-4 men in Greenville and 2-3 in Spartanburg. There was no Laurens meeting, no radio show, no preaching and no Putting Greens. I had not a clue what I was doing. I just knew God wanted me to do something.
As these ten years rolled on, I came to see that most around me are missing salvation, and those who are actually saved are still missing it: not salvation, but the A+ Life. I was far from the A+ Life myself, but as I looked around me – and squarely in the mirror as well – I could see why:
We are so easily distracted, and our King is our Self.
Each week I am motivated by, maybe more accurately I am compelled by the burning desire for you to know Jesus the way he has shown himself to me. I want you to see he can be your best friend and your closest companion. So close that you can never – not ever – be lonely or even ever feel alone again.
I want you to see that Jesus can be your go-to person, your confidant, your accountability partner, your advisor, your leader and your foundation: rock-solid in every way.
And always your best friend.
But for all this to be real he must be your King. Not you.
So … we started this “school year” of Putting Greens with the series “King of the Castle.” We started here because this is the question we must all answer: “Who is king of my life?” Or even more penetrating, “Who do I want to be king?”
Until I surrender “My claim to my Self” I will remain on the throne of my life. We all know what this looks like, and we all know what this feels like: stress, anxiety, fear, frustration, conflict. All because those around me aren’t acknowledging my kingship, and behaving accordingly, so I must exert control to straighten them out.
Until I yield my way to God’s way I will be living the C- life. ‘Yield’ is the perfect word for this “my will be done versus God’s will be done.” When I enter the interstate, I am not in much of a yielding mode. I’m accelerating and pressing ahead so as to get it front of everyone else. I think I’m getting ahead; they probably think I am a jerk.
Sound familiar? (And now I’m not talking about driving)
The A+ Life is all about, “I must become less and He must become more.” (John 3:30 parraphrased) But the amazing thing about this process of surrendering and yielding my throne and my way is as we lose our old selves we actually become our real selves: the person God designed you to be. The person Jesus lived and died for you to become.
The child of God, you.
“I will give your life to you as a prize in all places, wherever you go.”
As C.S. Lewis observed, “Beyond all possibility of doubt you would say, ‘Here at last is the thing I was made for.’ It is the secret signature of the soul.”1
So we will end this school year of Putting Greens here: “The secret signature of the soul.”
Don’t you have a sense, perhaps deep inside, “There is a me inside I know is there and I know it is way more than the me I am presently living?” There is more. God designed you for more. He placed within your soul his secret signature, your secret signature, and the way to find this signature of the soul is to seek – pursue – follow – with passion! – the only Way.
But Self must get out of the way. Self must surrender. Self must yield. Over and over.
I have found in my nineteen years of walking with Jesus this secret signature of my soul is the most remarkable, amazing, powerful and enlightening experience I could have ever hoped for, or even imagined to hope for.
It is a soul signature I always knew was in there, but I couldn’t get to it. I couldn’t find it … on my own. I tried everything and every way I knew how. Except the only Way.
It’s real. You can have it. You do have it.
NOTE: This is the last Putting Green until the fall.