You may have heard this be said, “You’ve got to own your life,” or, “You have to own your journey.” You could apply this statement to various things like your vocation, education, relationships, and even your identity. There are many self-help books and teachings out there that are full of drivenness and performance and psychological tactics designed to push you to make something happen for yourself. But when I talk about taking ownership of your life, I’m talking about your spirit; the position of your heart with God. If you don’t know how to own your life, you may become a victim of circumstances and be unsuccessful and frustrated both in our daily life and in our spiritual walk with God.
The meaning of the word ‘ownership’ is the act, state, or right of possessing something. Many times, it is a struggle for us to own our personal journey. There are so many distractions around us and circumstances that we feel control us and move us in an involuntary direction. But God did not call us to be victims of the world; neither should we be washed around by our feelings. He gave us the power through His Holy Spirit to be overcomers!
The first step for how to own your life is to get out of passivity
The first thing we need to do to reclaim the ownership of our lives is to repossess it; it’s time to get out of passivity! Passivity is not our friend; it’s a snare that the enemy uses to keep us helpless and hopeless. Passivity makes us uncomfortable with our emotions; it seems easier to stuff them and numb them than to pay attention to what is going on inside of us and deal with it properly before God. It keeps us from being engaged with our feelings, with others, and the world around us. Passivity causes us to hold back and wait for life to happen to us. That is not taking ownership of our lives!
It’s time to make a decision, regardless of our feelings, to stand up and engage. We can ask God to help us pay attention to the deep things in our hearts that may be difficult to come to terms with. Only when those things are brought into the light can He help us defeat them and overcome them. These things may include traumas, wounding, betrayals, or personal failures. We can no longer allow ourselves to be held back by fears or insecurities in uncomfortable situations. Instead, we need to begin to trust God that He will help us through those things. With His guidance and perspective, we will have more clarity and peace of mind to re-engage in relationships and every other facet of our lives.
It’s time to wake up!
We have to make a conscious decision to get off our backsides spiritually, emotionally, and physically speaking, and find our purpose in the world again. Get fired up! We need to wake up and become more aware of what is going on in our minds.
Proverbs 25:28 says:
He that [hath] no rule over his own spirit [is like] a city [that is] broken down, [and] without walls. Proverbs 25:28 KJV
Think about what would happen to a fortress that has not walls or protection; anything that wanted to come in could strip it of everything valuable and destroy it. That is what our spirit is like when we leave it unguarded through passivity, and we don’t have God’s truth in our hearts to keep us filled and guarded. If we do not own our spiritual journey, anything negative and unclean can come in: rejection, envy and jealousy, unloving, fear, guilt, bitterness, etc.
But God’s Word says this:
For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. 2 Timothy 1:7 KJV
If we are activated and engaged with the Spirit of God, then we should be filled with His power, love, and have a sound mind. That is a mind that is well guarded and stabilized in the truth from the Word.
2. You need to know the Word!
That brings me to point number two. We need to know what the Bible says; we need to be rooted and grounded in the Word.
Like I said before, we can try all sorts of things out of drivenness and performance to try to get ourselves to where we need to be according to our understanding. But if we really want to be activated by God in His ways, we need to know His Word.
With our foundation firmly rooted in the Word of God, we will be able to rightly discern what we are dealing with spiritually. We’ll be able to identify anything that does not line up with God’s character.
What is God’s character?
It is the fruit of the Spirit found in Galatians 5.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, 23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. Galatians 5:22-23 KJV
When we find an area that we lack in, we need to change how we think, speak, and act to line up with God’s Word and His ways. That is how we own our life. We make decisions based on the unwavering truth of God’s Word, not our feelings or emotions, and not according to our understanding or intellect.
You are not alone!
The wonderful news is that we are not alone to figure this out on our own! When we ask Him to, the Holy Spirit will join us and lead us to the wholeness of understanding that we need to change our hearts and renew the pathways of our thoughts. But He will not overpower us, we still have to choose to yield and submit to God and His ways!
Deuteronomy 30:19 says:
I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, [that] I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live. Deuteronomy 30:19 KJV
This passage tells us that we have the ability to choose life or death, blessings or curses. We can choose the thing that God says will benefit us and lead to blessings, or we can follow the things that will destroy us and tear us down.
If we don’t know God’s Word, we will not be able to identify the right way to go. The Bible says that there is a way that seems right to man, but its end is death.
There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof [are] the ways of death. Proverbs 14:12 KJV
3. It’s time to take responsibility!
The final thing that will help us to own our life is to take responsibility.
I love the story of King David; God called him a man after His own heart, yet he was still just a guy who made mistakes like us. He had this incredible faith and relationship with God, but he also had his stuff; he had iniquity that tracked with him. The story that stands out is when the prophet, Nathan, came and confronted him about his sin after his affair with Bathsheba. Rather than defending himself, David responded with the brokenness we see in Psalm 51.
Have mercy upon me, O God, according to thy lovingkindness: according unto the multitude of thy tender mercies blot out my transgressions. 2 Wash me throughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin. 3 For I acknowledge my transgressions: and my sin [is] ever before me. 4 Against thee, thee only, have I sinned, and done [this] evil in thy sight: that thou mightest be justified when thou speakest, [and] be clear when thou judgest. Psalm 51:1-4 KJV
David stepped up and took responsibility for his actions. He recognized a problem in his life, and he cried out to God to help him make it right. That was not passive! He took action to revenge his disobedience, and didn’t blame anyone else or his circumstances. This is one of the most important aspects of taking ownership of our lives; we don’t place blame!
It’s okay to acknowledge that we’re human and we make mistakes sometimes
When we take responsibility, we acknowledge our faults, failures, and sin, and we repent before God. We don’t stuff it or push it off onto someone or something else. I love what it says in verse 4:
Against thee, thee only, have I sinned, and done [this] evil in thy sight: that thou mightest be justified when thou speakest, [and] be clear when thou judgest. Psalm 51:4 KJV
This is an important verse that is repeated in Romans 3:4:
God forbid: yea, let God be true, but every man a liar; as it is written, That thou mightest be justified in thy sayings, and mightest overcome when thou art judged. Romans 3:4 KJV
We need God’s judgment so that we can overcome the snare of the enemy. His judgment gives us instruction and corrects our ways so that we will not continue to follow the trajectory that will lead us to further destruction. If we cannot take responsibility for our actions, how can we regain ownership of our lives? We will remain stuck in the same old rut of the iniquity of our generations. Taking responsibility is an action that leads to growth and freedom.
All of this is summed up in one statement: stay engaged!
Pastor Henry always used to say that he had one temperature, and that was HOT! He was not lukewarm in his pursuit of God, and neither should we be. Be activated, get involved, choose to engage yourself with life, your families, your church- the body of Christ, with God, and His Word. Take ownership of your life and see what God does with it!
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