As a Christian in America, it’s very difficult to not live a Christian life filled with comfort and religious practices that we think will get us to Heaven. Today, very few preachers, pastors, and reverends teach the church what God’s word actually says. So much of God’s Truth has been watered down, skipped over, or just flat our ignored for the sake of retaining a certain amount of church members or partners. When the focus is to keep the numbers up, sermons become very surface level and vain. They turn into “feel-good” messages instead of God’s convicting Truth. Instead of pushing us to make disciples in the world and to follow Jesus, many messages today are focused on comfortable living and financial prosperity.
Jesus was very clear about what was expected of all who believed in Him. Matthew 28:18-20 reads:
And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”
This command is one that requires action and movement. This is not to say that we are all called to go abroad to share the gospel, but this is saying that if we are not doing this, we need to reevaluate our lives as Christians. As the scripture above shows, Jesus promised that He’ll always be with us. Since we know that we have His support through everything, why is it so hard for us to give up our comfortable lives for His sake? Isn’t He worth it? Of course many of us answered yes to that but do we really mean it?
We need to get to a point where we realize that our lives are not our own. In Galatians 2:20, Paul said:
I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.
Paul understood that his life belonged to Christ. Christ captured Paul’s heart in such an astonishing way (Acts 9). That encounter that Paul (Saul) had with Jesus transformed his heart and mind. Right after that experience, Paul didn’t waste any time sharing the gospel of Christ! Why does it take us so long to realize what our purpose is on this earth? Why do we hesitate to spread this awesome Truth that has been revealed to us? These are questions that I ask myself almost daily. My life has been interrupted by the convictions that our Lord and His Word has placed on my heart. I am challenging myself to not live comfortably and I want to challenge all other believers who will read this.
The scripture that challenged me was Matthew 16:24-26:
Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me. For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it; but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it. For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?“
There is nothing comfortable about denying yourself and taking up a cross! This call to give everything up for Him was one that I’ve struggled with and one that I’m still learning to fully understand. The following are a few questions I had floating in my mind after actively reading the above scripture:
- What does denying myself look like?
- What does He mean by taking up my cross and following Him?
- How much persecution is involved?
- Can I really do this?
I encourage you to not ignore questions like these (if you have them) but pray and ask God for understanding and revelation. He’s faithful and He gives us answers when we ask.
I want to abruptly end this post with a few resources that have helped me to begin to understand what it means to follow Him!
I am currently reading Follow Me, a book by David Platt. This book discusses, in much detail, what it means to follow Christ and how it is not easy or comfortable but worth it! I suggest that all Christians read this book. It’s quite amazing. If you have any questions about it before you read it or while you’re going through it, let me know and I’ll try to answer and help you as best as I could.
I also suggest watching this very challenging video below by Francis Chan. It’s real deep!!!! Francis Chan talks thoroughly about the part of Christianity that is of much importance but not talked about as much as it should be. It is very convicting.
***My awesome sister in Christ, Kirsten. N, shared this message with our vamily on our Spring Break trip last week! Shout out to her!!!!!***
I write all of this because it’s been on my heart for over a year now and it’s something that I’m still asking the Lord to help me understand. I’d rather not live than to live a comfortable life that is not pleasing to my Lord.
Please, share your thoughts and concerns with me! I pray that God’s Word continues to convict His people and that we not get comfortable in this life and miss the point. He’s worth all that we have and all that we are. Let’s forever worship Him in spirit and in TRUTH! Take His Word for what it is and what it says.
I love you guys and gals!!!! ❤ ❤
*Forgive me if some of my thoughts seem a bit jumbled. It’s very difficult to articulate this stuff. Pray for me! 🙂