For we are God's fellow workers; you are God's field, God's building. —1 Corinthians 3:9
It is intrinsic to understanding God's sovereignty that we realize what Paul meant when he said that Christians are God's field. He is showing that God owns us. This simply means that God has total rights to our lives. We have no private life; our private life is His. We cannot go on a two-week vacation and say, "God, I want a good time, and You have been breathing down my neck for most of the year. I would like a couple of weeks away from You." No, He'll go with us on vacation; we have no time that we can call our own. It is His time. We have no secret thoughts about which we can say, "God, I just don't want You to know about this." We do not own ourselves.
Does this disturb and annoy you? Or does this thrill you to your fingertips to know that you are bought with a price? It is true whether you like it or not! You are His; He owns you. You are God's field; it is not your field. For that reason God can do what He wants with you, and because you are His, you can't get rid of Him even if you tried. You may have said to God, "Leave me alone." But He didn't; He would not.
Because He owns us, God has no obligation to us. God ultimately takes the responsibility not only for saving us but also for our development.
Every virtue we possess,
And every conquest won,
And every thought of holiness,
Are his alone.
—Harriet Auber, "Our Blest Redeemer, Ere He Breathed,"
It is a mystery that God, who chose me in Christ before the foundation of the world, works for my growth.
Excerpted from When God Says "Well Done!" (Christian Focus Publications Ltd., 1993).