Handing Over the Keys
Dear Friend, Is there an area of your life you haven’t yet relinquished to the Lord? Maybe a part you have declared as “off limits,” reserving the right to keep it under your control? An aspect of your life you consider “mine, all mine”? Are you reluctant about handing over the keys? You and I know that being a follower of Jesus is not just a one-time isolated event. The Christian life is a walk—a series of incremental steps of faith and obedience in which we progressively offer up areas of our lives to the Lord. Are you ready to take another step?
Identifying the Step
If you are wondering what that next step might be for you, let me share a personal guideline that may resonate with you. I first heard it in a message given by my father-in-law, Don Basham, who was a close friend and colleague of Derek Prince. It came from a teaching in which he was encouraging his listeners to take a bold step of faith. This is how Don described it: “If you’re wondering what that step of faith might be, I will tell you. It’s that area God is highlighting that makes you say, ‘Oh no, Lord, not that!” Can you relate? Perhaps the Lord has been placing His finger upon an untouched area of your life that He wants you to open up to Him. Maybe it’s time to hand over the keys.
At Home in Our Hearts
The Lord began dealing with me on this topic recently as I was studying John 14. After telling His disciples that He must go away, Jesus promises that the Father will send the Holy Spirit in His place. Then He says in John 14:23: “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him.” What a breath-taking thought! That the Father and Jesus, through the power of the Holy Spirit, would come and live in my heart forever. Wonderful! Amazing! Then a thought came to me that stopped me cold, filling me with a tremendous sense of conviction. With the Father and Jesus as fulltime Residents of my heart, could I ever imagine myself dictating what parts of my life They could or could not explore? Would I dare to say to Them, “Sorry! You can’t go in there. That area is off-limits to You.”
My Heart—Christ’s Home
Immediately, as I was considering these questions, I remembered a booklet which made a tremendous impact upon me just after I met Jesus as my Savior: My Heart—Christ’s Home by Robert Boyd Munger. The booklet is an imaginary tour with the Savior through a believer’s heart and life—one in which the author progressively turns over every area of the “house” to Jesus Christ: the living room, the study, the bedroom, the workroom, etc. In the course of their tour, they eventually come to the hall closet. Munger writes: “In that closet behind lock and key I had one or two little personal things I did not want anybody to know about. Certainly I did not want Christ to see them. They were dead and rotting things leftover from the old life—not wicked, but not right and good to have in a Christian life.” Would he hand over the key to this closet and allow Jesus to clean it out as He saw fit? It is no accident that the next step described in the booklet is called, “Transferring the Title”—turning over the title deed of his total life to Jesus Christ. Isn’t that the crucial issue?
Is the Lord bringing to mind a similar step you may need to take? One aspect of Derek Prince’s life that I so admired was his willingness to “take the next step.” Even as he got older, a time when many become more rigid and unwilling to change, Derek seemed to get more supple and responsive in his spiritual life. (May it be the same for you and me!) In one of his messages, “What It Means to Love God,” Derek talked about progressively moving forward in our relationship with Jesus.
The moment God saved me and filled me with the Holy Spirit my tongue was cleansed. I never used another unclean or blasphemous word. It wasn’t that I gave it up; it just wasn’t in me any longer. I thought, “That’s wonderful. I’ve arrived.” Then God began to show me other ways in which we sin with our tongues. After a while, He convicted me of being very critical of people. So, I gave up being critical. Then after a considerable period (this didn’t happen in a few weeks), God convicted me about using negative speech. Too often, I spoke in terms of unbelief rather than belief—in a way, giving more glory to the devil than to the Lord. So, He dealt with that as well. So, this is my progress. It has taken me years, and I don’t claim to have arrived. But my obedience has been progressive…. Jesus knows everything about you—and He will unerringly put His finger on the one thing that stands between you and Him.
Take a minute now, if you would. Ask the Lord if there is an area—maybe more than one—that you need to relinquish to Him. Please keep in mind that the area may not be necessarily a sin or a flaw. It may simply be some aspect you have kept under your control. Are you ready to hand over the keys? Let’s do so together with the following prayer:
Lord, You have put Your finger on an area of my life that needs to be turned over to You. Thank You, Lord, for being faithful to shed Your light on the most intimate aspects of my life. Thank You for preventing me from drifting aimlessly or continuing in some type of unfruitful behavior. You are faithful to help me! Now, in response to Your leading and conviction, I bring this area of my life before You. I open it up to You, confessing that I need help with it. I turn over the key to my hall closet, Lord, giving You full access to deal with it as You see fit. I welcome You into every part of my life. Come in, Lord, bringing Your light and life to every corner of my heart. I hand over the keys to You, Jesus. Amen.
Let’s Walk Together
What you and I have just prayed together represents one more vital step in your relationship with the Lord Jesus. We stand with you in that step, and for all of us at DPM, it is an honor to partner with you in the decisions you make to draw closer to the Lord. Please let us provide further support through some encouraging messages and materials. You may want to listen to the complete message, “What It Means to Love God,” from which we took the earlier quote from Derek Prince. We are glad to make this available to you free of charge, just use the download link below. It is our way to thank you for your prayer support and for your financial involvement with DPM, enabling us to continue this ministry of service to the Body of Christ. Our only wish is that more people might be able to encounter Derek’s life-shaping materials. Thank you for your continued prayers and support to help in making that possible.
A Monumental Step
As I said earlier in this letter, our relationship with Jesus Christ is a series of baby steps of faith and obedience. In reality, however, what you and I have done today may not be such a small matter. Turning over untouched parts of our lives to the One who is best able to handle them—healing, cleansing, and restoring those areas—is a monumental step. What might happen as a result of the action we have taken today? Only the Lord knows for sure. One fact is clear: it is a new beginning for us, and that is huge! Years from now—perhaps even from the vantage point of our eternal home in heaven—you and I will reflect on the significance of what we just prayed together. Who knows what God may accomplish through our changed lives? Let’s continue to trust that Jesus will be greatly glorified by the step we took today—our decision to hand over the keys.