A taste of what it truly means to live for God.
There is something so beautiful about coming to the end of yourself. Yes, that is probably the scariest and most uncomfortable place to be in, but it is the place where we can most clearly see the face of God. God makes Himself found by those who seek Him with all their heart but how can we seek Him with all our heart if we feel capable enough to live life on our own? God doesn’t want a portion of our heart, He wants all of it. He wants to be our everything, yet He can’t become our everything unless we are aware of our intense need for Him. Only the ones who become weak and small can have the privilege of making God their everything. Paul discovered this secret when he said, “For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong” (2 Corinthians 12:10, ESV). It is only when we are weak that we can start to truly depend upon Christ’s strength, and He can then have full control over our lives. John the Baptist said, “He must increase, but I must decrease” (John 3:30). This statement is powerful in itself but it becomes even more powerful when we realize that the man who declared it was the one Jesus called “the greatest among those born of women.” How is it that such valiant men of God were able to express such humility? It’s because they no longer lived for themselves but for God alone. We don’t hear this eternal truth much today. How could we accept the lie that God is more than happy if we somehow fit Him in our lives instead of building our entire lives around Him? In his book, CRAZY LOVE, Francis Chan puts it this way, “The core problem isn’t the fact that we’re lukewarm, halfhearted, or stagnant Christians. The crux of it all is why we are this way, and it is because we have an inaccurate view of God. We see Him as a benevolent Being who is satisfied when people manage to fit Him into their lives in some small way. We forget that God never had an identity crisis. He knows that He’s great and deserves to be the center of our lives. Jesus came humbly as a servant, but He never begs us to give Him some small part of ourselves. He commands everything from His followers.” When the rich young man came to Jesus and asked what he needed to do in order to have eternal life, Jesus answered, “If you would be perfect, go, sell what you possess and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me” (Matthew 19:21b). If we want to be a true follower of Christ, we must allow Him to become the center of our very existence, our one pursuit, our greatest desire. Everywhere we turn, we are assaulted by countless false messages about what being a Christian is all about and we need to be careful about not allowing them to fool us. The real message of the Gospel is radical and most people don’t want to hear it. Being a Christian costs everything. It requires laying down your dreams, ambitions, comfort, rights, ego, even your very life. Paul was able to be content no matter what because he no longer lived for himself but for Christ. He knew that his life was not his to live, it was Christ’s. John the Baptist found fulfillment in being small because he no longer lived for his own glory but for Christ’s. The authentic Christian life is not lived on the stage of self but on the altar of surrender. We can start living the Gospel life only when we die to ourselves. The abundant life Christ talked about is found on the narrow path, a road that is difficult and steep- so impossible to walk in our own strength, yet more than possible to walk through Christ. Everything of self must be consumed by God’s Holy fire. It’s only when we become nothing that Christ can become everything to us. Will you allow God to guide your steps on the road most never dare to take? It’s the only journey worth embarking upon.