Are you different for Jesus? In what ways are you different? A life with Jesus is a life of separation unto God that grows into union with Christ. Every Christian is expected to be different for God. This article explains what it means to be different for Christ.
Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me – Matthew 16:24 (NKJV)
“If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes, and his own life also, he cannot be My disciple. And whoever does not bear his cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple – Luke 14:26-27 (NKJV)
To follow Christ is the best decision anyone can make, but it is not a light decision. It involves counting the cost (Luke 14:28) and signing for a life of total surrender to Jesus. Many people want the glory but not the cost; unfortunately it does not work like that.
Jesus said that unless you hate your loved ones and even your own life, you cannot be His disciple. You are either for Him or you are not for Him, there is no in-between for Jesus. Christ is not saying you should literally hate yourself or your loved ones but that as a Christian they should become secondary in your life. Jesus becomes number one in your life. Abraham was tested for this by God and he passed the test in Genesis 22:1-19. He had to prove that Isaac, the promised child was secondary in His life and God was number one!
What it means to be different for Christ
It means to be sold out for Jesus. Nothing is to matter to you more than Jesus. Jesus wants all of you not some parts of you. This includes your attention, time, energy and resources. Paul was totally sold out to God, to the point that he said that to live is to live for Christ – Philippians 1:21.
It means to be led by the Holy Spirit.
You cannot be different by your own strength or by reason of the doctrine of man but as the Spirit leads you. You talk and move as directed by the Holy Spirit.It is going a different direction from others if and whenever the Holy Spirit demands it. When everybody was going to Egypt because of the famine, God told him to stay back, he obeyed and God blessed him greatly – Genesis 26:1-4, 12-13.
It means to be led by the word of God
The word of God is to be the lamp unto your feet and the light unto your path (Psalm 119:105). It is to walk and live by the word of God; in obedience to the word of God. Also note that the Holy Spirit cannot lead you outside the word of God. So any leading outside the word of God is a sure proof that it is not the Holy Spirit. In Acts 4:18-19, Peter and John chose to obey the word of God and not the words of men.
It means to deny yourself.
It means to consider Christ first before you; you totally obey God, even when your flesh or the world is saying otherwise. Daniel and his friends had to deny themselves so as not to defile themselves with the king’s food and drinks (Daniel 1:8-16). They fed on vegetables and water so as to remain separated and holy unto God.
It means to be called a ‘fool’ for Jesus
When you are different for Jesus, people will call you a fool. It means standing for Christ even if the world ridicules you or your feelings are hurt. It is to turn to the other cheek for the sake of Christ – Matthew 5:39
In conclusion, being different for Christ is part of redemption. At redemption, you were empowered to live for Christ. Do not be conformed to this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind – Romans 12:2. Let your light so shine that they may see your good works and glorify the name of the Lord – Matthew 5:16.
Ngozi Nwoke is a teacher, counselor, and author of “Peace Money Can’t Buy” and “The Man Jesus”. She has a passion to teach people how to enjoy peace, God’s love, and Christian living for a more fulfilling life. Want a more fulfilling life? Subscribe for free email updates today. http://stepswithgod.com