Recently, I have been really challenged about what it means to be a Christian. I have always thought a Christian was someone who went to church, had devotions, and kept up a decent testimony before others. That’s what I’ve been doing, and I’m even attending a Christian university! How much more “Christian” can I get? But recently, God has really been showing me what it means to be a true Christian. And I’ll tell you this – it is far more extreme than I ever imagined it to be.
Jesus said in Luke 9:23, “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.” Now it is true that going to church and having devotions is part of following Jesus, but there is so much more than that. Jesus has called us as Christians to live a life that is set-apart for Him. He wants us to reject the things of this world and follow solely after Him.
Becoming set-apart for Jesus first starts with dedicating ourselves to Him. We must declare that we are His alone. Then, we must silence our selfish side. This is where it gets hard. When we decide to die to ourselves we are immediately entering into a continual battle with our flesh. But through Scripture reading and prayer, you can have victory over your selfishness. Lastly, we must come away with Him. To come away with Jesus means to completely turn aside from the pleasures and entertainments of this world so we can be unstained and spotless for our King. And to me, this is where living the Christian life gets extreme. Rejecting the pleasures of this world means not listening to the world’s music, not watching the world’s movies, not wearing the world’s clothes. It means not having all the toys and fun entertainment the world offers. It means spending more time in prayer than I do reading the latest fashion magazine. It means taking time to serve the poor and needy instead of going shopping with my friends. Jesus didn’t participate in the world’s activities when He was on earth; he was about His Father’s business. It should be the same for me, a Christian.
How about you – are you set apart for Him?