Living for Christ
“For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.” Philippians 1:21
Apostle Paul made this statement of commitment and consecration as a life prisoner of Christ. He made up his mind to live for, live with, live about and live through Christ. He made the statement from his heart as determination to sacrifice his body, soul and spirit for God. He died to the things of the world daily.
“I protest by your rejoicing which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord, I die daily.” 1 Corinthians 15:31
Little wonder God did special miracles through him; his dresses and handkerchief healed the sick among others. He proclaimed Jesus with boldness. You may say that Paul had his specific calling and he worked towards fulfilling his ministry. Inarguably, believers operate at different levels of grace and are engaged in either their general or specific calling. Christ admonished every believer to deny himself or herself and follow Him; taking up kingdom responsibilities.
“Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If any of you wants to be My follower, you must give up your own way, take up your cross, and follow Me.” Matthew 16:24
God is searching for the Christians on earth, numbering over 2 billion, who will live for Him. God’s eyes are moving through the Christian community in search of those who are determined to sell themselves out to Him so He will manifest His glory. For us to live for Christ, we must seek God, carry God’s presence, live by faith and consistently obey God.
Seeking God Wholeheartedly
For us to live for Christ, there is need for us to know Him and anyone who wants to know Him must seek Him. God has assured us that we will find Him when we seek Him.
“And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.” Jeremiah 29:13
Why do we need to seek God? It is important to seek God in order to have a personal revelation of who He is; to unravel the mysteries of His kingdom and to know His mind concerning our lives. Many people are yet to have a personal conviction about God because they have failed to seek Him.
Seeking God starts from the heart. It has to do with one’s love for God. Without your heart involved, you are bound to give up along the line. Seeking God evolves from one’s hunger and thirst for Him.
“As the deer longs for streams of water, so I long for you, O God.” Psalms 42:1.
A believer longs for God out of personal conviction. Without an earnest desire for God, you cannot find Him. The earlier we seek God, the earlier we find Him and the more revelation of Him we get.
“O God, you are my God; I earnestly search for you. My soul thirsts for you; my whole body longs for you in this parched and weary land where there is no water.” Psalms 63:1
“I love them that love Me; and those that seek me early shall find Me.” Proverbs 8:17
We can seek God by continuously fellowshipping with Him. Having continuous fellowship with God in worship and praise, prayers and meditating on His word enhances a personal encounter with Him. The fire on our worship, prayer and study altars must not quench.
“And the fire on the altar shall be kept burning on it; it shall not be put out….” Leviticus 6:12
Worship and praise from the heart activate God’s presence and action. When you worship God, you acknowledge is holy and supreme being. You praise God for what He can do, what He has already done and all that He is going to do in your life. So God reveals and expresses Himself to us by the power of the Holy Spirit when we worship and praise Him with our hearts.
“But thou art holy, O thou that inhabitest the praises of Israel.” Psalms 23:2
God said we should call upon Him; that He will answer us and show us mighty things we never knew especially concerning Him and His kingdom. This means that prayer is not a one-way communication between God and a believer. God is interested in hearing His children always and that is why Jesus admonishes us to pray always (Luke 18:1). It is not a matter of praying louder than one’s neighbor or spending longer hours that guarantees answers to one’s prayer but it is a function of one’s faith.
“Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and shew thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not.” Jeremiah 33:3
“Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.” Mark 11:24
Praying in the Holy Ghost or unknown tongue edifies a believer and builds his or her faith (Jude 1:20). This keeps a believer growing stronger spiritually. An area many people have taken lightly is praying to advance God’s kingdom. This aspect of prayer generates power for exploits and guarantees abundant blessings.
“But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” Matthew 6:33
The Bible tells us that any one that dwells in the secret place of God abides under His shadow (Psalms 91:1). The secret place is where a believer labors in the word of God; receives revelation knowledge from the light of God’s word and is nourished in the body, soul and spirit. The secret place is a place where a believer’s faith is inflated to quench the fiery darts of the wicked. The word of God is life, so every believer needs it to keep living for Christ. The word of God gives a believer guidance, brings unspeakable joy and helps one to examine his or her life concerning ungodliness.
“Thy words were found, and I did eat them; and thy word was unto me the joy and rejoicing of mine heart…” Jeremiah 15:16
“Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.” Psalms 119:105
“Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.” Psalms 119:11
Carry God’s Presence
God’s presence is the presence of His Spirit in the life of a believer. Jesus Christ promised to send God’s Spirit after His ascension. This happened on the day of Pentecost and since then God’s Spirit has been on earth. God’s Spirit is holy and functions as the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is Jesus unlimited; so He is omnipresent.
“Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you.” John 16:7
And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.” Acts 2:3-4
The Holy Spirit is a person. He is very gentle and does not force Himself on any one. We are so used to the love of God, the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ and many of us have ignored the communion or fellowship of the Holy Spirit. Communion or Koinonia (Greek) with the Holy Spirit demands that one is conscious of His presence to converse, guide, provide, protect and so on.
God’s presence guarantees safety, peace, joy, blessings and kingdom exploits for a believer. Without God’s presence we cannot achieve anything in life. Moses understood the importance of God’s presence when in Exodus 33:15 he said, “… If thy presence go not with me, carry us not up hence.”
“I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.” John 15:5
The presence of God helps a believer to remain strong for Christ as well as bear spiritual, intellectual, and material fruits. I will discuss God’s presence as the Holy Spirit being in, with and for a believer.
Don’t you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourself.” 1 Corinthians 6:19 (New Living Translations)
But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you. Romans 8:11
From the verses above, the Bible tells us that every born again Christian is meant to be God’s moving temple. People dread doing anything ungodly in church buildings, so the body of a believer needs to be purged of every form of ungodliness. God’s Spirit in a believer gives him or her abundant life, triumphing over every challenge.
“And I will pray the Father, and He shall give you another Comforter, that He may abide with you forever; Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth Him not, neither knoweth Him: but ye know Him; for He dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.” John 14:16-17
The Holy Spirit dwells with believers. To live for Christ, one must be conscious of this truth and endeavor to interact with Him daily. The Holy Spirit is the One who is always available to a believer to comfort, teach, reveal secrets to, guide, and protect him or her. He does far more than we can ever imagine for a believer. So concerning your career, business, marriage, health, ministry and other life endeavors, be conscious that the Holy Spirit is there as your senior partner. Even when you are in trouble, He is there to deliver.
“He shall call upon me, and I will answer him: I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him, and honor him.” Psalms 91:15
“When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee.” Isaiah 43:2
If God be for you, neither any scheme of man nor power of hell can bring you down. He fought for David against Goliath; Paul and Silas; Jehoshaphat and his people; Moses and the Israelites with a pillar of cloud by day and pillar of fire by night; just to name a few cases. He is the same God who is there for any one living for Christ.
“What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?” Romans 8:31
I urge you to hunger and thirst for the awesome presence of God’s Spirit and you shall continuously enjoy living for Christ.
Live by Faith
It is not possible to please and walk with God without faith (Hebrews 11:6). The just shall live by faith. So faith must be the way of life of a believer for kingdom exploits. Abraham believed the Lord and He credited it to him as righteousness. For you to live for Christ, you must believe in Him and accept every responsibility He has given you. Believing Christ and walking with Him makes you the righteousness of God (John 1:12; 2 Corinthians 5:21).
“And Abram believed the LORD, and the LORD counted him as righteous because of his faith.” Genesis 15:6 (New Living Translation)
When God asked Abraham to leave his father’s house; he obeyed and left accordingly (Genesis 12:1-4). Further, when God asked him to sacrifice Isaac, his legitimate son, he did not hesitate (Genesis 22:2). He accepted every responsibility God gave him to achieve his heart desire. By so doing, he committed God’s integrity to fulfil His promises.
“Faith commits God’s integrity for performance.” Bishop David Oyedepo
Faith determines how far one can walk with God; so it takes faith to live for Christ. By faith a believer can recreate his or her world; calling things that do not exist as though they were (Romans 4:17b). Being a prisoner of Christ does not mean that challenges will not come. You can overcome every challenge of life because the Bible tells us that through faith the people of God subdued kingdoms (Hebrews 11:33).
“In addition to all of these, hold up the shield of faith to stop the fiery arrows of the devil.” Ephesians 6:16 (New Living Translation)
By faith you can activate the power of God’s word for your good. Faith comes by hearing and understanding the word of God.
Live in Obedience
Obedience to God is one sign that a believer is living for Christ. Obedience is born out of love. Whom you love, you will always want to please. In light of this, in John 14:15, Jesus Christ said, “If ye love me, keep my commandments.”
You must let the will of God swallow up your will. The Bible says in Amos 3:3 that, “Can two walk together, except they be agreed?” Definitely, there should an agreement before an individual can live for Christ as any form in disagreement can dent the relationship. Until you fulfil your obedience to God, He cannot revenge every issue of life disobeying His plan for you.
God is in the business of rewarding those who obey Him. As a Christ’s prisoner, it pays to obey God as it guarantees a joyful Christian living. (Job 36:11)
“If they obey and serve Him, they shall spend their days in prosperity, and their years in pleasures.”
We can sing this song daily to remind ourselves of what is required of us to live for Christ. Glory to God!
When we walk with the Lord
In the light of His Word,
What a glory He sheds on our way;
While we do His good will,
He abides with us still,
And with all who will trust and obey.
Trust and obey,
For there’s no other way
To be joyful in Jesus,
But to trust and obey