Living amidst a fast-paced, career-driven, entertainment-filled, and achievement-based society, it is easy for the call of discipleship to be drowned out in our lives. While our society encourages self-promotion, our Lord has called us to completely lay down our lives (Luke 9:23-24), to win a far greater all-satisfying treasure—Jesus Christ himself ! This is the call of discipleship—totally dying to ourselves to live a Christ-exalting life.

The implication of this calling is massive. Often we can get baptised, and put the Truth in a ‘box’, where it doesn’t permeate every part of our lives. It’s easy to live a ‘reasonable life’ where we justify being a part-time disciple, yet nothing about Christ is ever ‘reasonable’. If Christ is anything to us, he must become everything! Taking on Christ needs to radically change all areas of our lives. If we profess to be ‘Brethren of Christ’, we must be fully Christ-centred people. Christ must become our only treasure, our only identity, our passion and our joy. Paul demonstrates this mindset:

“But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ. Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss of the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ” (Phil 3:7-8).

“…this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize for the high calling of God in Christ Jesus’ (Phil 3:13-14).

The call of discipleship requires a single-minded focus. We need to consider everything else in our life of little importance. Christ has to become everything to us. If only we could behold the supreme worth of Christ, then everything else would become loss to us, as it did with Paul.

What do you find joy in? What do you talk about to your fellow young people? Is Christ everything to you? It’s easy to fall into the trap of seeing our university degrees or careers as our identity, joy and treasure, rather than simply a method of ‘occupying till he comes’. Our lives are filled with opportunities to show to the world, these things are not our treasure, Christ is. Even by the way we interact with family and friends, the world should see they are not our treasure, Christ is! (Luke 14:26).

Our biggest enemy is our deceitful hearts, which blind us, so that we do not see the ‘surpassing worth of Christ’. By God’s strength through reading His precious Word, we need to see past this glitzy, temporary world, to behold the splendour of our risen Lord, and embrace this high and holy calling. It is a battle against our nature. Being a full-hearted disciple is hard! Yet, God has promised a reward, the promise of life with His Son. When Christ wrote to Laodicea (who struggled with the same issue of half-heartedness), he said to them: “Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me. To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne” (Rev 3:20-21).

There is a simple logic to the Truth: if God Almighty is the supreme being of the universe, then He is surely worthy of our supreme affections and endeavours. When we deeply desire our God, our affections and direction will change as we begin to manifest Him. May we have that same single-minded goal that Paul had so that we may express with the psalmist: “One thing have I desired of the Lord, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the Lord, and to enquire in his temple” (Psa 27:4).