I was reading a devotion the other day from RZIM titled Easy Living and it forced me to stop and think about who I am.
Am I a Christian? Yes. That one was easy.
Am I a pilgrim? What does this even mean? What is a pilgrim? I think back on my recent humanities class where we discussed the pilgrimages to the huge cathedrals in Europe that the folks would make. Was it a once a year sacrifice? Or did it take longer to save up for that type of journey then?
Am I a disciple? This is where I want to be – a follower of Christ, not just one who believes But what are the characteristics of a disciple? What did the first disciples sacrifice to follow Christ? Their livelihoods, families, friends, social standing, even their lives. [cliché alert] If I was on trial today for being a disciple of Christ, would there be enough evidence to convict?
There’s a term that keeps coming up in different things I’m reading: the supremacy of Christ. I am certain He is better than anything else, but do my actions, does my life, reflect the supremacy of Christ?
A life lived exalting Christ would be free of idols; they’d be sacrificed in our worship of Him. Yeah, there are little idols in my life, but they are just tools to worship my true idol, myself. I sing songs every week declaring I will love only Him, serve only Him, worship Him alone, but I fail, often before I even get out the doors of church.
How do I sacrifice my life to live a life the reflects the supremacy of Christ? When I ask this, I know a good chunk of me is really asking, How do I sacrifice without any inconvenience or pain? Or even better, how do I sacrifice without really giving up anything?
I frequently find myself placing grace between me and the alter. Does God really want me to give up spending two hours a night reading about the world’s ills? If I just start giving things up, isn’t that a bit legalistic – that can’t be better than giving up something with which God has blessed me, can it? I can continue to rationalize myself away from sacrifice all day.
But now, miles away, I can see more clearly (though I’m not much stronger) that on the other side of sacrifice are even richer blessings – not health, or wealth, but a closer, deeper relationship with Christ.