I don’t want to just live my life. I want to live my life for Jesus. It’s so easy to get caught up in the flow of day to day activities and cultural expectations. But if we live our lives like everyone else, we will have missed the point and wasted the years given to us by our Creator. Life for followers of Christ should be so much more than working in our jobs and hanging out with friends and family.
If we do those things without an eye towards building God’s Kingdom, then we are no different from those without Christ. Our lives must be different. You can not encounter the God of the universe and come away unchanged. If you have surrendered your life to Jesus, you are no longer your own. You are no longer like everyone else.
For too long the Church has become a group of people who are different from the rest of the world in name only. Our lives look like those of our neighbors save for the fact we might go to a house of worship for an hour on Sunday mornings. We’ve become so concerned with turning people off by our noticeable and unwavering commitment to Jesus that we’ve gone too far the other way and don’t look different at all. I’m happy to be called a Jesus freak. While it wasn’t always so, I would now wear the branding of “Jesus fanatic” with pride. Because the truth is, I am fanatical about Jesus!
I am fanatical about the love He demonstrated for me by dying on the cross for my sins. I am fanatical about the grace He gives me every day, choosing to overlook my faults and to use me for His purposes despite my obvious shortcomings. And I am fanatical about the mercy with which He covers my transgressions, intentional and not, every moment of my life. I am fanatical about the hope I have in Him because without Him I am nothing but a jumble of stress, despair, and anxiety. So yes, please call me fanatical. Please call me a Jesus freak.
It is for all these reasons our lives must look different from those of our neighbors. We can’t be content to drift through life enjoying the comforts and pleasures afforded to us and forget the very source of all blessing and goodness. Too much time is spent focused on things of this earth. We are concerned with what we’ll wear, eat, and drink. We obsess over our cars, our clothes, and our hair. The amount of time spent making sure we have the perfect Instagram and Facebook lives borders on the narcissistic. And all of it looks just like the world. None of it matters in the Kingdom. We should be trusting Jesus to provide all our needs (Matthew 6:31-33), and we shouldn’t be worried about what others think about us at all.
The only opinion that matters is our Father’s. He loves you regardless of whatever else is going on in your life. He loves you in spite of and through the mess. Your life doesn’t have to be perfect for Him, but it does have to be committed. It does have to be focused on His glory, and it does need to look different from the world. We are called to live differently. How will you live?