In whom or what do you place your trust? Followers of Jesus are quick to answer that we trust in God alone. I wonder how true that really is for you. Who or what in your life keeps you from placing your complete trust in your Creator? I know the way I live often betrays my assertion that I trust God for everything. If I really trusted God, would I be making so many plans to eliminate as much risk as possible from my life? If my trust was complete, would I spend late nights worrying about circumstances over which I have no control?
As followers of Christ, there are a couple of things we all believe. We believe He lived, died, and rose again. We also believe He will return one day to redeem His followers. If you aren’t a believer, some of that can seem hard to swallow. But for those of us who have dedicated our lives to Jesus, these are the basic truths that are as comfortable as breathing to us. Perhaps that’s the problem. As breathing requires no conscious thought, neither does the life that so many of us claim to be living for Christ. We believe the right things, talk in the approved manner, and even attend the obligatory meetings. As living a Christian life has become second nature, we risk eternal salvation not only for ourselves but for everyone who has not yet come to Jesus (Matthew 7:21-23).
In 2 Timothy 2:4, Paul tells us that “No one serving as a soldier gets entangled in the concerns of civilian life; he seeks to please the recruiter.” Each of us has been recruited by Jesus Himself to serve as soldiers in His army. Our orders are to further His mission and bring about the Kingdom of God here on earth. When we said yes to Jesus, we enlisted in His service for the remainder of our lives. We surrendered our individual wills and desires in deference to the plans and purposes of God. We are no longer our own, for we were bought at a price (1 Corinthians 6:19-20).
Everything we do for Christ, every one of His commands, comes back to a single word: love. Whether it’s seeking to bring justice to the oppressed or set victims of human trafficking free (Isaiah 58:6), we do this out of love. When we feed the hungry or provide clean water to villages that previously had no access to it (Matthew 25:35), we demonstrate God’s love. Using our time and resources to care for the single mothers or homeless people (James 1:27) demonstrates our love for them. Love is the key to every ill of our society. It is the salve for every wound and conflict. Love is the only answer, and it looks exactly like Jesus.
These days it seems to be the rage to write articles espousing the “The 3 Keys to This” or the “7 Steps to That”. Everyone seems to be looking for a quick fix or at least some concrete guidance to getting to where they want to be. It made me ponder what I might consider to be the keys to following Christ. If I could boil it all down to a few concepts, what would they be? As I mulled it over, I kept coming back to a single thought: think less about yourself. Perhaps following Jesus really is that simple.