The Voyager: Encouragement for Life's Journey
Below you will find articles from our Church's leadership meant to encourage you and give you insight into questions about life, faith, and God.
What does it mean when the Bible tells us that God owns everything? What is God's heart when he says that we belong to him? Pastor Jeff addresses the reality that something or someone is going to own you. Will it be God or will it be the circumstances of life?
“The earth is the LORD's, and everything in it. The world and all its people belong to Him.” (Psalms 24:1 NLT)
“I praised and worshiped the Most High and honored the One who lives forever. His rule is everlasting, and His kingdom is eternal. All the people of the earth are nothing compared to Him. He does as He pleases among the angels of heaven and among the people of the earth. No one can stop Him or say to Him, ‘What do you mean by doing these things?’” (Daniel 4:34-35 NLT)
“But now, O Jacob, listen to the LORD who created you. O Israel, the One who formed you says, ‘Do not be afraid, for I have ransomed you. I have called you by name; you are Mine. When you go through deep waters, I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown. When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up; the flames will not consume you.’” (Isaiah 43:1-2 NLT)
“God decided in advance to adopt us into His own family by bringing us to Himself through Jesus Christ. This is what He wanted to do, and it gave Him great pleasure.”
(Ephesians 1:5 NLT)
What a humbling reality. God owns it all. The One who transcends the reaches of time and space owns everything within them. And He can do with it, with us, as He pleases. God answers only to himself. This reality of ownership is simply the unavoidable effect of God being God.
Yet that was not enough for Him. The above passages in Isaiah and Ephesians vividly reveal a reality of ownership based on relationship with God. In His ownership of us, God chose to give us wills of our own, giving us each the power to choose how we will live. Because humanity has used our power of choice to rebel against God’s ownership, God entered our world in the Person of Jesus and provided the way by which we could be made right with Him and be owned by Him in personal relationship.
The declaration of “you are Mine” in Isaiah 43:2 is not motivated by God’s infinitely superior position, but by His love. It is an invitation to be relationally owned by God so that we do not have to be owned under the tyranny of anything else. As expressed in Ephesians 1:5, this invitation from God is for us to know the life-giving reality of His ownership in which we progressively know Him not just as the Creator, King, or omnipotent Ruler, but as our Father. In giving humanity this opportunity, God has done what pleases Him. It is an initiative that flows out of the very pleasure of God, tangibly expressing the love that defines His character (1 John 4:8). The image of Himself that God has stamped on each of us (Genesis 1:27) is seen in our capacity to know Him in this way.
Look at the reality that Isaiah 43:1-2 reveals! When you are owned by God in a personal relationship of trust and reliance, nothing else can own you – not the deep waters of life’s situations, not the surging rapids of circumstances, not the fires of trials and problems that threaten to consume you. Jesus came to provide the way by which we can be owned by God in the context of personal relationship with Him. Belonging to Him in this reality invalidates the claim of the enemy over our lives. Willfully submitting to God’s loving ownership places a “sold” sign on one’s life, reminding life’s situations that they cannot own what has already been purchased. It is a reminder to us as well, reassuring us of our freedom purchased for us by Jesus’ sacrifice.
“Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.” (James 1:2-4 NLT)
The joy that James 1:2 expresses is found in trusting the love of God, in understanding that His ownership over our lives is motivated and regulated by His perfect love for us. Then we can declare, “Fear, you have no place in me. I am owned by God. Hopelessness, you cannot place your feet under my table. Anxiety, though I may hear you knocking at my door, you cannot live here. Depression, you will not own me because I belong to God!!” When Jesus truly owns you, no moment can! Regardless of the bad doctor’s report, the job that no longer needs you, the financial stress, the family tensions, or anything else, submission to Jesus’ ownership over our lives gives purpose to it all, anchoring our lives in the bedrock of His love.
If we do not submit to God’s ownership over us, we will be owned by life’s situations. The enemy will use the circumstances of life as a context to overwhelm us, robbing us of our identity in the process. We were created to belong to God in personal relationship and to find our value and identity in God’s loving ownership of us. What about you? To whom do you belong? What owns you?
Article by Pastor Jeff Pfingston