Remember Moses and the burning bush? The bush remained. It was not burned up in the fire, but it fed the flames. The bush was engulfed in zeal—the flame, the passion of God and Christ, Himself—but it was not completely consumed. It remained and kept burning. Our lives are like that. We are meant to give out light continually through death. We are always dying to our wants, our desires, our selfish way, our sins, our hopes. No matter how good or bad it seems, we die to it—so that we live for Christ. We die to ourselves. And this is the fuel—the living sacrifice.
Christianity does not consist of receiving information about Christ, the Bible and theology. Christianity is not a religion where followers ask, “What can I get from being a Christian?” No. Christianity is a life so filled with passion and radical thinking that it stands in Christ alone. Christianity is a life that desires to follow Him wherever He leads. It means the life of a servant. Through continual death, we are fuel for His fire of consuming love.
One hindrance we face in living a life compelled by the love of Christ is the cares of this life. Scripture records stories about people who wanted to follow Christ, but were distracted. To one Jesus said, “If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow Me” (Matthew 19:21). And the Bible says that man went away sad because he had many possessions. We all have many possessions. We all have many cares in life. The battle never ends. Constantly we are tempted to care about our own lives—to try to make things the way we want them to be. Each of us has different ways that we love our own lives. But you have to let God deal with you on those points. Unless there is total abandonment and a giving up of all, unless we are totally free from thinking about ourselves, we cannot follow Him completely.
In the Bible we see the lives of people who were bond-servants, living sacrifices, red-hot coals. We see a man, Isaiah, lying on his side praying for years. We see the prophet Hosea marrying a prostitute to demonstrate God’s love for wayward Israel. Joseph told the truth and ended up in prison. Daniel was thrown into the lion’s den. Esther faced death at the hand of the king, but in the end the Jews were spared. For years and years, David was relentlessly pursued by Saul before he became king. Paul was stoned, abused and misunderstood for preaching the Gospel. Read Hebrews 11. The world hated them, misunderstood them and put them to death. But they never gave up. That zeal—that fire of God’s love—never left them. And this kind of life—a living sacrifice burning with Christ’s love—is for us. Don’t lose it. Don’t forget it.