Paul, called to be an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, and our brother Sosthenes, to the church of God in Corinth…. 1 Corinthians 1:1-2a.

This letter by the Apostle Paul, like many of Paul’s letters, is addressed to “the church of God” in his target city.  Paul need not have opened most of his letters in that way, including this one.  Having founded the Corinthian Church in Acts 17, Paul might very well have written the letter to “my church” in Corinth.

Of course, Paul understands that none of the churches he founded were his.  He knew that they only grew by the activity of God.  If the churches were to flourish, it required the involvement of the Spirit.  Paul knew this and most of us would certainly agree.

What is less obvious to many of us, is the extent of God’s ownership.  If God owns the church, it can only be because He owns all the families that have committed themselves to one another in the formation of that church.  If God owns your church, He owns your family.  The activity of God in our churches must necessarily begin with His activity in the families that compose it.  If your family is to flourish, that also would require God’s help.

If God owns your family, it must be because He owns each member of your family, including you.  The activity of God in your family must necessarily be mediated through you and the other individuals who make up your family.  You and your family members can only thrive with the intervention of the Spirit of God.

And if God owns you, it must be because He owns the elements or aspects that make up you.  He owns your body.  He owns your mind.  He owns your future and your past.  He owns your options and your choices.  If you are to flourish, it must be because God is going to work through various moments and elements of your life to engage His Spirit.

How often do we instead prefer to relegate God to some portion of ourselves, our families, or our church?  We somehow seem to think that God’s ownership and intervention in our lives will produce inferior results to what we can do on our own.  This is foolishness.  None of us has the wisdom, power, or love that God brings to engineering our lives and the lives of those around us.

God has a better plan for your life than you do.  If you want to know the fullness of God in any aspect of your life, begin by surrendering it to him.