I wrote an article a week ago about how all Christians, according to God’s Word, are to have sustainability in their faith. But now I want to address problems that so many people come to me with in their faith. If people are coming to me with these problems, how much more are Pastors having to address these problems. Even though these people tell me they accepted Jesus Christ as their Savior and Lord, they share how they do not have the victory in their life they know they should have. They do not have the complete peace they know they should be experiencing. They have fears and angers they know they should not be feeling. Anxiety and depression have gripped their lives. Many have turned to drugs and alcohol to numb these feelings. They question God and think He has let them down. Where does the root problem really lay? It goes much deeper than if they read their Bible and pray.
There are YouTube videos and a website entitled ‘I am Second’ where many somewhat famous people give their testimony. These are well and fine in this technologically advanced society so many of us live in where, even Christians, have become addicted to being glued to their smart phones most of their waking hours. Many cannot exist without them, even though we did not have them only seven years back (The first generation iPhone was released on June 29, 2007).
No, the root problem does not lie in God or in people on the internet giving testimony ‘I am Second’. The root problem lies in the fact whether or not you, and only you, can say ‘You Are Second’. You may have accepted Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord, but you have not been able to truly answer yes to the question ‘Are You Second?’.
Please read the requirements Jesus Himself laid out plainly in His own words in the two portions of Scripture below:
• Now great multitudes went with Him. And He turned and said to them, “If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes, and his own life also, he cannot be My disciple. And whoever does not bear his cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple. For which of you, intending to build a tower, does not sit down first and count the cost, whether he has enough to finish it — lest, after he has laid the foundation, and is not able to finish, all who see it begin to mock him, saying, ‘This man began to build and was not able to finish’?” (Luke 14:25-30 NKJV)
• And another also said, “Lord, I will follow You, but let me first go and bid them farewell who are at my house.” But Jesus said to him, “No one, having put his hand to the plow, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.” (Luke 9:61, 62 NKJV)
Please go to John 6 and notice how many followed Jesus. But as Jesus explained some hard concepts, these followers went back. Then notice what Peter was saying when he declared to Jesus that there was no one else to follow or no other way. We must also recognize that we must do it Jesus’ way, for there is no other way. If not we will suffer the consequences:
• From that time many of His disciples went back and walked with Him no more. Then Jesus said to the twelve, “Do you also want to go away?” But Simon Peter answered Him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.” (John 6:66-68 NKJV)
The only way is to be able to truly answer ‘I am Second’. The problem is so many people want Jesus, but they want to do it their way. I have witnessed so many Christians who have fought this concept for so many wasted and ruined years of their life. Not until they hit bottom and finally looked up and realized that only one person can be first. That is when you almost always see the tears of true repentance come and the weight of being first is lifted and they can now truly say ‘I am Second’.
You may now be able to understand, if you did not before, why so many devout Christian leaders have always doubted the true validity of quick salvation prayers at Christian events. Look what we are commanded by Jesus to do:
• “Go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you.” (Matthew 28:19, 20 NLT)
It’s not just about getting someone to start following Jesus. It’s about getting them to truly say ‘I am Second!’. Then and only then can that person be able to tap into the power of the Holy Spirit. That is when the victory and peace come!
If you can name the time and date you started to follow Jesus, but you cannot truly say ‘I am Second’, now is the time to do it. If you are sick of the fears and anxieties that drive your life, now is the time to end it. It starts by humbling yourself and admitting that you and Jesus both cannot be first. Then all you need to do is declare verbally and in your heart ‘I am Second!’. From there you need to live your life with Jesus first and you always following behind:
• Then he said to the crowd, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross daily, and follow me. If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake, you will save it.” (Luke 9:23, 24 NLT)
And this is the amazing part:
• Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30 NLT)