Are you following Jesus for Jesus… Or are you following Him for the benefits of following Him?
While sitting with a few of my friends in a group we were asked this question when we attended a small Christian event at our high school. At the time I probably didn’t think too much of it, but it stuck with me till this day, and I have to say, I cannot honestly say that I truly seek Jesus solely for Jesus. If all I get was Jesus would I really be content and satisfied with Him? Or is my heart’s desire for something else?
It might be easy to say that we desire Jesus more than money or fame, but do we seek Him more than we run from other things? You might struggle with an addiction and thus seek Jesus because you heard He breaks internal bondage and chains. Maybe you want to achieve a self-righteous life and you seek Jesus in the hopes of attaining that. Or you believe that only Jesus can make you the person your soul mate requires you to be and thus seeks Him with an ulterior motive. Imagine you were offered all the dreams and desires of your heart on the one hand and on the other Jesus stood there with a smile waiting on you to follow Him. Which option would you choose? Now look at your life and think about what decision your life truly reflect? Do you really live a life that reflects a person with a heart fully satisfied with Jesus and who He is?
Personally I am often guilty of this. I have experienced in my life that if I don’t on a constant basis seek Jesus, whether it is through prayer, studying the Bible, going to church or just having a normal daily conversation with Him, then I feel tempted and more vulnerable to seek for purpose in worldly things. If I had to stop praying, stop attending church and stop reading the Bible for a month I would be in such a bad place and so off track. My personality would not resemble that of Christ and the fruits I would bear would be tasteless. Sometimes the fear of ending up like that is the main motivation why I go to church or pray or read my Bible. So how can I say that I truly seek Jesus for Jesus when I’m seeking Him only to obtain a socially more acceptable life as a Christian?
One of my favorite scriptures in the Bible is Matthew 6:33, “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.”
At times I feel that I seek the Kingdom of God and His righteousness only to get to the “all things shall be added unto you” part. But it doesn’t make sense. It’s like marrying someone only to inherit their possessions when they eventually pass away, and then realizing that the person self was better than anything he or she could possibly have to offer. My point being that Jesus is the great treasure, not the blessings He can give you.
Jesus said it Himself in John 4:13-14, “Anyone who drinks this water will soon become thirsty again. But those who drink the water I give will never be thirsty again. It becomes a fresh, bubbling spring within them, giving them eternal life.”
Jesus has always been the answer. We should learn how to focus only on Him. Not to seek Him so that we can obtain the perfect life only He can give us. The Bible says that the plans God has for us are more than what the human mind can comprehend (Isaiah 55:8-9). Sometimes this looks so attractive that we forget to add up, realizing that if the plans God has for us are so great, then how much greater mustn’t God be, the source of all these amazing plans!
Having a perfect job, perfect family and perfect life is great, but is that our goal? We are created to make a big deal of Jesus and His glory. And we should be content with that, for it’s only when we find rest, joy and purpose in Jesus for who He is, that we are able to fully enjoy the amazing plans and blessings that will follow. Seeking a righteous life by using Jesus as means to get there is almost impossible, but seeking Jesus only to find Him, will surely give you a righteous life.
Jesus replied, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never be hungry again. Whoever believes in me will never be thirsty. But you haven’t believed in me even though you have seen me. However, those the Father has given me will come to me, and I will never reject them. For I have come down from heaven to do the will of God who sent me, not to do my own will. And this is the will of God, that I should not lose even one of all those he has given me, but that I should raise them up at the last day. For it is my Father’s will that all who see his Son and believe in him should have eternal life. I will raise them up at the last day.” (John 6:35-40 NLT)