Written on August 5, 2019

This morning I woke up thinking about the final point in my message yesterday: Remain resolute in following Christ. The words Follow Me continued to pound in my head and penetrate my heart and I began to wonder if I had given enough attention to this point in my message (and in my life). Often times on Monday morning I will awake with fresh new thoughts after preaching that I only wish I had included in my message, but have come to realize they are simply a blessing of the Holy Spirit in helping me personally to apply what I have been preparing and preaching.

As I reflect today about different areas of my life (marriage, family, finances, health, ministry, planning, friendships, responsibilities, etc.) I realize how I have a preference to set my life on autopilot. In other words, I like to spend time with Jesus until an area is working and then I’ll just continue the same behaviors or thought process until something no longer works in that area. Then I frantically repent and try and fix it. At other times I may even neglect considering an area in my life that is not optimum for Christ because I like to tell myself, “you just can be good at everything.” That’s my way of making excuses for not allowing the light of Christ to penetrate an area I know that He would change.

My pain in reflecting on this is that I am realizing how easy it is to be religious without allowing Jesus to truly be the Lord of my life. Certainly, I trust Jesus Christ alone as my personal Lord and Savior and have surrendered my life to Him. However, in practice, I often seek a level of complacency that seems satisfactory according to the current culture of the Christian landscape where I can simply coast. That way when people see me they will know that I am reading my Bible and praying and preaching and sharing my faith and other religious activities. In that vein, I can also deflect more penetrating questions the Lord may be asking such as, “How are you using the time I have given you? How are you aligning your personal priorities with what I consider most important? How are you being personally obedient to what I am showing you regardless of what I do in someone else’s life? Are you allowing Me into every area of your life? Is there any sin you need to confess and forsake? Is there anyone you need to forgive? Are you taking the steps of faith I have showed you to take?”

You see, a life lived with Christ is an ongoing, moment by moment journey into a greater depth of intimacy with Him. The words Follow Me are simply an invitation to a journey. So how do I journey with Christ? The simple answer is aligning myself with His Word and being obedient to everything He shows me. It means opening up God’s Word with a heart prayed up and filled with faith that says, “Lord, as I look into your word today, please teach me and prior to reading today I want you to know that my answer to whatever you ask of me is already ‘Yes Sir.’”

I believe that when I lose the joy of my salvation it is because of my desire to turn this exciting adventure of a life with Christ into a life of rules and regulations that simply keep me from experiencing the ongoing life-giving, world-altering joy that the Holy Spirit provides. Making the Word of God my authority for all areas of my transforms an everyday, ordinary life into a life that Christ not only indwells but fills with His power and uses.

So again,  I am saying this morning, “Lord, I surrender my life afresh to you.”