“Whoever finds their life will lose it, and whoever loses their life for my sake will find it” (Matthew 10:39).
Just what is involved with this business of building and establishing God’s kingdom? There are three dimensions for us to consider in answering the question of what God expects of us as followers of Jesus Christ. These are the things that separate deciders from disciples. Today, we’ll look at the first one: submitting to God’s rule in our lives.
It begins with our own personal transformations. Jesus taught us a very different way to live based on his truth, his values, and his priorities. We begin by submitting, by replacing our wills with God’s will for our lives. We commit to the lifelong process of becoming more like Christ. We make that commitment to be his disciple the top priority in our lives, organizing every other aspect of our lives to support that goal.
When I committed my life to Christ at the age of twenty-three, I understood that Jesus couldn’t be just another person I admired, such as Martin Luther King Jr. or Bishop Desmond Tutu. The Son of God is in an entirely different category. He doesn’t just speak the truth; he is the truth. He not only knows us intimately at the deepest level; he literally brought us into existence and wrote the owner’s manual. He demanded to become my North Star as I journeyed through life, providing meaning and purpose to everything I now do. And he invited me to become his partner in offering life in the kingdom of God to others.
This is how Paul described the one who has invited us to live in his kingdom under his rule:
“The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy. For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross” (Col. 1:15–20).
So we need to dispense with any notion that we can take this Jesus on our own terms, that we can simply add him to the structure of our lives, fit him into our plans, worship him once a week, and offer him a prayer whenever we need something. No, Jesus demands the total commitment of our lives in his service. We are called to enlist in his army and lay down every other priority in our lives at his feet.
Submission and conformity are often negative actions, but when we’re submitting or conforming to Jesus, they are in our very best interest. Why?
Lord, thank you for becoming a man and showing me your love in human form so I could better understand it. Please help me to be more like you and to want to be more like you.