Last week we talked about realigning our priorities as the first step in reducing chaos in our lives. It’s going to take a lot longer than a week for most of us to do this, but with God’s help we will succeed.
You’ll notice as we go along that each step is intertwined or connected with God. That is because we should never compartmentalize our faith or walk with God. So, Step 2 is getting rid of self. You may be wondering exactly what I mean. Let me explain…
We cannot be selfish, giving God only certain areas of our life. I’ve noticed many people in society today do just that. They hold certain aspects of their lives from God, like their political views, their social life, their occupation. They say they believe in God, but their political views don’t align with God’s Word. They say they are Christians, yet their lifestyle and social life does not reflect that of a Christ follower. People say they love God, but they don’t love His church and they do nothing to build His kingdom. We say we love God, but we pick and choose what we want to “believe” from His Word. The scriptures we don’t like, we choose not to “believe”. You know, our pastor always says at the end of life it’s not going to matter what we “believe” because we are not God. Our “beliefs” do not make truth. God’s Word is truth. Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life.” Jesus is The Word.
People say they want to go to Heaven, but they are not willing to live the life of a believer. Believing in God is not just an intellectual decision. Even satan knows there is a God. Believe in God means changing your lifestyle, surrendering your life, allowing God to mold and shape you into what He wants you to be. That means giving up sinful habits and taking on the nature of Christ. The things that are important to God are the very things that should be important to us.
The souls of people are what concern God most. We should be praying continually for the souls of others. We should be following the great commandment, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself.”
When we love our neighbor, we care more about their eternal soul than their temporary happiness. It’s just like loving my children. I want my children to be “happy”, but I’m not going to give them everything they ask for just to ensure they are “happy”. There are times when my children ask for things that would endanger them physically or spiritually. I love them too much to let them have that kind of “happiness”. And, God wants us to love everyone the same way.
When we love our neighbor, we don’t use and abuse them. I know many people in today’s society will think of any way they can to have a little more money in their pocket. They think they are entitled to have someone do for them. They’ll expect people to do more for them than they are willing to do for others. They’ll ask someone to do them a favor and expect that person to do go out of their way to do the favor for them, and then they do nothing in return.
God wants no selfishness. He wants all of you or nothing-total surrender. In order to become totally surrendered to God, we must stop being fans of Christ and become followers of Christ. We must do all we can to learn what Jesus was like, and allow God to change our lives into His image. Kyle Idleman wrote an amazing book that I highly recommend: Not a Fan: Becoming a Completely Committed Follower of Jesus.