Much of our difficulty as seeking Christians stems from our unwillingness to take God as He is and adjust our lives accordingly. We insist upon trying to modify Him and bring Him nearer to our own image.
~ A. W. Tozer ~
~ A. W. Tozer ~
Living for Christ requires obedience and submission. It requires a willingness to give up self and follow Christ. It is no longer about me and what I want for my life. Following Christ means putting Him first and seeking His face daily for His complete will in my life. It also requires great sacrifice and unselfishness.
But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you. Matthew 6:33 (NIV)
To give God first place in our life means to turn to Him first for help, to fill our thoughts with His desires, to take His character for our pattern, and to serve and obey Him in everything. What is really important to you? People, objects, goals, and other desires all compete for priority. Any of these can quickly bump God out of first place if we don't actively choose to give Him first place in every area of our lives.
When I read this quote from A. W. Tozer I began to think about the authenticity of my Christian walk. Being real. Walking the talk. Leaving a legacy of Christian influence. Imitating Christ in every area of my life. I crave to be real so others can see Christ in me. I don't ever want to be responsible for leading someone astray because of false actions represented in my walk with the Lord.
Many times Christians give up and bail out during the journey. We fail to discover what God is unfolding around us because we give up before the ride is completed. Some of this response is a product of weak Christianity. We need to prepare ourselves for life's journey and the pitfalls that await us. If we are trying to survive on mere microwave prayers and drive-thru devotions we will never be ready when the enemy comes on the scene.
Then he said to all, "Anyone who wants to follow me must put aside his own desires and conveniences and carry his cross with him every day and keep close to me! Luke 9:23
Accepting Christ and serving Him is not a one time experience. It requires picking up our cross daily, carrying that cross and obeying God's Word. This is where many people fall short of successfully fulfilling God's will for their lives. People often remain in their comfort zones regarding their relationship with Christ and neglect to think about how necessary it is to renew their relationship daily with the Lord. A Sunday morning sermon will not carry us through an entire week of trials and turmoil. Serving Christ is a daily walk with Jesus. It requires cultivating a strong relationship with Christ by reading our Bibles and praying. It means striving to become more like Him every day.
Picking up our cross daily requires demonstrating Godly character and integrity in all areas of our lives. As Christians we are to exemplify Christ in every aspect of our lives. We are to be imitators of Christ. We need to strive to be more like Him instead of us trying to make Him more like us. This life isn't about US. Our focus, goals and ambitions must all be about what He wants for our lives.
So many things today are competing for our attention in this world. Obviously these things are most likely not God things. Many of these things are destructive and will certainly destroy our lives if we weaken to the temptation of the enemy.
As Christians we need to focus on cultivating a contagious attitude so that the unchurched will want what we have regarding our relationship with the Lord. God allowed us to come to Him for salvation even in our imperfect state, while we were still sinners. He is perfect and holy but He didn't wait for us to clean up our act and then allow us to come to Him. He accepted us just the way we were so we could ask God to forgive us right were we were of our sins. He cleansed us and made us white as snow at that moment. He wiped the slate clean. Our sins were forgiven and buried in the deepest seas.
God has a plan and guess what... You and I are in it! Isn't that exciting? He wants to use you and he wants to use me to further the Kingdom of God. That makes my heart jump with excitement. Serving Him is challenging and exciting. We never know what tomorrow will offer but we can know with confidence that our God will be by our side walking with us no matter what the day may bring.
Give Him priority today and thank Him for His awesome plan for your life. Tell Him how much you love Him. We owe God so much for what He has done in each of our lives. Be encouraged. God loves you!