Nothing in this world can substitute what Jesus has done for us and still does for us. In His sacrifice on the cross and His resurrection to defeat death, Jesus became our way to be with Him in eternity. Nothing else but Jesus matters. He is everything. He is the focus and will be the culmination of all events that will end this current age and into eternity.
Psalm 19:14, “Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Your sight, O Lord, my rock and my Redeemer.”
Life gets in the way of Jesus being everything, right? We have so many distractions pulling us in different directions each day. Rarely do we even have time to sit with our family at dinnertime, and if we do, it feels rushed to get to the next item on the agenda in our hectic lives. We have only ourselves to blame for this because we do it to ourselves. This, in turn, happens with Jesus.
We rush Him. We let the things of the world interrupt and block our walk with Jesus. Though most won’t admit this, the truth of the matter is this- we sometimes feel that Jesus is an interruption to us living our lives. Ugh, this is a punch to the gut, but it is true for a lot of us Christians.
Some brothers and sisters have put Christ to the side. They have benched Him in the game of their lives so they can get everything they want out of this world. I also speculate that Christ was never a focus in some people’s lives at all. He was never in the game, per se. The world got them hook, line, and sinker, and they were fooled into believing in some other gospel that they could have the best of both worlds, that they could serve both God and the world at the same time.
The real focus for a lot of us is on having stuff. Newer cars, bigger houses, better jobs, and the best of everything else. And you know what? When you think you are getting ahead, you realize you are falling behind again. And so, the cycle continues. The dance with the world spins round and around.
We compare ourselves against others’ lives and possessions, but we don’t call it coveting; we call it something else. We just want better and want bigger and want more. Our appetite for this world is insatiable. Like a glutton in a 24-hour all-you-can-eat buffet, we can’t stop. It becomes our habit- the ambition to increase and increase and have more and more. When this happens, Jesus is not our everything; He’s just something.
Psalm 119:71, “It is good for me that I was afflicted, that I may learn Your statutes.”
Let’s be real here: our personal known world is not full of hardships, just inconveniences. We aren’t like Christians in North Korea. Most of us think hardship is when there is no Wi-Fi connection or phone signal. The problem is we can get everything we need and anything we want with little effort or consequence. Because of this, there is not a desperate need for Jesus.
This is the crux of the matter- when we can have anything we want in this world, our spiritual needs are neglected because there is no [perceived] need for Jesus. We must be brought to the point where there is a realization that this is false. We need to be brought to a position to know nothing matters, Jesus is everything. We need to be brought to our knees.
Being brought to this point is different for each person, but the theme is similar. We must be broken before Jesus becomes everything, not just something or nothing.
Breaking to Nothing.
Psalm 34:18, “The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.”
When I was in army basic training, the point of training was to mentally break us and then build us up. The drill sergeants broke us down through physical and mental exhaustion by physical exertion, mental stress, and lack of sleep. Like most everyone else in basic training, after the drill sergeants broke us, they built and conformed us to what they wanted us to be. Because of this, I was a different person in a lot of ways than before basic training.
Society has done this to our belief systems and world views, just not as directly as something like basic training. A little change here and a small nudge there adjusted our values and priorities away from the core doctrines of our faith. Changes and ideas were slowly introduced to us, mostly through media and education, all in an effort to incrementally lessen our fundamental doctrine beliefs and faith in Jesus or to have us question God and His teachings. And here we are today, seeing the fruits of these evil changes that began decades ago when we look back and reminisce about how things used to be because of how bad things are now.
These changes and adjustments have made society bend toward the ways of the satanic world system we live in. Just watch the news or listen to the coffee pot talk at work. Christian values are going, going… and are mostly gone now.
Sorry, I’ve digressed a little, but this is important because, unbeknownst to us, there are many of us Christians who have been affected by this, and that is why we are lukewarm in our faith. And because of this, Jesus is not everything, so sometimes we must be broken to snap us back to the reality of Him.
We each have a breaking point, a rock-bottom situation where we are brought to a fork in the road- a defining juncture, to decide which way to go. Stay with the world, or go with Christ. No more wishy-washy faith or making our own paths.
This breaking point may be a financial disaster, a divorce, the death of a child, spouse, or whatever. For me, an illness broke me. During the rock-bottom of my ordeal, the Holy Spirit told me, not asked me, told me a decision had to be made about Jesus being everything or nothing; regardless of the course and outcome of my illness, I had to choose. Thankfully, I chose Him.
Psalm 25:9, “He leads the humble in justice, and He teaches the humble His way.”
Before this breaking point in my life, I did not realize the lack of depth I had in my relationship with Christ. The reliance I had on Him before my illness was, looking back, superficial and intellectual at best. This illness showed me my fundamental lack of complete trust in Him and taught me that nothing else matters, Jesus is everything. I was humbled to my core at the realization of how helpless I really was in this world.
This type of humbleness, well, it comes when there is nothing left but Jesus. It’s a hard lesson to experience. The point when there is absolutely nothing left in us is when Jesus becomes everything. The point when we look around at our lives and can attest with certainty that it is Jesus who sustains us and not man or self is life affecting humbleness.
When everything is stripped down inside, and you find you have nothing, is when Jesus becomes everything. This type of humbleness changes the core of a person and allows Jesus the ability to rebuild and shape a person how He wants, like a spiritual basic training. The breaking was painful, but the rebuilding, it’s a wonderful and ongoing change.
When we have nothing, Jesus becomes everything. When this realization occurs, hold on to it because when you bounce back from being broken from devastation or other hardships, it is easy to get back into the old mindset and routine you had before. I take that back- it is too easy to get back into old mindsets and routines.
Stay focused on what is important to your eternity, not what you can get out of this world. The world we live in and are surrounded by is an uphill battle for a lot of us. We will climb up and will also slide down sometimes, but keep looking up and heading up to live for and to please Jesus until we meet Him face to face.
Take care, and God bless.