I Lost My Life To Follow Christ.
“No soldier in active service gets entangled in the [ordinary business] affairs of civilian life; [he avoids them] so that he may please the one who enlisted him to serve.”
2 Timothy 2:4
If you’ve ever watched a movie about the military or state intelligence force etc., you’ll notice that the soldiers, when on duty, they are expected to leave their wives, children, houses, all they possess in order to focus on the mission in front of them. Same with the State special forces, the protection of the state and President is most important to them, because they have pledged their lives to such cause.
Also, if you say you truly love someone, what is expected is that, the person becomes your sole focus, your number one priority.
Are you aware that we are soldiers in love for Christ? We go in the name of the Lord, and it is expected of us as soldiers, that we lay off every weight and stay focused on the mission ahead without any distractions. What is considered as weight? Could be anything, action, thought, words, etc. that is not moving the gospel of Christ forward and around the world.
As a little child, did you ever compete in a race? maybe 100 meters or more. If you had the opportunity to, you’ll remember that while you were on the track, the only thing that mattered to you was winning that race. In that moment, all you chose to see was you finishing the race; top and strong. You forgot every other thing just so that gold medal would be yours. Accurate right? So even a little child can understand what is important in a race, he or she understands that they must finish the race with a medal on their neck, they must finish as the winner, how much more you?
I believe it’s the same with every committed athlete, passionate businessman, lawyer etc.
They all choose to let the unnecessary go, to get what they’ll consider the gold medal in their situation.
This is the same disposition Jesus expects us to have. Because dear brothers and sisters, we are on a race, 1 Corinthians 9:24 and on this race, the medal is a trillion times of more value than the physical one you see. The medal puts you in positions where you reign and rule with Christ! What a medal! He wants to be your focus now, so that you can finish strong and win. Paul said in 2 Timothy 4:7, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.” Does this sound like what a mere civilian would say, He fought a good fight? this means He considered himself an Army General for the Lord and for him to say he finished the race and went on to say He kept the faith, this means He completed his duty, leaving none left out. So it’s not impossible to live for Christ, it’s not impossible to preach the gospel to the world, it’s not impossible to be a soldier on the run for Christ. If it wasn’t possible, Jesus wouldn’t have asked us to. He gave us a charge, sending us out into the world! Mark 16:15
At the beginning of Christ’s ministry on earth, He told His disciples; to let everything go and follow Him. Matthew 16:24 , He said, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.” you must deny yourself? this means you must lose yourself, you must realize that it’s no longer Kevin’s life or Anita’s life rather it is Christ’s life in Kevin or Anita’s body. You can also see it as to forget yourself, if before you thought it was normal for you to lie, steal, smoke, club, hate, frown, etc. All of that must seize, because it’s no longer your life, it is Christ’s life at work in you. The carnal death doomed way of life has been supplanted with Christ’s glorious and victorious life. You have got to lose the old ways to gain the new triumphant way, which is Christ!
You must be thinking, do I really have to let go of these selfish ways, the bad habits? Must I lose myself to follow Christ? Can’t I keep doing these things and say I love Christ? No! No! No! A thousand times No!
Why do you think Paul went on to say in 1 Corinthians 15:31, He said, “...I face death daily and die to self” He had to take up His cross and daily follow Christ, he had to discipline himself daily so that in the end, he is counted among the qualified and he doesn’t miss out on what he went on preaching about 1 Corinthians 9:25-27.
Jesus also said in His word, ‘if you love me, keep my word’ John 14:23 , and when you study the words of Jesus, you’ll know who He truly is and all that Jesus stands for, you’ll understand His nature and Character. There’s no area of life that the word of God didn’t make provision for, if you want to know if what you’re doing is in line with Christ, study the word, don’t search on the internet, study His word and the Spirit of God in you will surely bear witness.
The song writer goes on to sing;
“I take up my cross, I daily follow you...
I’m not ashamed to shout my love for you my LORD!
Straight from my heart, I worship you...
YOU are the reason for LIFE!
Simply devoted to you...
I lose my life to follow you...
This life that I live, is not I, that lives...
But for me to Live is CHRIST!”
Wow! What a conviction! For me to Live is Christ. Make up your mind to run this race in such a way that you will win and obtain for Christ.