I was listening to a song that inspired this particular post. Some of the lyrics go something like this: “I’m gonna follow, what else can I do?” This particular line struck a chord in me. Essentially it reminds me of being completely out of options. Nowhere else to turn but to Christ; no one else to lean on but Him. What a blessed place to be as a human being! Personally I have exhausted every other option in life. I’ve sought escape and refuge from everything but Him in the past and found absolutely no satisfaction, no fulfillment. The only satisfaction and fullness I ever found was extremely temporary and left me wanting only more to never find peace, that is, until I caught a glimpse of Christ.
Catching a glimpse of Christ leaves us with only a few options. Even fewer once we catch a full glimpse of His church functioning with freedom. The options go something like this: 1) Continue in sin only to be captured and killed by the enemy, 2) be a proclaiming Christian but having your heart set on material things such as money, job, family, friends, etc., 3) or hash it out with a family of believers, through the good and the bad. To the peaks of the mountains down to the deepest darkest valleys, all in the pursuit of Christ. If we aren’t fully captured and captivated by this Lord of ours, the other options will begin to look very appealing. Especially when the hard times come about. When the cross is visible, when our flesh screams for relief from this peril known as “sharing in the sufferings of Christ.”
So when we come to the reality that Christ is worth it, once our eyes are opened up to see Him and our hearts leap with joy at the hearing of His name, we begin to realize that there really isn’t any other option but to follow Him. Through thick and thin, through the trials, through the joys, through the heartaches and convictions. I don’t know about anyone else, but that’s the place I wanna be! To be as the Apostle Paul who, enduring great persecution, sufferings, imprisonment, hunger, thirst, and famine, was still completely sold out for Christ and His agendas. It seems as though Paul was out of options. It would’ve been very easy for Him, after being blinded by the Lord, to say the heck with it all and go back to being a Pharisee with plenty of comforts and power. But he didn’t, he was a man blinded by the Truth. Or the faithful disciples who waited for Pentecost. They sat waiting for the promised Holy Spirit. They, also, could have went back to their homes and jobs. Back to the logical way to live. But they didn’t. They too were men and women with hearts set solely on the Lord and His purpose. They pioneered through the new frontier know as Christianity, tread new ground for generations to come, including us. For you who have caught a glimpse of Christ, for those who have seen the other half, His body, the church, can you agree that there are no other options in this life but to pursue this Christ no matter the cost?
A good way to put it is are you willing to waste your life on Christ? Before I became a Christian I sat watching other believers self-controlled behavior, the way they never indulged in worldly practices such as pre-marital sex, drunkenness, gossip, slander, anger, etc. and I was always convinced that true-blue Christians were wasting their lives. To me, at the time, Christ was only a moral code, a set of rules and regulations keeping people from having any true fun in life. That was of course before I met my Lord. The merciful King of kings, the blessedness Son of the Most High. Now I’m sure I look like a fool to my past friends and possibly even to my family. But, oh well. It’s worth it. He’s worth it! I am a man out of options. Sure, I can do many things in this life. I have a knack for getting what I want when I want it (maybe that’s why I was so good at being a sinner…?). If I put enough effort into it, I could become a wealthy individual apart from the Lord. I could easily go back to the way things were, living day by day, hour by hour, off of my emotions, breaking hearts, destroying relationships. It would be quite easy…kinda. But oh could I!? How could I possibly let go of the hope that is in Christ Jesus? How could I turn my back on such a Treasure, such a King? Truth is, I really couldn’t. Even if I tried I would be utterly despaired. There’s something very special about knowing the depth and weight of sin. I find it amazing that before I knew Him I had absolutely no remorse or shame in my sinful acts. But now, even the slightest of sins, I very aware of the ugliness of my transgression. This can’t be taught, in my opinion. This has to be wrought by revelation from the Holy Spirit into one’s life before it can ever be grasped in its full.
Another supposed option would be to seek money and wealth over the Kingdom. To put riches ahead of Christ. I could very easily try my hardest to get rich as I attend church every Sunday and tithe every week. But, I’m already rich! I’ve already got “all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge” in Christ! So in reality, that’s not even an option.
It seems that being out of options is exactly where the Lord desires us to be as His children. The longer we are Christians, the less we will fit in with the world and its system. The longer we follow Him, the more we will begin to look like Jesus (not by growing beards or walking around in sandals. Unless that’s what you wanna do, that is). No, but our outward fruit will become more visible and apparent. Our different “gifts” will emerge. As we allow Christ to be our righteousness and our holiness, not on our own effort but His, our works and “good deeds” will become more of a second nature. Scripture will begin to make sense, our whole attitude and outlook upon life will change. Things will have a deeper meaning and appeal that were once seen as everyday occurrences. The conscience that was already there will become more fine-tuned as we begin to yield to it. We also soon find that with this newly fine-tuned awareness of sin, that our own self-efforts to “fix” ourselves is utterly useless and futile. We soon find that we seem to be completely powerless in overcoming selfishness, pride, lust, arrogance, anger, greed, etc. on our own strength. We begin to wonder why God would save us only to watch us try to be more righteous. Once we discover that Christ is our righteousness, humility, love, patience, and much more. The indwelling life of Christ, who is the Holy Spirit because They are One, becomes our refuge.
I am personally on a journey of discovery. A discovery of who I am, who I was meant to be, in Christ. Who the Lord created me to be. Not what the world or religion wants me to be, but His desire. I’m on a journey with Christ that has taken me to some great mountain peaks and down to the deepest valleys. I’m sure, better yet, I know, that there will be yet higher peaks and even deeper valleys. But all of the land is Christ. Every second of every day I’m walking with Him who rescued me. Him who has a desire and plan far bigger than me, far bigger than my agenda and plan, far bigger than the universe, even. I’m certainly no expert, I hope never to be one. But I do desire to be so engulfed in Christ that nothing else matters. That I can walk in the shoes of the Martyrs of the past centuries and walk, singing hymns and praises to God, as they lead me to the fire to be burned alive. That I can be offered a pardon if I only denounce my Christ to not be beheaded and still proclaim with a loud voice as the blade strikes my neck, “The Lord Jesus Christ is alive!”
That’s my hope and my desire. All the things that stand in the way of that the Lord will deal with personally. He will clear the path of idols and distractions. He will be the one that returns to fulfill all things in heaven and on earth. So I say, “Who’s with me!?”