Over this past year I have struggled more with my life as a believer. The struggle has not been in terms of my faith in Christ, but rather in my living for Christ. In short, I felt my life was out of balance and that the Spirit was telling my heart that He needed more of me, and I was in agreement- but how? What was the model for this? Then, there was also the need for accountability. Me, I need to have an accountability partner?enter the ?Soul Con (Soul in Control) Challenge?. I had signed up for this earlier this summer, BUT, with the COS Annual Meeting, and Gallbladder surgery, I’m glad that it wasn’t able to work out.
Soul Con?s purpose is to get our life in balance- spiritually, nutritionally and physically. The focus is not on us, but on Christ. It’s not about what we can do, but what Christ can do through us. It’s not about picking up our forks, it’s about taking up our cross and dying to ourselves and to the world. By using prayer, devotional time, diet and exercise we learn to control our thought life and actions- discipline. If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself,and take up his cross, and follow Me. Lk 9:23
In our every day challenges and decisions we have to decide if we are going to choose Christ or the world. If our decisions are based on what makes us comfortable and happy, instead of what is expedient for the sake of the gospel, then we are selling God, our families, others and ourselves short. However, following Christ is deliberate and costly.
In the verse above, it says if we desire to follow Him we must deny ourselves. We must deny our desires. Desires for admiration, personal time, pleasures must be subordinated to Christ.
We must serve instead. That means when the kids want to play again, we are there. When our wives want to be understood, we seek to understand. When our friends need help, we have their back. When we want another cookie, piece of pizza, scoop of ice cream or piece of bread,we think about how that affects us down the road. We need to be in-shape physically,emotionally and spiritually.
Then He says that we must take up our cross- that is costly. The cross was a symbol of shame and guilt. Are we, am I, willing to obey my savior and bear the burden of the cross even at my expense? To expose myself to shame? Using a football analogy, our Lord is asking us to leave it all out on the field, to hold nothing back.
As I continue in my struggle for balance, I encourage you to reflect on your life as well. Are you in balance? Are you taking up your cross? God bless you as you continue your walk. Feel free to give me a call if you like.