When I was growing up, it was second nature for me to squirm in frustration when my parents told me what to do, quick to shirk any rule I didn’t particularly like. Why? Because I thought I knew better than they did. I wanted to do what I wanted, when I wanted, and how I wanted – I thought that either my parents didn’t actually know best or else they were just out to steal my fun. It turns out that neither stance was true!
Becoming a mom has now not only changed how I view my parents and their rules of yesteryear, but my having children of my own has also dramatically changed how I view the commands given to us by God in His Word. If I, as a parent, want what is best for my children and am willing to issue them some challenging and hard rules so that they might thrive in the following of them, imagine just how much truer this is for our Heavenly Father! He loves us infinitely more than I love my own little ones. And that, my friend, is the first tip for cultivating a willingness in your heart to live for Jesus no matter the cost:
- Get to Know Jesus
If you’re going to be willing to live for Jesus no matter what it may cost you in this life, you first have to get to know Him. You will never be willing to lay down your desires and plans for Someone you don’t even know, but if you know the Jesus of the Bible, it will be far easier to actually love and live for Him no matter what.
Get to know the Jesus of the Bible Who raised up women to a level of equality with men in the midst of a patriarchal culture. Get to know the Jesus Who died so that you might live, gave His own righteousness to you, and daily intercedes even now on your behalf. Get to know His goodness and kindness and tell me if you don’t want to live for Him!
- Study the Stories of the Past
Part of what makes it challenging sometimes for us to want to live for Jesus no matter the cost is that we are afraid of just how big the cost might actually be. That is where stories of other believers who have blazed trails before us come in. Reading biographies of great heroes of the faith or simply reading of Biblical characters such as Joseph, Daniel, Ruth, Esther, and Paul illustrate for us so vividly the worthiness of following Jesus – even when it’s hard or painful!
- Walk by the Spirit
I write a lot on the topic of walking by the Spirit, and for good reason – walking by the Spirit is, according to Galatians 5:16, how we can live in the strength of Christ to resist the old flesh and walk forward in the fruits of the Spirit. Aspects of walking by the Spirit include reading, studying, meditating on, and memorizing the Word, being in prayer, and abiding in Christ, rested and mindful of His goodness towards you. These daily practices will grow and deepen your relationship with the Lord, making it that much easier for you to not only want to live for Jesus no mater what, but to also be able to do just that with far less fear and worry and a lot more peace and faith.
- Surround Yourself with godly Christian Community
Ecclesiastes 4:10 says, “For if either falls, his companion can lift him up; but pity the one who falls without another to lift him up.” We were never meant to walk this Christian walk alone. We were meant to be in community, befriending folks who can be the support we need when the going gets tough and we want to give up and give in. If you want to be strengthened to live for Jesus no matter what, pray for God to provide you with friends who have the same mission in life and will encourage you in it.
- Meditate on the Gospel
Remember all that Jesus has done for you. Remember that He saved you from the wrath of God, washed away your sin and separated it as far away from you as the east is from the west (Psalm 103:12). Remember that He loved you so much that He was willingly tortured for you, giving His life as a ransom for yours.
Fill your mind with the unsurpassed character of Christ, and you will be eager to give your all to Him!