What does it mean to follow Jesus Christ? What does it really, truly mean?
This post is more of a pondering in writing, it is my inner thoughts, and conversations with the Lord.
So without further ado..
What does it mean? There seem to be so many different ways to follow God, to be a Christian. There are so many different denominations, and traditions. There are differing opinions. I personally do not believe this should be so.
I often think of how different Christianity looks depending on if you read the bible, or if you look at the followers. I am not good, nor do I expect others to be. However, in my search for Truth and understanding of what God asks of me I found many differing opinions and lifestyles. How and why is this? I believe that the basic call of Jesus, is to lay down your life. By declaring Jesus as the Lord of your life, you are simultaneously giving Him your life. You are dying, nay, have died already. You died with Him on Calvary.
The question then, is what does it mean to die to yourself? What does it mean to give Him your life? I believe it is quite literally offering all that you are; your hopes, dreams, family, friends, home, job, opinions.. Everything. Offering all that you were, before you became a new creature in Christ, on the fiery altar of Holiness, to be purified and used by and for the glory of God.
I think it is very hard for us to understand and accept that when we give Him our lives, we are no longer here for ourselves, we cannot claim ownership of this body. To be a Christian isn’t just that we continue to live our lives, except now also striving to become more like Jesus. No. We are to surrender our lives, everything that they contain, so that it is the Will of God that now works through us, we are as living hosts for the Spirit of God. We have to be empty shells, ready for the infilling of His holy Spirit, living sacrifices.
“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.”Romans 12:1
“Do you not know that when you offer yourselves as obedient slaves, you are slaves to the one you obey, whether you are slaves to sin leading to death, or to obedience leading to righteousness?”Romans 6:16
“Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own?”1 Corinthians 6:19
I struggle with this, and to some extent, I imagine most if not all of us do. This is a hard, and foreign concept. We have the world now spouting about individuality, and living your best life, and all this. It is to be expected. What is not to be expected is that we follow the ways of the world. Remember that Jesus tells you to count the cost of following Him, and He meant that. It is a call to die, and be hated of the very world you were raised in. It is also a call to life eternal, to a holy life in Christ, a call to be not introduced, but reunited with our Father that made us. But it is not something to take lightly as we have for so long.
“Large crowds were traveling with Jesus, and turning to them he said: “If anyone comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters—yes, even their own life—such a person cannot be my disciple. And whoever does not carry their cross and follow me cannot be my disciple.
“Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Won’t you first sit down and estimate the cost to see if you have enough money to complete it? For if you lay the foundation and are not able to finish it, everyone who sees it will ridicule you, saying, ‘This person began to build and wasn’t able to finish.’
“Or suppose a king is about to go to war against another king. Won’t he first sit down and consider whether he is able with ten thousand men to oppose the one coming against him with twenty thousand? If he is not able, he will send a delegation while the other is still a long way off and will ask for terms of peace. In the same way, those of you who do not give up everything you have cannot be my disciples.”Luke 25-33
walk into the light,
that you may die,
and in doing so,