the world behind me.

I saw a post the other day about bold surrender to Christ and it hasn’t left my mind.

I keep seeing whispers of the same message everywhere. When I opened my devotional book yesterday morning. When I pulled up Pinterest on my phone. When I turned to a random page in my Bible. In the song that started playing when I hit shuffle in the car.

Jesus’ command to take up my cross and follow Him. The command to put to death any desire that is not Him. The command to be set apart for His Kingdom.

I know this command well. I’m so familiar with the verse. “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will save it.” (Luke 9:23-24) Yet I must admit, I have avoided this command so many times. There have been moments where I was prompted to share the gospel with someone and I ignored it. Times where I was invited to partake in something I knew I shouldn’t have, yet went along anyways. Moments where I loved the things of this world far more than the things of the Kingdom. I have been selfish, greedy, judgemental. I have cared far more about what others thought of me than what God thought of me.

And I am feeling so convicted. Like all of this time has been wasted chasing the things of earth. Like I have spent so many years craving human approval that I didn’t need and putting value on temporary things. My spirit desperately craves Jesus and yearns for more time spent with Him and to know Him more, but my flesh stills loves the things of this world.

God has called me to leave behind anything that does not bring me closer to Him. He has called me to live my life entirely for His glory. He has called me to be set apart, to look different from everyone around me.

How can I do this if I still act the same as the world? If I watch the same shows, listen to the same songs, go out to the same parties, wear the same clothes, use the same words, indulge in the same things, have the same kinds of relationships? I can’t.

I remember the days where all I desired was to fit in. I would have done anything for it. How funny it is that now I pray that I will look different from everybody around me, that I will stand out as someone who radically loves my Father.

I am learning constantly that there is so much more to being a Christian than just going to church, listening to worship music, and having a Bible verse in my bio. I am learning that being a follower of Christ means dying to my own desires, and surrendering control to Him. I am learning that it looks like being bold and saying yes even when I am afraid to do so. That it means losing friends and not being invited to certain events. It is glorifying Him with every single word I use, action I take, and choice that I make. It is the realization that anything the world could offer me will not bring lasting satisfaction, but that Jesus is MORE THAN ENOUGH.

I know that there are still times where I don’t measure up, where I don’t follow all of the commands of the Bible perfectly. There are times where I give in to what I want instead of what the Lord wants for me. But He walks alongside me and teaches me with grace. He picks me up each time I fall down and says “hey, let’s try this again.” And slowly but surely, I know that my earthly desires will begin to fade.

I am typing these words and listening to the hymn, “I have decided to follow Jesus.” It is just so beautiful.

“I have decided to follow Jesus;
I have decided to follow Jesus;
I have decided to follow Jesus;
no turning back, no turning back.

Though none go with me, I still will follow;
though none go with me, I still will follow;
though none go with me, I still will follow;
no turning back, no turning back.

The world behind me, the cross before me;
the world behind me, the cross before me,
the world behind me, the cross before me;
no turning back, no turning back.”

Father God, tune my heart to the desires of Your Kingdom. I know Your will is better than mine. I know You are the only one who can satisfy the longings of my heart. When they see me, I pray that all they see is YOU. The world behind me & the cross before me, no turning back.

Britt

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