And by this we know that we have come to know him, if we keep his commandments. Whoever says I know him but does not keep his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him, but whoever keeps his word, in him truly the love of God is perfected. By this we may be sure that we are in him: whoever says he abides in him ought to walk in the same way in which he walked (ESV).
For those who follow Jesus our goal is to live the way Jesus lived. That is what we have been called to do. We haven't been called to sit in a pew on Sunday morning and attend a small group during the week, but we have been called to exhibit the same sort of life that Jesus lived. When we consider how Jesus lived that is really amazing to think about. That we are to live the way Jesus lived!
I am beginning to believe that one reason so many of us feel unsatisfied as we follow Jesus is because we have let lesser things be our goal. We want Jesus to bless our lives as we pursue the "American Dream." We are not selfish or evil, we just want a comfortable and secure life. So we go to church, read the Bible, and pray in the hopes that God will reward us for the type of life that we live.
In the process we miss hearing the call of Christ. The call that insists that we lay down ANYTHING that gets in the way of following Jesus. The call that says we must pick up a cross, the symbol of death and persecution, and follow Jesus wherever He leads. The call that forces us to be humble and to serve those who are the least in this world.
Following Jesus isn't just about agreeing with certain theological statements about Him (though that does play a part), but it is about living the type of life that He lived. This can only happen when we make the foundation of our lives the spiritual disciplines that Jesus used to stay in contact with the Father. Things like prayer, study, fasting, worship, and meditation. It continues as we serve and give with the purpose of bringing God's Kingdom into this world. Remember we are Christ's representatives in this world.
I know that it seems like an impossible task to live as Jesus lived in this world. It is, but remember Jesus told us what is impossible for people is possible with God. No wonder the apostle Paul prayed this prayer for the Colossians:
And so, from the day we heard, we have not ceased to pray for you, asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God. May you be strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy, giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in light. He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins (Colossians 1:9-14; ESV).May this be our prayer, not only for ourselves, but for those around us as well. Let our goal be to live lives that are worthy of the our Lord Jesus Christ!