This is for you and me.
“For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith- that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, that by any means possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead.“- Philippians 3:8-10.
“When you understand that your significance and identity and purpose and direction are all anchored in Christ, you don’t have to win- you’re free to lose. And nothing in this broken world can beat a person who isn’t afraid to lose. You’ll be free to say crazy, risky, counterintuitive stuff like, ‘To live is Christ, and to die is gain,’ (Phil. 1:21)! That’s pure, unadulterated freedom.”- Tullian Tchividjian, Jesus+Nothing=Everything, 121.
Before i can get to the shower or to the coffee in the morning, i have already forgotten who i am. The moment i wake up i am bombarded with thoughts i’m not even aware of. But if i stop before my feet hit the hardwood floors beside my bed, i can hear the whispers within me. “You need the approval of others today.” “You need to lust, it will give you what you are lacking.” “You need to find your hope in how good you look.” “You’re not secure, you need to prove to others how you have it all together.” “You really need to find your hope and success in how much you know or in how much is in the bank account.” The thoughts are endless, and they are overwhelming. But they are, all of them, lies. I have to be reminded of the truth. The truth is that i have a treasure that cannot be taken from me. I have a satisfaction that cannot be drained from me. I have a salvation that cannot be withdrawn. I have an identity that cannot be stolen. I have a hope that cannot be darkened. My Treasure, my Satisfaction, my Salvation, my Identity, and my Hope resides, in the singular, at the right hand of the Father. He dwells surrounded by myriads of angels, in light impenetrable. At the sound of His voice men are undone, and mountains leveled. He is the Alpha and the Omega. He is the Son of God and Son of Man. He is Jesus Christ. This is for you and me. Every moment we must counteract the lies of our sin with the truth of Christ. And this reorientation of faith MUST lead us to action and obedience. For when we understand that our Treasure and Salvation is, in the singular, unshakeable, there is nothing we can’t lose. There is nothing we won’t give up. There is nothing we won’t sacrifice. There is no obedience to drastic, because disciples of Christ are focused on the Christ whom they have gained and will gain. Jesus never asks us to give up without gaining something. Christians will do anything to be found in Christ, to pursue discipleship. They must give their time, they must give their resources, and they must give their lives. And yes this obedience must be radical. It must be unquestioned. “To another he said, ‘Follow me.’ But he said, ‘Lord, let me first go and bury my father.’ And Jesus said to him, ‘Leave the dead to bury their own dead. But as for you, go and proclaim the kingdom of God,” (Luke 9:60). Radical obedience, not to fly planes into buildings, but to kill sin with every ounce of energy He provides, to make war on unrighteousness and injustice, to build the kingdom of God, is the call of every Christian. I must war with my own thoughts here! You must war with yours as well. I can be ridiculed by friends, because i have gained the One who is closer than a friend. I can be ostracized from family, for i have been adopted into The Family. I can give up my sin, because i have gained what sin has promised, true satisfaction, true salvation. Only i have not gained it from sin, but from the One who can truly deliver. This is a call for you and for me, today. We cannot be defeated, for we care not that we may be burned at the stake or persecuted. We cannot be defeated, because Christ has not been defeated. He is our Treasure, He is our Joy, He is our Salvation. And He is alive. I have to fight hard to believe, and if this belief does not to lead to action it is still unbelief. Discipleship is action, it is obedience. But if i am honest with myself before my feet hit the cold hardwood floors, i will find that there is nothing i cannot lose for His sake, for truly i have gained the One and True Everything.