not a fan. Pt. 2
Not a fan. Still.
I can’t help but to blog about this book because it has changed my life and the way I view my relationship with Christ forever. After figuring out that I have always been in love with the idea of Jesus, and that I’ve never actually been in love with him, this book has taken my heart on a journey to grow and mature in my walk with God like never before.
SLAVE FOR CHRIST.
At first, I was a little nervous reading that I was supposed to become a slave to God…then I realized that was just one more confirmation that I have been a fan my entire life. When we make the decision to follow Jesus, it is him inviting us to become a slave. When Peter was writing 2 Peter, he never introduced himself as Jesus’ best friend (which he was); he introduced himself as “Simon Peter, a slave…” Many other disciples refer to themselves as a slave instead of a friend.
If you think about it, slaves call their masters “Lord.” Unless we are slaves to Jesus, we have no right to call him Lord. To me, that was so eye opening. I’ve called Jesus “Lord” my entire life, but I haven’t ever actually been a slave to him.
What does it look like to be a slave for Christ?
“A slave has no rights. A slave has no possessions to call their own. A slave in Jesus’ day didn’t even have a personal identity. A slave doesn’t get time off or get to clock out at the end of the day. A slave doesn’t get to negotiate.”
“So out of love we become a slave to Jesus. When you finally surrender all that you have and all that you are you will discover the strangest thing. It’s only by becoming a slave to Jesus that we will ever truly find freedom.”
Becoming a slave might seem a little extreme or out of the ordinary to you, but let me explain exactly what my master will do for you. He will provide for you. He will take care of your needs. He will protect you. He has the power to forgive your sins. He will give you rest. He will make you his son/daughter. He will call you friend. My master will do all those things for you…just surrender.
We all know the verse “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.” This verse has a lot more meaning to it than I thought. Jesus chose the cross as his symbol for multiple reasons. It represents humiliation, suffering, and death. When we choose to carry our cross each day, we will carry those things. Jesus, the one who had everything, made himself nothing. He, who had the world at his feet, chose to come and wash the feet of the world. That’s humiliation.
Jesus was beaten until the verge of death, stripped of his clothing, and nailed to the cross. He was tortured for the world. That’s suffering.
Jesus hung on the cross, dying of suffocation, just so you can know him personally. That’s death.
Everyone hates the word death. We refuse to use it even when someone does die. We create synonyms to make it seem less real or not as bad. Well, dying is what Jesus is calling you and me to.
C.S. Lewis says it best… “Jesus didn’t come to this earth so that you would be better behaved or to tweak your personality or to fine-tune your manners or smooth out your rough spots. Jesus didn’t even come to this earth to change you. The truth of the gospel is that Jesus came so that you could die.”
When we die to Christ, we stop caring about ourselves. We aren’t concerned with others opinions, how much money we have, what kind of clothes we own…we are not worried about anything because we are dead, but alive in Christ. It’s when you finally die to yourself you become more alive than ever through Jesus.
I struggle with this so much. Nobody knows this, but I care a lot about what others think of me. I don’t want people to think I’m weak or that anything is ever wrong. I want to look like a strong Christian girl who’s got her life together. My friends, that isn’t the case at all. I am so broken. I worry, I stress, I fail every day, and I put my hope in other things besides Christ. These are just a few of the things I battle with daily.
I don’t know if I’m the only one, but I try way too hard. I want God to accept me. I attempt to be perfect for him each day, and that’s so wrong. Instead of just dying to Christ each morning I strive for perfection…which leaves me feeling defeated, hopeless, and like a huge failure.
I’m learning each day that trying harder isn’t enough and that the hardest part about following Jesus is that I have to die every day. Prayers are much needed on this journey. Thank you for reading. G3.
“The slogan is ‘Die Daily’ and the symbol is the cross.”