EVERY person lives according to what he (or she) BELIEVES in his deepest core, according to what he VALUES intrinsically -- to what he LOVES, to what he's attracted, to what he is physically, emotionally, mentally, soulfully ATTACHED. And IF a person thinks he is beyond being attached to (or ruled by) ANYone or ANYthing, then that person may be attached -- RULED -- by his NON-attachment (the Eastern delusion of reaching nirvana by striving to be NON-striving, NON-attached to anything). Or IF a person is living a seemingly "good" life, materially satisfied, not committing any "major" acts of moral wrongs (believing that LYING, STEALING, GOSSIPING, BLASPHEMING, COVETING are NOT "real" SINs), living according to the laws of the country he lives in, and is, in his OWN conscience, free of the sins that he perceives as morally wrong in those around him -- he may be a devotee (Fully Devoted Follower) of this lifestyle of ease and spiritual DECEPTION.
To WHAT THING can a person be a Fully Devoted Follower? The world has millions of Fully Devoted Followers whose prime goal in life is to be rich and famous -- MONEY, FAME and POWER; to look like 20-year olds even though pushing 60s -- the illusive Fountain of YOUTH; or to have that ideal happily-ever-after relationship, whether married or just shacking up -- Cinderella and the Prince Charming come to life.
To WHOM can a person be a Fully Devoted Follower? god. The god of SELF...ME, mySELF and I -- what feels good to ME, what is best for mySELF, what I will. The god of SELF-seeking, SELF-realization, SELF-aggrandizement. Even if a person is an ATHEIST -- one who chooses not to believe in GOD as First Cause, and ALL Creation as the Caused Effect of the Creator's Divine Will -- he by his choice is a Fully Devoted Follower of god...the god of himSELF.
Or others may be Fully Devoted Followers and worshipers of these "gods"... Mary... Buddha... Mohammed... Joseph Smith... Confucius... spirit-in-all... higher power... the force...
But those who profess to be TRUE CHRISTians, Born Again of the SPIRIT of GOD, whether this or that denomination, what does it REALLY mean to be a Fully Devoted Follower of CHRIST?
WHAT is fully? To me, fully is ALL i am and ALL i have -- my WHOLE life -- as expressed through my Heart, Will, Mind, Body, Finances/ Possessions, and Hopes for the future. Fully means to SURRENDER ALL, not grudgingly or unwillingly or fearfully, but in LOVING, JOYful OBEDIENCE -- all of my
heart -- by LOVING CHRIST MORE THAN ANY person or thing or relationship, activity, achievement, or possession...by making HIM the sole focus of my Emotions, Desires, and Passions...by allowing HIM to REIGN over my soul.
will -- by committing myself completely to Him...by emptying myself of all desire to exercise my rights to my rights...by denying personal SELF-will...by bowing down to The TRUTH that GOD's will for me is ALL-ways best -- JOYous, interesting, vital GODventurez...so much better than i could EVER imagine...by stopping my striving against His almighty will, and instead resting in the confidence that i am His child and that HE LOVES me to the INfinite POWER.
mind -- by seeking to KNOW the Person of CHRIST and His Word, so HIS principles and values become the foundation for ALL i think, say and do; by setting aside my old learned habits of thought, views and prejudices...and instead accepting GOD's view point on ALL things as the RIGHT view. i will lean not on my OWN understanding, but TRUST IN GOD with ALL my Heart. (Proverbs 3:5)
body -- by acknowledging that my physical body with all its faculties, strengths, talents, and sexuality are given to me from GOD; and as a NEW creation In CHRIST, a dwelling place for His SPIRIT, to be used by GOD to accomplish that which HE desires to accomplish through me, according to HIS rules, not mine. My part is to cooperate by keeping this GOD-given physical body (which includes the emotional and mental) as healthy and fit as i am enabled by the INdwelling SPIRIT of GOD so that i may be that vessel, fit for His intended work.finances/possessions -- by recognizing that MONEY and ALL my possessions are GIFTS from GOD. HE is the Source of ALL good things in my life, and i am to be a good steward of ALL the possessions He has GIFTED to me. It means seeing money and possessions (whether material things, or abilities and talents, or what's most precious to me -- my time) as Blessings GOD has GIVEN me to be used to also BLESS OTHERS through me. i am not to hoard or keep any of these possessions to mySELF, but to share them with those in need around me.
future -- by giving my dreams and desires to GOD, trusting the outcome to be HIS Perfect and Loving will; by deciding to be a servant like CHRIST...by practicing JESUS' ultimate command, LOVE ONE ANOTHER AS I HAVE LOVED you; by putting LOVE in ACTion...which is SERVING OTHERS.
FULLY Devoted is TOTAL Surrender, Absorption, Attention, to the Person of CHRIST JESUS Himself -- not to any particular doctrine, or cause, or good works, or church, or denomination. It's CRUCIFYING the OLD nature IN me -- cutting out ANYthing and EVERYthing that stands in The WAY of becoming one with CHRIST. It's getting rid of EXTRAneous "stuff" -- hindrances, stumbling blocks -- such as confidence in my OWN SELF, my OWN judgment; traditions or beliefs that are safe and familiar, but contrary to GOD's view point; spiritual PRIDE, born of personal accomplishments or "higher" education; habits or a lifestyle not pleasing to GOD; fear of ridicule or rejection for declaring JESUS as LORD of my life; love for SELF-glorification or honor; love for worldly "stuff" -- material or otherwise -- stuff that satisfy but for a brief time.
Being a Fully Devoted Follower of CHRIST is putting into ACTion ALL i've professed as a child of GOD, as a BORN AGAIN Believer -- by the SUPERnatural emPOWERment of the resident Holy SPIRIT withIN. As a passionate Follower of JESUS, it is believing and trusting IN HIM completely; it is declaring HIS TRUTH (the GOOD News) to all, and by the enabling POWER of the abiding Holy SPIRIT of GOD -- it is acting and living OUT the ABUNDANT Life which i received in 2003 when i said yes! to JESUS as my LORD. In short, it is walking the talk, one day at a time.
For me, it is the MOST precious and amazing privilege, this UNdeserved, UNmerited Grace of GOD -- that i have been allowed to receive the FREE Gift of REDEMPTION of CHRIST...that i have Heaven now. i don't have to die to be ushered into the very Presence of GOD. Heaven, the very Presence of GOD, is my Reality TOday, and forEVER... all because i said a resounding Yes! to The FATHER's invitation to make JESUS, His SON, LORD of my life.How could i not rejoice and revel in being a Fully Devoted Follower of JESUS? IN HIM is the Mind of GOD -- INfinite Wisdom. IN HIM is EVERlasting Life -- no more limitation, old age or decay, or discord, or SIN's Pollution! IN HIM are LOVE, JOY, PEACE -- the REAL kind...the kind that surpasses way, way! beyond the world's superficial understanding of these much longed-for Realities. IN HIM is the POWER and AUTHORITY of The FATHER, by the Holy SPIRIT given to ALL Believers IN CHRIST JESUS. IN CHRIST, i have ALL that i need, ALL that my heart desires, ALL that i could EVER imagine or hope for in this life and certainly after this life!
To WHAT or to WHOM are you a Fully Devoted Follower?