Late one night when the noises in the dorm rooms around me faded, I sat on my floor asking big questions. Why am I here? What am I supposed to do with my life?
It was my Junior year at Belhaven College. Only one more year until graduation. Shouldn’t I know what I wanted to be when I grew up by now?
In those quiet moments I read 2 Corinthians 5:14.
For the love of Christ compels us, because we judge thus: that if One died for all, then all died; and He died for all, that those who live should live no longer for themselves, for but Him who died for them and rose again.
From this verse I gathered that I was supposed to live for Christ and not for myself.
But what does it mean to live for Christ?
If I had written this post on that night twenty-something years ago, I would probably have written a list, a “10 Ways to Live For Him” that would have sounded very spiritual and pretty near impossible. I’m sure an hour-long devotion at 5:00 am before your big toe hits the floor would have made the list.
Thank goodness blogging hadn’t been invented yet.
The truth is that “living for Him and not for ourselves” will probably look different for each of us. It even looks different in each season of our own lives. Living for Him may involve caring for your mother or father while they struggle with cancer or Alzheimer’s. It may involve changing 1,234 diapers in a season of caring for babies. It may mean waiting. Waiting for a relationship, waiting for a child, waiting for an answer. Waiting and clinging to His promises.
But behind the scenes “living for Him and not for ourselves” looks pretty similar in each of our lives. Living for Him involves getting to know Him and learning to hear His voice.
We get to know Him by talking to Him through prayer, by reading His Word, by being part of a community of people who are also living for Him, a place where our faith can be encouraged and strengthened.
The word for compels is a Greek word that means to hold together, to compress, to arrest. The love of Christ holds us together.
The word compels mean to force or drive, especially to a course of action.What action does the love of Christ drive us to?
When we grasp what He has done for us, the love of Christ toward us drives us to live for Him, and not for ourselves. We live for Him in response to His love for us.
My 10 ways – list-making-college-self lived for Him in order to earn His love. What a waste. The glorious truth is that We already have His love! The life He lived and the death He died is proof of His love for us. There is nothing to earn, but plenty to be thankful for.
In the process of living for Him we get to know Him. As we get to know Him we grow closer to Him. And no matter what our season of life looks like on the outside, growing closer to Him brings meaning to our life.