This article is authored by Dick Leggatt, President of Derek Prince Ministries – USA and this comprises his January 10, 2014 Newsletter. Click here to receive the Derek Prince Ministries emailed E-devotional.
Have you taken some time to chart out the year ahead? Are your personal plans for 2014 pretty much in place? If so, may I suggest one simple but vital additional step to all your plans for the coming year—maybe for the rest of your life? If you are wondering what step I’m recommending, please feel free to read on.
“He Signed My Deed”
Derek Prince was a wonderful man of God. And his first wife, Lydia, was in similar fashion a wonderful woman of God. (The same was true of his second wife, Ruth — but for the purposes of this letter, my focus will be on Lydia.)
Lydia was totally committed to the Lord and to Derek all the way to the time of her passing on October 5, 1975. She brought tremendous maturity, spirituality and depth to their marriage, and her value as Derek’s wife and partner in ministry is inestimable. (The story of Lydia’s early ministry in Palestine contained in Appointment in Jerusalem provides a glimpse of the strength of her relationship with Jesus and her amazing life of faith — all of which were a significant treasure to Derek, who deeply loved and admired Lydia.)
As I was considering the topic of making plans for the new year, two of Lydia’s favorite hymns came to mind. The first is “He Signed My Deed”; the second is “He Paid a Debt.” Both of these songs pertain to the point I want to make in this letter, but especially the first one. Here are the lyrics:
He signed my deed with His atoning blood
He ever lives to make His promise good
Though all the hosts of hell march in to make a second claim
They all march out at the mention of His name
Because of what Jesus has done, and the commitment you and I have made to Him, our lives belong entirely to Him. He has paid for us, and we are His. It’s a good point to keep in mind as we enter the planning process for the new year.
Bought with a Price
The Scripture I immediately connected with “He Signed My Deed” is the passage from 1 Corinthians 6:19b–20 (NIV): “You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.” This passage, which is actually a warning against sexual immorality, contains a much more far-reaching principle of ownership. To whom do we actually belong? Through the payment Jesus rendered on Calvary, He has purchased us. He owns us — lock, stock and barrel. The implications of that reality extend to every area of our lives.
What is my point? It is perfectly acceptable for us to chart out our plans for the year ahead. In fact, it is a logical and responsible step to take. However, all of our planning has to take place in recognition that at some point — either before or after our plans congeal — we need to present ourselves and our plans to Him. It’s not a mere assumption on our part. We have to take a deliberate step to place our lives and our plans in His hands.
James 4:13, 15 (NKJV) deals directly with how we handle this responsibility: “Come now, you who say, ‘Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, spend a year there, buy and sell, and make a profit.’… Instead you ought to say, ‘If the Lord wills, we shall live and do this or that.’” It’s not a complicated point. In fact, it is so elementary as to be self-evident. When we are making plans, we need to remind ourselves that our Owner has the primary say in what we do, as well as how and when we do it. So we present our plans to Him as a matter of due diligence.
What Is Our Response?
In a wonderful teaching called “God’s Plan for Your Body,” Derek Prince talks about this principle of the Lord’s ownership of us. (A little later in this letter, we will offer to make this entire message available to you if you request it. I’ll give you fair warning in advance: Derek “quits preaching and goes to meddling” in the message, covering topics like taking care of your body correctly, etc. Of course, these are also “planning items” we all consider at the beginning of a new year, so it may be a timely and helpful (?!?) teaching for you to request.)
In the following excerpt, Derek talks about our response to the fact that Jesus has “signed our deed.”
“For you were bought at a price; … [What was the price? The blood of Jesus.] . . . therefore glorify God in your body.”
It’s very, very important to understand that Jesus redeemed the whole person: spirit, soul and body. And one reason why He redeemed the body was that it might become the temple of the Lord. The Lord is not going to dwell in a temple that hasn’t been redeemed — a temple that still belongs to Satan. He will not dwell there. Our bodies have been redeemed that God may dwell in them by His Holy Spirit. They were redeemed by the blood of Jesus.
What is the response that God requires from us? This is where it becomes extremely practical and is very important for all of us to understand. In Romans 12:1, Paul says: “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.”
What does God ask us to do in response for all that He’s done for us through the death of Jesus on the cross? How does He ask us to respond? To do what? To present our bodies a living sacrifice.
Why does Paul say a living sacrifice? He is contrasting it with the sacrifices of the Old Testament in which the bodies of the animals that were offered were first killed and then placed on God’s altar. He says, “Place your body just as really on God’s altar, but don’t kill it. Place it on the altar as a living sacrifice.”
Once you’ve placed your body on God’s altar, it doesn’t belong to you. It belongs to God. Everything that was offered in sacrifice on God’s altar became God’s. And that is exactly what God asks us to do. To present our bodies to Him as living sacrifices — to give up the ownership of our body and to put it in God’s hands.
That Simple, Vital Step
Are we ready to take the step of placing our plans and our lives in the faithful hands of our loving Father? Let’s do so together with the following prayer:
Lord, I confess that I have made my plans for 2014. They are all set to go, with one striking exception. I haven’t yet brought them to You.
Right now, Lord, with a deliberate act of my will, I place all my plans for 2014 in Your hands. In fact, as an act of reasonable service, I place my life afresh upon Your altar. It’s my way of recognizing and affirming that through Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross, You own me anyhow. I belong to You. But I want to confirm it today — especially as I embark upon this new year.
Lord Jesus, I am so grateful that You signed my deed with Your atoning blood. I proclaim the truth of the second line of that song as well: “You ever live to make Your promise good.” In spite of any disappointments I may have experienced in the past, I declare that You are able to fulfill every promise concerning my life. I trust You, Lord. You will bring it all to fulfillment.
I place my life, my plans and this coming year squarely in Your hands, Lord. Please bring glory to Your name in and through all that I do in the year ahead — and for the rest of my life. Amen.
To Make His Promise Good
Doesn’t it feel right to take this simple step? It may seem elementary, but you have invoked the power of the Lord through what you have just prayed. That’s a little bit of dynamite to start the year — so you should be very excited right now.
We’re excited for you. As we have told you many times before, we are so grateful to be joined with you in the work the Lord is doing in your life. We want to help in every way possible — and one of the best ways is by getting more of Derek Prince’s timeless teaching into your hands. As I promised earlier, we want to make the full message, “God’s Plan for Your Body,” available to you. Simply download it by clicking here.
I want to encourage you again concerning the prayer you have offered. That line from Lydia’s song is really true: “He ever lives to make His promise good.” You may have heard the Lord whisper to you about what He wants to accomplish in you and through you. Those are not empty words. They are backed by the full-faith guarantee of the Lord of the Universe. He is the One who will accomplish what He has promised concerning you.
Stay in Touch!
Please let us know how all of this works out for you through the year ahead. We are always delighted to hear from you. Your regular communication about what the Lord is doing in your life and how we can be praying for you is a tremendous blessing to us. We also want to say thanks again for the way you are standing with us through your prayers for DPM and through your wonderful financial participation with the work we are doing. Your help is making our work possible, and we are grateful beyond words.
Now let’s step with faith and assurance into the year before us. Because of the prayer we have offered together, our lives and our plans are now totally His. Jesus has signed our deeds with His atoning blood, and He ever lives to make His promise good.
Isn’t it wonderful to know that we’re not our own, but we belong totally to Him? Our lives and our plans for 2014 are in His hands!
All the best,
P.S. We deeply appreciate you and your partnership with us through your prayers and your financial support. Please allow us to encourage you further with the free downloadable message by Derek: “God’s Plan for Your Body.” Blessings!
Materials used by kind permission of Derek Prince Ministries.