January 22, 2011

Are We Willing?

Chew on this question if you will: What are you willing to sacrifice for following Christ? That question is painful in a good way. It just cuts right to the throat. I've been consistently asking myself this question for the past two days and I have to admit, the answers were very convicting. I never knew that meditating on such a question could be so painful yet revealing at the same time. What am I willing to sacrifice for following Christ? Oh my goodness! There's a difference between knowing the right answer and knowing your answer. Sure, I know the right answer is everything. But is that my answer? This question, so easily stated, has been really eating at me because I know that in my heart, I want to hold on to things that I desire to have in my life and follow Christ. But it just doesn't work that way! Following Christ isn't about having luxuries because we're serving Him! In fact, it's the opposite: following Christ invites difficulties, hardships, even uncomfortableness (and yes, that's a real word). I don't say this to scare any born-again Christians off, I say this because it's reality; it's what following Jesus Christ is all about! Now I'm not saying that everything bad is always going to happen to you and your family if you follow Him, I'm just saying it's not going to be always peachy and comfortable. Just look at the New Testament, particularly in Philippians chapter 4. The apostle Paul says this to the believers at Philippi, "10 I rejoice greatly in the Lord that at last you have renewed your concern for me. Indeed, you have been concerned, but you had no opportunity to show it. 11 I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. 12 I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. 13 I can do everything through Him (Christ) who gives me strength." Paul is in prison writing all of this and these are the types of things (and it only barely scratches the surface) he dealt with because of his ministry for Christ. He had a tough life, but he was so happy to live it! To him, it was amazing! It wasn't always easy, yet it wasn't always bad! He literally gave up everything to follow Christ! The problem is, there doesn't seem to be many willing Christians nowadays who are willing, much more, actually giving things up for the sake of following Christ. I'm battling this proposition set before me by God. Am I willing to give up and sacrifice everything for Christ? Am I willing and ready to sacrifice, friends, family, a job, a car, comfortable living, and dating? Am I willing to give it all up to serve Christ whole-heartedly? I'm getting there. He is more and more placing this passion on my heart every day! In fact, people will probably look at me and say, "Dude, he's crazy! He gave up everything for nothing!" But would it really be for nothing? Absolutely not!

    So right now, even as I type this, I'm giving up the possibilities that this world could give me (notice the word "possibilities", meaning that it's not certain) for the wonderful things God can and will do through me! I'm bubbling inside with this extremely crazy passion of being in youth ministry and following God into a mission field that deals with the next generation of people, yet I feel like everything is at a standstill for the time being. Perhaps it's the calm before the storm? I don't know. But what I do know is that, beyond a shadow of a doubt, God is leading me into ministry! Some may leave me for this reason and some may join me, but no matter what, God is leading and in charge of it all!

What are you willing to sacrifice for following Christ?

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