Center of Life :: By John Lysaught

I don’t know about you, but I love living with Christ as the center of my life. I love being a Christian. I’m so glad that I am an adopted son of God’s. I am overjoyed with the knowledge in my mind and the assurance in my heart that my trust in Jesus is not for nil. I wouldn’t want this any other way.

Like you, I was lost before I was drawn to Christ. I wandered the world and life going this way or that way in search of something more than myself, something or someone to show me the way to eternal life. I had this emptiness inside my heart that I couldn’t explain or satisfy with the things of the world. There was nothing to be the center of my life that the world offered that fulfilled me. The world entertained me for a short time but was always fleeting to my heart with no permanent joy and satisfaction.

There was a time in my life that I knew of Jesus. I even went to church, but that was the extent of it. I wasn’t really committed and really didn’t know Christ. I knew Him at a distance. I didn’t understand Jesus or what He was really about. I just knew that people prayed to Him and people told me He was the Son of God, which I didn’t understand.

This went on for some time until about 2011. I had a cancer scare during this time and it really shook me. I didn’t have cancer, but that didn’t matter anymore. I realized my mortality on this earth. I knew I had to do something, and the draw to Christ became overwhelming. I heeded that draw and came to Christ.

Grace drew me to Jesus and I didn’t look back, but moved forward in Him.  No more messing around with my life. No more sitting on the fence. No more being self-ignorant about who Jesus was. No more loneliness in my heart. I wanted Christ to be the center of my life.

There is peace when Christ is in the center of your life.  Isaiah 26:3 says, “Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.” Some say this is an unexplainable peace, as I have before, but it is explainable.

When one has this peace, it is from having trust in Christ, His ways, and the promise of the New Covenant. This peace comes with the assurance of our faith that what Christ says is true, that His sacrifice on the cross is true, and that He rose from the grave and ascended to heaven to prepare a place for us is true. This is what the peace of Christ means.

Trust. Trust is something that should be inherent in our faith for peace, but is hard to do at times. To give all to Christ can be difficult for some. We trust in what John 14:6 says, “Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me,” but do we practice this truth as the center of our lives?

Giving and surrendering to Christ is an exercise of faith and is part of keeping Jesus as the center of our lives.  Most of us are partial-faith believers. What do I mean? I mean we are part-time Christians in our faith. We have issues giving all to Jesus so that He is the true center of our lives.

Not giving all can stem from not trusting Jesus with your finances, repeating sins such as viewing pornography, coveting, gossip, or something else that has a strong hold in your life. When we do this, we are not really saying Christ is the center of our lives because, if He were, then we would trust Him to help us overcome the ills of our lives so we don’t live in a cycle of sin.

Does this mean we won’t sin? Of course not! We will because we are of flesh and of a sin nature. Yet, when we have Christ as the center of our lives, we are not controlled by sin, such as repeated sin. We are free from the bondage of those sins and future sins. It takes effort to overcome habitual sin but we can with Christ as the center of our lives.

When Christ is the center of our lives, it means we have complete trust in Him to control our lives. We have issues with this as well. We may desire to give Him complete control of our lives, but do we really? If we desire so, what is holding us back from giving it all to Him? It is control. We want to have control of our lives, even just a little bit, aside from letting Christ drive our will and desires.

Why is this? Why do we want to keep control of our lives? I think it is selfishness and pride. These two actions hinder us and prevent us from giving Christ full control of our lives. We want to drive, per se, and are content to only let Jesus drive occasionally, depending on the situation.

1 John 2:16 tells us that, “For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.”

Pride and selfishness come from the world and is opposite of humbleness, which comes from reverence and godly fear of God. Jesus wants us to have a humble heart, and we do, in some areas of our lives, but to have Christ as the center of our lives, we must be humble and not have pride in all areas of our lives.

This means giving up self and bowing to our Lord Jesus. Jesus is our King, and to oppose Him is sinful. We must serve our Lord Jesus and not ourselves. We must put His needs and wants for us before ourselves. He will take care of us and will never leave us but we ignore Him when we sin by not being humble to Him and not making Him the center of our lives.

Keeping Jesus as the center of our lives is not something that automatically happens upon salvation. Can it? Yes, but most of us have to work at it. For some, it is a little at a time, much like myself.  We tend to put obstacles in front of Jesus to be the center of our lives so He doesn’t’ have complete control of our lives.

At the end of the day, we should ask ourselves what our obstacles are with our faith and trust in Jesus to be the center of our lives. Is it control? Pray and work on giving all control to Jesus of your life. Is it a habitual sin that you can’t shake? Pray again, and work to let Christ lead you to repentance, true repentance, to not repeat those habitual sins.

When we truly trust our lives to Jesus, then He truly becomes the center of our lives.  We can’t do it alone, but need to be open to Christ to lead us and help us to do this. If we trust Him to control our lives in action and actuality, then He will be the center of our lives, and we will truly accept and treat Him as our King.