I went to a funeral today. The man who died had unconditional love for me. He accepted me for who I am and told me I was the apple of his eye. He adored me and cherished me, and all he could see in me was good. I was precious to him even when I was acting unlovable and when I doubted his love for me.
So, when he died, my heart broke. I lost my best friend and the lover of my soul.
My heart ached as I thought about his death, especially since the reason he died was so I could spend eternity with him.
I don’t deserve this Man’s love, yet he has extended it to me. Love this deep is hard to comprehend, and I’ll never fully grasp it. But the good news is, the grave couldn’t hold Him. This Man, Jesus Christ, is so powerful He raised Himself from the dead. A man like that is a man worth following, don’t you think?
Because of what He’s done for me, I can’t help but adore Him.
I can’t help but want to follow Him.
I can’t help but want to do all that He has asked me to do because my devotion to Him is off the charts.
Did you know this man has me wrapped around his little finger? Yeah, He does, and I’m not afraid to admit it.
Not only does He have my heart but He completes me. 🙂
And because I want to please Him, I want to do what He has asked of me; which is to follow and obey Him.
“If you love me, you will obey what I command. John 14:15
But I have one big fat problem with this command, and I deal with on a daily basis.
My soul is at war with itself.
It’s a constant battle I face. One minute I want to live for Christ by worshiping and serving Him. The next minute I want to live for me by worshipping and serving me.
I don’t really understand myself, for I want to do what is right, but I don’t do it. Instead, I do what I hate. Romans 7:15 (NLT)
3 Reasons Why I Follow Jesus Even When I Don’t Feel Like It
1. He poured out His blood for me.
Christ laid down His life for me. Therefore, I want to pour out my life for Him. I want to lift Him up for all to see.
And when I am lifted up from the earth, I will draw everyone to myself.” John 12:32
Although I say this in my heart, I can’t help but ask myself if my actions and attitudes reflect this pursuit. I know Christ is the Savior of the World, the Messiah, and King of kings. He is also the Lord of my life, but boy, I sure struggle with wanting to scoot Jesus off His throne and place myself up there. When I recognize the vileness of my heart, I tell myself I’m a throne-hoarder. I have to do this heart check on a daily basis.
2. He’s asked me to follow and obey Him.
No one has forced my hand to be a Christian. I am the one who has made this choice. And because of this, the least I could do is submit my will and surrender all to Him.
Then Jesus said to his disciples, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross, and follow me. Matthew 16:24 (NLT)
But sometimes I don’t give Him my all. I hold back because I’m fearful, filled with doubt, lazy, or just too comfortable with the status quo of my life. (sigh)
3. I want to listen to God and His Word.
I can’t call myself a disciple of Christ if I’m unwilling to follow the Word of God and the leading of the Holy Spirit.
Christ is all-knowing, and He lacks nothing. I, on the other hand, lack a great deal of wisdom, knowledge, discernment, grace, love, mercy, etc. And not only do I lack these things, but I have a tendency to depend on my own understanding.
Trust in the LORD with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take. Proverbs 3:5 (NLT)
And then there are times in my life when I’ve been deceived, or I’ve chosen to listen to the lies of the Enemy instead of God’s Word. Yes, I’ve said chosen. If I know what the Bible says, but I willfully make the mental, emotional, and spiritual decision to embrace and coddle Satan’s lies, then I’m making a choice. I know it’s ludicrous when I do this, but for some odd reason, these lies tell my mind and heart to follow Satan instead of Jesus. When I’m walking in my emotions instead of God’s truth, I’m basically telling myself that Satan knows better than Jesus. Ouch, that hurt to type out.
Then there’s the deception. I’d like the think I have enough wisdom and discernment that I won’t be deceived by the Enemy, but that’s just wishful thinking (and arrogant) on my part. I’ve been deceived in the past, and I’m sure I’ll be deceived in the future. No sense in being spiritually naive or prideful about this.
When your emotions or thoughts get hi-jacked by Satan, here are some things for you to consider:
If you’re swimming in shame (or drowning in it), then get out of the water of condemnation. Recognize that you’ve been swimming in the wrong water hole and head over to the Beach of Jesus where you’ll find water filled with grace, mercy, love, forgiveness, and acceptance.
Personally, I’m not shackled by shame like I once was. The Lord, in His infinite wisdom, has shown me how to break loose from my chains. My problem is more along the lines of fear and doubt. I have a tendency to hang out with these two troublemakers. In fact, I spend so much time with them that I even go to their tea parties and sleepovers which are hosted by Satan himself. But my sweet Savior is teaching me how to boot fear out of my heart and mind.
Day in and day out, I fall short of living for Christ. So I get back up and run back to Papa like a little child knowing that tomorrow is another day to please Him.
So then, those who are in the flesh cannot please God. Romans 8:8 NKJV
This Easter weekend, I want to encourage you to take the time to reflect on the sacrifice Christ made for you. Bask in His love and let His grace wash over your heart and mind. Trust Him and take Him at His Word even when you don’t feel like it.
Live a poured out life for Christ,