It was an exciting time for Singaporeans on Friday, 10 July. I queued for about an hour in the heat, sweating profusely, to cast my vote. “Democracy is tough,” I joked with my friends, “but it’s a privilege to exercise our civic duty.”

There were some surprises in the results, but what struck me was the underlying system and what it means for how Singapore is governed. In our parliamentary system, a simple majority is needed to govern the country.

How about our lives? What is needed to “govern” us as individuals? Will a simple “majority” be enough for God?

I doubt it very much. God does not just want 51 per cent of us. He expects 100 per cent of our heart, mind, and being; He desires 100 per cent obedience from us.

Jesus said that the first and great commandment is to “love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind” (Matthew 22:37). In fact, we are to love Him more than our parents, children, and even our own lives if we want to follow Him (10:37–39).

This is not easy, as the Parable of the Sower shows. Jesus notes that some will lose their faith when they encounter troubles or temptations of the world (13:20–22). Though they had received the word joyfully, they will fall away and prove unfruitful.

How can we ensure that we will not fall away? In Romans 8:5–8, Paul urges believers to set our minds on godly desires of the Holy Spirit, and not on worldly desires of the flesh. While we may be tempted to pursue temporal treasures like wealth, success, status, and power, true disciples of Christ seek the things of the Spirit, which not only give us life and peace, but also make us pleasing to God. The Spirit lives in us, and we belong to Christ.

So how can we be true disciples?

First, let us be fully convinced and assured of our identity in Christ. Paul reminds us: “There is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus” (Romans 8:1). Jesus’ sacrifice for us on the cross and His resurrection mean that we no longer need to doubt our status as forgiven children of God.

Second, let us allow the Holy Spirit to help us set our minds and thoughts on God. Too often, we rely on our own finite strength and wisdom to live by God’s way. But we need the Holy Spirit to truly transform and renew us. Only His work of sanctification in us can move us from giving Christ a simple “majority” in our lives to having a 100 per cent divine mandate, so that we may live in complete surrender to God.

Let us cast our “vote” to give our lives completely to God, that He will reign and govern over every aspect of our lives. God is worthy of our 100 per cent divine mandate.

 

This article was first published in St. Andrew’s Cathedral’s 9am Service Facebook page. Adapted with permission.

 

Lord, I want to submit my heart, soul, and mind
to you 100 per cent.
May Your Spirit sanctify and transform me,
that I will live in total surrender to You.

Rev Hambali Leonardi is a priest at the Church of the Ascension. He writes for our Spotlight Singapore webpage and has contributed articles offering biblical perspectives during the Covid-19 pandemic.

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