At the Center

Pastors and others in the Christian community always told me to put Christ first in my life.  And I think their advice is partially true.  Did I say, “Partially?”
This advice sounds noble and even semi-spiritual; however, in more recent times I have re-thought my position on this matter.  I think we need to put Christ at the center of our lives, so that no matter what we do, where we go or what we say, we have to go through Him to do it! 
Let me explain.  I find that many professing believers in Christ today are “compartmentalizing their faith.”  By this I mean they tend to exclude the Lord from key areas of their lives.  For example, a couple not married and living together may truly love the Lord, but they dishonor the Lord by practicing “one flesh” living outside His prescribed bond of marriage. They in essence, compartmentalize this area of their life and often justify their lifestyle by suggesting that God understands their choice.  Not true!
Individuals who perhaps may know the Lord but often drink to get drunk obviously break Paul’s exhortation to “Be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess, but be filled with the Spirit…” (Ephesians 5:18).  They may put Christ first in other areas, but compartmentalization of their faith keeps them from placing Christ at the center of their life in terms of their beverage of choice!
None of us are perfect and all of us are in process, but when we decide what goes “first” in our lives and Christian experience, we still make other critical life choices that may or may not be pleasing to the Lord.  We dare not pick and choose (compartmentalize) what areas of life and living we will choose to obey.  Putting Christ at the center of our lives mandates that He becomes Lord of every area!
The biggest problem I see when we compartmentalize our faith is that we place our testimony in jeopardy.  Those around us who hear of our relationship with Christ often are confused by our inconsistencies and claims to be different, and may be repelled by our hypocrisy.  We must never give those outside of saving faith reason to reject our sincerity when it comes to Christian authenticity.
When we put Christ at the center of our life, we must then go through Him to move about from one compartment of life to another.  We are forced to compare what we do, say and where we go to His expectations and righteous desires, and because we live under new marching orders, we comply to His directives.  We live to please Him! 
That’s why I recommend that you move Christ from being first to being the central focus of everything you do.  The centrality of the gospel moves Jesus from being SAVIOR TO LORD.  It’s moving Him from first place to allowing Him to affect the very core of our being.  “I am crucified with Christ; nevertheless I live, yet not I, but Christ lives within me and the life I now live, I live by the grace of the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me” (Galatians 5:20). 
Is Jesus at the center of YOUR life?  Do all roads lead to His keeping power?  



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