Updated: Feb 3, 2022
It is the first month of the new year, 2022, and usually you hear of people prophesying what they anticipate for the coming year. However, as things around the world continue to be disheveled with the onslaught of illness and disharmony in the world’s economy it is difficult to imagine life beyond the day. It has been a dry season with little being revealed, but it is in the dry seasons that I believe that we as Christ’s followers develop the greatest gains in spiritual muscle mass. It is in these times when you cannot see that your faith muscles get to push and pull. Rather than focusing on a word from the Lord, it is better to seek intimacy with Him and to fully know him and be like him than to receive a word ever again. Furthermore, today rather than looking for a prophetic word for the year let us instead dive into who Christ is, the purpose of being a Christian, and what it takes to walk it out fully.
Jesus Christ, as we learn in the gospels is a loving, kind, and merciful man. He is a teacher and never waivers in his promises. He runs head on at life difficulties and in the book of Revelation we see him as judger of the luke warm who stand for nothing. For it is not judgement over the evil or the lovers of Christ, for we know where they have chosen to go, but it is the luke warm individuals that we see them suffer the greatest. It is in the testimony of Jesus Christ that we learn what it takes to be challenged by disappointment, pain, and sorrow, yet remain honest, true and ultimately triumphant. The story of Jesus teaches us not only what it means to suffer, but how to suffer well. So much of the Christian faith today is surrounded by questions to God pertaining to breakthroughs, wealth, fame, and fortune. Yet, very little time is spent asking ourselves how we can better serve our Lord. We spend much of our time looking or waiting for God to answer our cries for help and breakthrough, yet we miss the point that we are meant for servanthood. It is and never will be about how to amass wealth, power, fame, a spouse, or a career, but rather how we spent our lives earnestly pursuing the King of Kings. We pursue him in gratitude, praise, repentance, and worship. We find him as we spend our lives in service and in quiet suffering. For it states in scripture that those who fast must do so with gladness on their faces. They must not show their tiredness, nor complain, or tell the world of the good act of fasting the do, but rather suffer with a humble joyful disposition. Furthermore, it is sinful to spend your days comparing and lusting after what others have to that you do not have, because this is to break one of the ten commandments, coveting thy neighbors possessions.
Christians who boldly seek Jesus in the mundane with joy will truly inherent the heavens and the earths. Those who compare in jealousy or obsess over creating a name for themselves on the earth may obtain it, but they will quickly lose it and themselves. That is why it is inherently impossible to live a true walk of faith with Christ without truly defining your faith and knowing why you practice it. If you practice your faith to obtain breakthroughs or think that God is working for you- that does not work, but if you practice your faith to face evil with integrity, honesty, and humble boldness, and to ultimately see Jesus glorified- you will have the most meaningful life that flows in his supernatural grace.Yet, the crux of walking out your suffering with joy only reveals a sliver of the truth of who Jesus is, was, and always will be!
Something that is true about life is that it is never short on grief and trouble, but those who build a solid faith life and believe in Christ, do not see themselves higher than life’s tragedy, nor do they see it as things that happen to them. Instead, they see their pain and struggle as a sweet fragrance and sacrifice to the Lord. It is truly a narcissistic belief to focus on what you can gain from God and to try to question why bad things happen to good people. Bad things happen because we are human not on a condition of being above or below another person. As it states in scripture to Christ in heaven, the first will be last and the last will be first. So while to question God as to why you must suffer is normal and is shown often in psalms and through out other Scripture, it is a sign of spiritual immaturity if you pity yourself in the process and begin to stand in the role as victim.
One of the fundamental difference between Christians and nonChristians is that a Christian is called to be a humble servant. They know that suffering is inevitable, and it does not define their identity, but is an integral part of fulfilling a purpose-filled life. They are called to stand for truth at the expense of their public name. They are called to be hated. They are called to a life of suffering and they are called to not only suffer, but to suffer well. They are called to glorify God on the good days and the bad and they are called to be joy bringers and spreaders of peace amidst the raging storms.
If you are looking to feel good and to be liked and celebrated that is not the walk of a Christian. If you are looking for an easy path, or a living in a “high vibration” to manifest riches, a spouse, or fame then new age living is for you. Yet, to be a lover of Christ, your ways must be the ways of the Father. You must be bold as a lion and as soft as a lamb. You must be childlike in your wonder and awe of him and steady in emotion and slow to react to others like lady Wisdom teaches. It is in constantly seeking Christ in the secret place that we build up our spiritual armor to live out our lives with a holy reverence for Christ.
The armor of Christ is found in Ephesians 6:11-20. It states, “Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints— and for me, that utterance may be given to me, that I may open my mouth boldly to make known the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains; that in it I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.”
It is in this scripture we see, though he suffer in prison in chains, it is with the armor of Christ we willingly suffer for the beauty of Christ supersedes all of the things of the world. For the world can have all the silver and gold. They can have all the manifestations of their wildest dreams, but for the Christian. To be in communion with Christ all the days of our lives is worth every dream and more. So today, look only to Jesus. Cover yourself in the armor of Christ. Lay at his feet and give your promise and your life. Proclaim to Jesus that he is your one, that truly fulfills you, and see to it that you suffer well like he did for each of us. Live your life to be a servant, not to be served, while bearing the burdens of others despite carrying your own. You will live the most fulfilling life when you turn your pursuit one hundred percent to him and away from worldly things.