Not long ago, I wrote an article on orienting your entire life around Christ. I want to develop that idea further because I’m not there yet and feel Jesus isn’t through working on me in this area. There was a time when people would spend their entire days working their farms, fields, and flocks. Survival was synonymous with life. Leisure time was a luxury rarely found. And yet, when Sunday came around, almost everyone was in church.
Prayers were said around the table and before bed at night. Scripture was read by the fire before turning in. The whole of life was oriented around work and God. It harkens back to the first week of creation, when God worked six days and rested on the seventh to enjoy the work of His hands (Genesis 2:1-3). It’s almost like He knew what He was doing and defining a pattern for the way His people should live. Imagine that.
There’s a progression to the orientation of our lives. It begins with our motivations. Why do we do the things we endeavor to do? Everything we do should be to bring glory to God. It’s the reason we are here. When our motivations derive from anything other than glorifying God, we are orienting our lives around ourselves and, in a very real sense, looking to bring glory to ourselves instead of our Father.
Step two in the progression of orienting our lives around Jesus focuses on our desires. Are the things we desire what Jesus would desire? A better question might be, “Are we desiring the things of God more than our selfish desires?” What we desire becomes what we will pursue.
How about our thoughts? What is consuming them? Are we thinking of how to further His Kingdom or how to build our own? In our crazy world, thoughts are coming a mile a minute. We have much to think about and much to consider. How many of those thoughts center on the majesty of Jesus?
Next comes our choices. When push comes to shove, are we making decisions that benefit ourselves or the Kingdom of God? The big obvious choices are easier than the subtle choices we make around spending our time and choosing our words. Every choice is important. Every one of them matters.
The last step in the progression of orienting our lives around Jesus would be our actions. We can all talk a good game, but what do our actions say about how we are orienting our lives? Actions are often public. The world sees what matters most to us by observing what we do. Our actions tell the true story of what’s in our hearts.
When we are motivated to orient our lives around Jesus, we will desire Him above everything else. Our motivations will influence our desires, and our desires will dictate our thoughts. What we think about informs our choices, and our choices determine our actions. Our actions define who we will become. Motivations, desires, thoughts, choices, and actions. When we do not orient any one of these areas around Christ, none of the others will be either. This is why surrender must be unconditional (Luke 14:26-27,Luke 14:33). If we don’t orient every area of our lives around Jesus, we won’t orient any area around Him. It’s all or nothing, and it’s time to go all-in with Jesus.