Some are under the incorrect impression that the Christian lifestyle is an easier way of life, that misinformation couldn’t be further than the truth. When one chooses to be more like Christ, they are literally choosing the hard and narrow path, that only warriors dare to tread.
When you accept Jesus as your Savior, it’s not that you’re saying – “Everything is going to be rosy now!”, you’re actually saying, “I know I’m going to want to do one thing, but that’s not what I should be doing, so this is going to very difficult, but so worth it”. The closer I get to Jesus, the more I have to fight my flesh. It’s no contest at how badly I want to tell people what I think of them when they cut me off in traffic, when I see some ignorant person explain to me why I’m intolerant, hypocritical, a bigot, etc simply because I have different views, or when they call me at work and treat me like I’m an idiot – instead, I swallow that bitter pill of letting people have a taste of their own medicine and have to ask God to give me strength to resist my flesh and lots o’ grace, so I can give them grace or I might get fired today (which is still a fleshly and worldly way of thinking – but I’m slowly getting closer to where it’s what Jesus would do instead of what Dawn would do – Not today Satan).
We’re human – so it’s natural for us to be selfish and think of only ourselves, but it’s Christlike to put the wants and needs of others before ourselves. Our flesh wants what it wants, even newborn babies are born selfish – duh – it’s hard work to train ourselves to think of others BEFORE ourselves (biggest struggle for me personally). We cannot attempt to lead a life of discipleship unless we are able to put our efforts into following Christ. Being more like Christ isn’t about religion or rules either: Jesus loved the unlovable, Jesus healed the sick and diseased, Jesus walked away from those who were full of hate and religion and called them out for what they were – He didn’t care about man’s popularity, Jesus had compassion, Jesus loved mercy and justice, Jesus prayed with sweat of blood because of his natural reaction of having to suffer the cross – but that didn’t stop Him – Jesus gave all for us, so we could freely accept His sacrifice and have eternal life.
“And whoever comes to me must follow in my steps and be willing to share my cross and experience it as his own, or he cannot be considered to be my disciple.
All who seek to live apart from me will lose it all. But those who let go of their lives for my sake and surrender it all to me will discover true life!” Matthew 10:38-39 TPT
Yes, pick up your cross – why a ‘cross’ because it’s a sacrifice, this is no cake walk. We have to learn to put down the smartphone, look away from the TV, turn away from the endless babble of poisonous information drowning ourselves 24/7 in an endless stream of noise. We have to pick up our Bible, spend time daily in God’s Word, time in prayer – make specific time outside of the hustle and bustle that this world wants your to believe you must be busy in, “Garbage in, Garbage out” is what happens to our hearts and minds when we can’t refresh, recharge and renew our minds!
Do not allow this world to mold you in its own image. Instead, be transformed from the inside out by renewing your mind. As a result, you will be able to discern what God wills and whatever God finds good, pleasing, and complete. Romans 12:2 VOICE
We can’t be transformed without effort, no different than if you want to be healthier, you have to change what you eat and what you do. Don’t hand the keys of your soul over to the enemy so readily, God created you for a purpose – when you willingly surrender your mind over to the world’s easy living – your heart and soul won’t be far behind.
Especially when we live in a society that tries to convince people that they now have this ability to create their ‘own truth’ to make them feel better about their choices. We’ve allowed the lies that a baby in the womb is somehow not a real baby because it wasn’t chosen or planned simply because of inconvenience in a self-gratifying world. There is no accountability let alone accepting responsibility to one’s actions in this day and age, it’s the age of offense and something painted as ‘tolerance’ but in reality is “just agree with my view or you’re wrong”.
“For even if you were to gain all the wealth and power of this world with everything it could offer you—at the cost of your own life—what good would that be? And what could be more valuable to you than your own soul?” Matthew 16:26 TPT
If you see people falling away from the Christian faith, it’s not because the Bible or the teachings have changed – it’s because people have declared that they are weak and they have chosen to give in to their newly accepted and comfortable sins over the saving grace and mercy that Christ gave them. It’s not some fabulous freedom they’ve just discovered, no, it’s just them giving in to the demons that fight them instead of realizing that the demons have already lost – they just needed to stand their ground for a little while longer. Believe me, I feel like I’m going under and I know these words will only make them attack me all the more harder! No, I’m not saying I’m strong, or I’m even able to continue to fight – but I am saying, I’m not going down without swinging!