I am a Christian and even though I made the decision to follow Jesus over 3 decades ago, I’m still discovering what this decision entails. For one I’ve come to realise that being a Christian means death – obviously not physical death although we all will experience that at some point in time, but death to our ego and everything we hold dear. Basically it’s a form of death of anything that sits on the throne of our heart. Be it our past achievements, failures, disappointment all these have to be nailed to the cross of Christ and be done away with otherwise they hinder our growth in Christ. Case in point: Paul emphasises on all his achievements – his breed, tribal or racial identity in the book of Philippians chapter 2. He said all these he counted as dung (something of no worth) all for the of Christ. Jesus said we need to be ready to carry our cross to be his followers. This is not easy and that’s why we need the help of the Holy Spirit. On the surface we may say we’re followers of Jesus but gradually he’ll call our attention to things we have to die to. They’re aren’t necessarily bad but if they take his place in our lives they’ve got to go.
Making Jesus Lord means he has the final say in every area of our lives. This can bring serious struggles but like Paul we need to learn to surrender all to him for the sake of the gospel. His main desire in life was to know Christ. Question is how much am I willing to turn my back on in order to know Christ? Considering the price he paid for my salvation what price will I consider to high in order to become whom he has called me to be?
Jesus said anyone who lays his hand on the plow and turns back is not worthy of him. In layman’s terms I suppose he means the decision is a once and for all decision. I don’t choose to follow him when the going is good and then turn my back on him in tough situations: no matter what I face – ridicule, mockery, loss of employment, even loss of loved ones I must stay focused on my decision. He has assured me that in this world I’ll face tribulations, but to take courage because he has overcome the world. As a believer I am not alone. Jesus assured me that he is with me always (Matthew 28:20). Not only that I have the Holy Spirit in me. Depending on him and being with other believers help a lot. What I feel is the end of the world another Christian has gone through it or is going through worse. So fellowshipping with them helps me to carry on. Not only that when everything seems to go wrong and I start listening to worship songs that lift my spirit. Top that up with reading the Bible. All these are the means to carry on in faith and hope that the God who is my father has got my back. Even when nothing seems to work, someone may call me and share their testimony with me. That boosts my confidence in God that my case isn’t different. The Bible says many are the affliction of the righteous but the Lord delivers him from them all. So as I choose to follow Christ with my whole life I may face some detours on the road of life; the important thing is to stay focused. Nothing this world offers can replace Jesus Christ in my life. He has the answer to every challenge that I face. He wants me to take up my cross and follow him no matter what the popular opinion may be. And for the record following Christ will not hinder me from enjoying life but rather this is the key to life. Who else can make my life count more than the author of life himself!