We’ve all been asked the question, “Are you willing to lose your life for Christ?” Perhaps we’ve heard it from our youth pastor, our parents, asked ourselves while reading Voice of the Martyrs, or read or watched a Christian book or movie which revolves around the question.
As emotionally invasive and as spiritually relevant as that question is, I often find myself thinking that dying for Christ isn’t the question. Instead, my challenge to us is: “Are we willing to live for Christ?” This is not unconnected from the question of dying for Christ, but is the first question we must ask ourselves.
Whether I am able to bench 200 lbs. is a good question. But first I must be able to honestly say I can bench 100 lbs. Whether I am able to run a marathon is a good question. But first I must be able to honestly say I can run a mile.
Let me put it another way: I cannot trust God when my two-month-old niece passes away if I am not trusting Him when I stub my toe. I will not be able to trust God in the big storms if I have been trying to stand on my own through the small ones.
We must all be willing to die for Christ. But before that is possible we must be able to say with the Apostle Paul, “For to me to live is Christ, [therefore] to die is gain.”
Living for Christ is the prerequisite of dying for Christ. Obedience when no one is watching comes before obedience in public. And I’m talking about obedience that’s hard. Obedience that costs you something. That is why you can’t fake hard things, and that is why small hard things always come before big hard things.