I will never forget a summer evening in the John R. Rice Auditorium when I was seventeen years old. I remember deciding that night that whatever God wanted me to do, whoever He wanted me to be, wherever He wanted me to live, I would surrender to it. That is a good decision to make.
However, I have learned that surrender to God*s will is not exactly a one-time decision. I can make a big decision to do whatever God wants, yet not be surrendered to God if I*m living selfishly in the moment.
So, who owns your life, and how would you know? You don*t know merely by looking to some big, all-encompassing decision, although that is definitely part of it. How do you know then? Well, King Hezekiah was a man who was tested as to who owned his life. What you learn from this story is that one of two characteristics, prayer or pride, indicates who it is that owns your life.
When King Hezekiah and his kingdom were attacked by Sennacherib and the Syrian army, he prayed to God. King Hezekiah*s attitude was, *God, we are your people. This man is blaspheming you. This is something you have a vested interest in.* Indeed, this wicked Assyrian, Sennacherib, spoke against God three times.
When God answered Hezekiah*s prayer and delivered Judah, He is the one who was *magnified in the sight of all nations from thenceforth.* God owned these people. These were His people and this was His problem. So, prayer indicates that God owns me.
On the other hand, pride indicates that I own myself. When King Hezekiah later enjoyed a sense of security and prosperity, he did not give God thanks. He was lifted up with pride. He owned himself and his prosperity. Prayer indicates that I have surrendered to God; pride indicates that I have surrendered to self.
While prayer results in thanksgiving, pride results in worry. This is a battle we fight every day. A life of peace and guidance is characterized by dependence upon God. This looks an awful lot like prayer on one hand and like thanksgiving on the other.