How are we followers of Christ really going to change the world around us?
The answer to this question is simple, yet to implement it will cost us everything. In short, we will need to die to self and let Christ truly live His resurrected life through us.
The early church paid a high price for trusting Jesus as Savior and Lord. Becoming a Christian typically meant ridicule, and often resulted in the loss of property, physical torture, and even death itself. But those brave souls chose to take up their cross and follow Him because He offered abundant and eternal life that is found nowhere else
Nor did they wallow in self-pity. On the contrary, they considered it a privilege to suffer for Jesus. And as a result of demonstrating the life of Jesus, even in the midst of their pain, they attracted many others to follow Him as well. They experienced a mighty spiritual awakening.
When things for us are relatively comfortable, it’s tempting to view Jesus as just one of the many interests in our lives, rather than the central core of our life. When we succumb to this temptation, we begin to drift along and be “nice little Christians” rather than the dynamic Christlike Christians of the early church. Believers with this sort of blandness will have little impact on their world.
But when pain comes calling, we show our true colors. And only if Jesus is running my life will I, in the midst of the storm, experience genuine love, joy, and peace—qualities that will attract others to the Savior.
The question we need to ask ourselves is: How much really do we want revival of the church and spiritual awakening of our nation? Wouldn’t it be nice if national renewal could come as a pain-free, effortless gift from above?
In reality, there will be a cost—a big one—for each of us. We will need to give up living out of the flesh and surrender to Him daily, allowing Him to live His resurrected life through us. This is easy to say, but the flesh doesn’t give up without a fight.
Galatians 5:24 says, “Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.” The flesh is not neutral; it has “passions and desires.” And crucifixion has been called “death by torture.” It is far from pleasant.
So this process will be challenging, and at times scary, as we give up control to God. If you are like me, it may well require God, in love, allowing suffering and pain to come into your life to make you desperate for Him.
Are we willing to let God do whatever it takes to bring us to the end of ourselves and seek Him with our whole hearts?
My friends, as we look to what Jesus went through for us and consider how much dying to self and letting Him live through us will ultimately bless so many, including our children and grandchildren, it is a small price to pay indeed.