Following Christ does not mean that our lives won’t be thrown off course.
It just means we have what we need to get back on track.
“I did not come to make life easy for you; that is not my goal.”
For those of you who thought that following Christ would be easy, these are the words I found when I tried to understand Jesus’ words in Matthew 10:34.
” Don’t think I’ve come to make life cozy. I’ve come to cut—make a sharp knife-cut between son and father, daughter and mother, bride and mother-in-law—cut through these cozy domestic arrangements and free you for God. Well-meaning family members can be your worst enemies. If you prefer father or mother over me, you don’t deserve me. If you prefer son or daughter over me, you don’t deserve me.”
(The Message Bible translation)
I went to every version of the Bible to find a translation that made sense to me and one that would allow me to gain a better understanding of what Jesus was saying when He spoke to the disciples. This version helped me to make sense of the message Jesus was Conveying. He was clearly laying the landscape for the challenges His disciples would encounter in their obedience to carry out that which they had been chosen to carry out.
I’ve often heard people ask, “Why do bad things happen to good people?” and “Why me, Lord?” Circumstances will land at our front door and make their way into our lives quite intrusively as though they had the key to unlock our front door, come in and make themselves right at home.
There are many times when we are thrown off course from our routine lives because of an interruption that we didn’t see coming. These un-welcomed dilemmas will wreak havoc in our lives, unless we gain a clear understanding of why they have graced our doorsteps in the first place.
How do you deal with these unexpected interruptions?
- Understand Jesus’ preparation for this unexpected occurrence by remembering His preparation message to his disciples. Our first allegiance is to carrying out that assignment which God has given to us. In doing this, there will be obstacles standing in our way that we must be prepared to overcome. Every creature created by God has obstacles that must be overcome; Every animal is in the fight for survival. Why should we be any different?
- Accept the fact that where you are may not be God’s doing at all, but your own selfish attempt to do things “your way”. Remember Jonah and his unexpected encounter with a whale? Jonah was instructed by God to go to Nineveh to proclaim God’s judgment against it (Jonah 1). As is typical for one who is runs away from responsibility, Jonah chose to run in the opposite direction so as to avoid the discomfort he would experience by doing what he was sent to do. In his effort to flee from God (now, how crazy does that sound, but many people still do it!), Jonah fled to Tarshish. His choice to flee landed him in the belly of a whale for three days. Can you imagine how long that must have seemed? How long it must seem for you to be in the predicament you are in? What will it take for you to get out and how long? Jonah knew that the reason he was in his situation was because of his disobedience. He also knew that he would have to face the consequence of his disobedience.
If you have chosen to do things your own way, and not seek God’s direction in your life, you will undoubtedly benefit from asking God to show you where you have gone astray, repent and make the decision to follow his path for you and not your own, No matter how difficult it may seem, , following Christ requires a level of faith in God that He will make a way out of what seems like no way.
- Identify who’s behind the chaos. The enemy has a way of making us believe that others are to blame for where we are when it’s really him using people, circumstances or the ill-effects of our past to keep us in bondage. Your ability to recognize his devious work will eliminate your need to question, “Why me, Lord?” and enable you to use the weapons of spiritual warfare that God has given you as you wage war against the enemy and his plans to destroy you.
And He was saying to them all, “If anyone wishes to follow Me [as My disciple], he must deny himself [set aside selfish interests], and take up his cross daily [expressing a willingness to endure whatever may come] and follow Me [believing in Me, conforming to My example in living and, if need be, suffering or perhaps dying because of faith in Me]. Luke 9:23-24 AMP
Are you ready to take up your cross and commit to following Christ? Are you committed to fulfilling the assignment that God has for you?
Put God first, above all else. Following Christ means that you are willing to deny self and endure whatever may come in order to follow Him.
Will we experience trials and tribulations? Of course. Following Christ means that we are committed to living our lives according to God’s Word. When we do, we experience the peace and joy that only comes from following Him.
Any questions? I’d love to dialog…Just post your questions/comments below.