“Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.” Mt. 16:24
If you’re looking for a yummy, delicious, soothingly comfortable, quick-style, easy-of-course, no-dishes-to-wash-after, drive-through happily blissful life, cheap to boot, I wouldn’t recommend becoming a rock solid, sold out, utterly devoted, passionately, unreservedly, unabashedly, on-fire committed forever follower of the Lord Jesus Christ. When I drove by the latest billboard for a world renowned fast-food restaurant chain, I didn’t exactly think of sizzling, juicy hot, pure beef burgers & not exactly-fat-free fries. All I could think was there was a message in this for this fast food, drive-through, happily-ever-after-or-so-the-world-promises-anyway world in which we live.
The human flesh LOVES quick and easy, satisfy-me-now, fulfill-my-lusts, gimme-gimme, please-let-it-be-free – or cheap – whatever. Many of us arrive at the topic of the Lord Jesus Christ figuring we can get what we want NOW, live for OURSELVES with a side dish of Jesus, breeze through a quick, comfy church service if we go at all, toss some dollars in the offering plate, and charge off to our me-centered lives as we’ve always known them. The flesh wants the drive-through version of believing in Christ as Lord, but following Jesus is anything but cheap drive-through happiness. How quick some of us toss up a prayer to heaven, “ask Jesus into our hearts,” and trollop back to living by the world’s ways and figure we can squeeze God into our Sundays for an hour or so if at all.
Now that I follow Christ, I wouldn’t take back my drive-through-happiness-for-cheap lifestyle for anything. Following Christ doesn’t end with faith in Him as Lord; it begins there. Following Him is a WAY OF LIFE, a LIFESTYLE, of turning away from the world’s ways and our self-centered lives and LIVING FOR CHRIST by the Bible in the strength of God’s Spirit. To deny ourselves, our wants, and ways, and to love, serve, honor, praise, worship, and adore Him. To glorify Him, grow closer to Him, pray to Him, study His Word, hunger for Him, cleave to Him, sacrifice our desires for Him, and live the plan and purpose He has for us.
Drive-through? No! Happiness? Not worldly happiness, but eternal LOVE, PEACE, HOPE, and JOY in entering into a forever relationship with God. Cheap? No way! We pay the price of saying NO WAY to our fleshly desires and YES to God! Being conformed to Christ’s image, living God’s way not our way, is NOT about quick, fleeting, cheap happiness. It’s about LIVING FOR CHRIST, and the unfathomable, everlasting joy of being in forever fellowship with God – nothing on this earth can possibly compare.
Oh, what love! Oh, what joy! Live for Christ!