As Followers of Christ, he is to be what we focus on and are devoted to in this life. However, this world has a lot to offer that can pull our focus and devotion away from Christ. As we battle to keep our focus on Christ and not allow it be consumed by the things of this world, we must decide what we believe is greater. Do we really believe that God is greater than what this world has to offer?
We are constantly bombarded with all that this world has to offer us. Money, power, possessions, popularity; there is much we can spend our time and energy pursuing.
Chasing after all that this world has to offer leads to living at an exhausting rate. It can quickly become a never-ending pursuit to chase after the next big thing, the latest update, another vacation or experience, becoming more popular, or getting more people to affirm you on social media. The more we have, the more we want. It is quite exhausting.
When we call ourselves a Follower of Christ or Christian (whichever term you prefer), we identify ourselves with Christ. We make a bold statement about ourselves when we use those terms. We claim not only that we believe in Christ, but that we choose to follow Christ in our lives. However, do we want to follow him more than we want to follow after all the world has to offer? What comes first in our lives? If people looked at your life, would they say God comes first or that your worldly possessions and pursuits come first?
We as the church in America seem to be getting more and more caught up in the pursuit of possessions and money and fame, which can make it hard to tell what truly comes first. Both on an individual basis, as well as the whole church corporately. It seems as though the church as a whole is beginning to care more and more about bigger, better, newer, and nicer. If having the latest technology, nicest buildings, and biggest events begin to replace an emphasis on discipleship, caring for one another, and solid Bible teaching, then I believe that we as the church are in trouble.
When I refer to the church in America here, as well as throughout this book, I am including all who would consider themselves Believers, Followers of Christ, and Christians. I am not referring to any specific denomination or style of church. Rather, I want to cross denominational and stylistic lines. I am referring to the body of Christ as a whole. The only line I will not cross is a Biblical one. The Bible is the inerrant Word of God, and those who claim to follow him are to adhere to what his word says.
As individuals and families who are part of the church in America, those of us who claim to be Followers of Christ, we seem to have gotten caught up in the exhausting pace of pursuing after all that this world has to offer. While our schedules get busier and busier because of all our worldly pursuits, our focus gets pulled farther away from God and pursuing after him. Our time is extremely full, and thus we begin to have a hard time pursuing after God even though we claim to have a desire to.
Is it possible to truly pursue after God when we are so busy that we struggle to find any significant amount of time we can devote to God? Aren’t the meaning of the words ‘follow’ and ‘pursue’ counter to giving God just a few short minutes during our day or only praying quickly over meals, and calling that enough? Doesn’t God deserve more of our time and a greater amount of our focus? We might say “yes”, but do our actions indicate “yes”?
Can you image what would happen if we pursued sports, activities, friends, or family like that? We’d be either cut from whatever team or activity we were a part of, or at the very least benched, because of insufficient focus and commitment. Our friends would wonder if we truly cared about them. Our families would be hurt because we decided that they were unworthy of our time and attention.
Our world is running away from God as fast as it can, pursuing anything else but him. While we as Followers of Christ live in this world and are affected by it, we must fight hard to not allow this world to suck us into its pursuits. We have to stand strong so that we can continue to follow God in this life.
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