I have mulled over this question since I received it. A couple of scriptures come to mind: Romans 12:1-2, specifically the part about not being conformed to the world but being transformed by the renewing of your mind; The first part (17 verses) of Colossians 3 where it talks about what it looks like to serve Christ; as well as Jeremiah 6:16 – standing (stopping – depending on the translation) at the crossroads and following God
All of these scriptures reflect that if you do something, God will meet you 1/2 way (James 4:8 – Come near to Me and I will come near to you). Actually, never having been asked that question, I was somewhat taken back. I’m not sure if he was able to see this or not.
What a phenomenal question to ask! What does it look like in 2012 for an adult to truly live for God, submit their lives to Christ daily, put God first.
I am an adult that is trying to do just that. BUT, there were many years of my 30 being a Christian where I was not bowing my entire life to Christ. It is coming upon a year now that I can say I have “jumped into the deep water”.
In my opinion, here is what it is not:
- It is not attending church weekly. Although this is beneficial (and necessary), I do not believe in the slightest sense that this alone allows you to truly serve God. May look good, may get the “religious task” checkmark on your weekly list checked, but it will not reflect your heart in serving God. It can challenge you and offer you a chance to share in corporate worship, which is a wonderful thing.
- It is not confessing. While also necessary, that alone does not indicate a heart that is following God. I often pray with my kids on the way to school: “Help them be a witness today at school, not by what they say but by their life.” It is summed up by the old saying: “I can’t hear what you are saying because your actions are shouting too loudly.”
- It is not giving devotion daily to God, then going about your day without God. This was me the majority of my adult Christian life. God was somewhat of a task on my task list. Got checked off until the next day. I went about my day in my own strength, never giving him my stress and wearing all of my issues on my own backpack.
- It is not about being perfect, but forgiven. You are a work in progress, always. God looks at the heart of His children. But you need to remember that sin does separate you from God’s intimacy. Remember 1 John 2:1.
But what is it? This answer is different for each person as everyone serves God in their own personal way, as God is a personal God. I can only answer what it means for me:
- It means that at every turn, I seek His will, or at least attempt to think of God. It is not just going through my day, week, year, etc. without Him or His word in my thoughts.
- It is about loving others more than myself. Romans 12:3
- It means that I value God enough to take the time to memorize important verses (I call them life verses) so that I know where they are and can pull them out mentally when needed.
- It means when I wake up, I have God on my mind FIRST, and I act on that thought. He is the first rock that I put in my jar. He is priority number 1 in my life.
- It means prioritizing my relationships so that God is number one, and my wife is number two. Everything else falls below that.
- It means not just sitting on my butt and doing what I want to do, but reaching out to others by getting involved in ministry, or at least having an open heart towards doing that. This reflects what God talks about all throughout the bible, giving back, thinking of others, etc.
- It is less about talking about God, but living about God – daily – in front of those you have a close relationship with, your peers, your family, your spouse, your kids. The best thing that can happen is when they are going through a issue in their lives and they seek you out, not because of what you have said in the past, but that they have sensed that you have built you life on a strong foundation, and can help them out.
- It means that you value God enough in your life that you are striving to bow down every part of your life to Him. It is less about the “dos” and more about the heart’s desire. The “dos” come after the decision is made in the heart. If you get the actions ahead of the heart decision, then it is useless works and drive you down the legalism path – remember the people Christ Himself had the most issue with were the Pharisees who (according to Christ) had the looks, but were worms on the inside (read the latter part of Luke 44).
Serving Christ as an adult means something different to everyone, but is so very apparent when it is happening. If you are wondering where your priorities are, just ask someone who is relationally close to you. They will tell you. Your priorities are usually reflected in:
- where you desire to spend your time
- the checks written (debit transactions) in your bank account
- the questions you tend to ask.