So, my son and I were sitting in Taco Bell the other day. (I know, the rich and hip writers hang out in coffee shops. I hope I didn’t disappoint you with the revelation that I don’t.) He was preparing to teach a Bible class at church, and was sharing his outline with me.
For no apparent reason, he stopped his review and said, “You know, people always say how we are Jesus’ hands and feet? Well, it was His hands and feet that were nailed to the cross. How can we say we are His hands and feet if we aren’t completely surrendered to Him?”
I didn’t expect a convicting sermon to accompany my lunch. But the answer is – we cannot. Just as Jesus made no attempt to fit in with the movers and shakers of His day, being on the “inside” should not entice us. This world’s fashion styles and status symbols won’t wear any better on us than they would on Him.
How do we know we are sold out, given completely to Christ? How can we tell if we are crucified with Him? Here are a few ways you can check your commitment.
1. What drives your calendar? Are spiritual and church events listed first and all other activities worked in around them, or do you fit church stuff in only if you have nothing else planned? How can you be totally committed to Him when other things have first dibs on your time?
2. Who are you most comfortable hanging with – your school or work chums, or your Holy Ghost filled friends from church? If you feel more at home with those whose values and lifestyle prove that they love the world more than they love God, in the interest of honesty, you may want to stop referring to yourself as His hands and feet.
3. If you, or those you spend most of your time with, find yourselves frequently using the phrase “the Bible says don’t judge” then you probably aren’t crucified with Him. Love seeks another’s joy, while legalism defends its own choices.
4. If the accumulation of money and material things equals success to you, then your commitment to Christ is probably just a phrase you use and not a fact of life. Real success has more to do with the intangible values of a man’s character than it does with the trinkets that he may or may not possess. Who you really are will be revealed by the lifelong process of the refiner’s fire: not those occasional moments when it seems that the stars align and your health and wealth lift you like the rising tide.
A life sold-out to Christ does not react to the ebb and flow of life’s wealth, but deliberately responds to the unchanging principles in God’s word.
Don’t be conformed to this world! And don’t be intimidated, either. God has called us to be His hands and feet. Only when we are crucified with Him can we bring Him honor, and effectively minister to the millions He died to save.