“To live is Christ, to die is gain.” Philippians 1:21
For so long, I didn’t know how this verse from Philippians applied to my own life. But the more I got to know Jesus, the more I saw how much he walked as a pioneer.
Paul knew what it meant to live in full surrender and walk as Jesus did. God called Paul to so many new places to share the Gospel. He carried the heart of a pioneer!
Philippians 1:18-26 says, “Yes, and I will rejoice, for I know that through your prayers and the help of the Spirit of Jesus Christ this will turn out for my deliverance, as it is my eager expectation and hope that I will not be at all ashamed, but that with full courage now as always Christ will be honored in my body, whether by life or by death. For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. If I am to live in the flesh, that means fruitful labor for me. Yet which I shall choose I cannot tell. I am hard pressed between the two. My desire is to depart and be with Christ, for that is far better. But to remain in the flesh is more necessary on your account. Convinced of this, I know that I will remain and continue with you all, for your progress and joy in the faith, so that in me you may have ample cause to glory in Christ Jesus, because of my coming to you again.”
Jesus came to earth and showed us the way of God’s kingdom. It’s easy to go to a Bible study or a church event and learn all about Jesus and His ways. But, when Jesus was here, he pioneered. He was the first human being to show what it was like to walk in the fullness of the kingdom of God. His relationship with God the Father was showing us how to take up our cross and walk like He did.
In our song, “We Will Ride” (Lindy & The Circuit Riders), we sing: “I lay down my life, all for Jesus Christ, to live is Christ, to die is gain. I give it all for your name!”
We sang this out one night in Boston after watching God move on college campuses like we had never seen before. Sometimes, God will call you to go first! He will lead you down a road that is not yet ‘paved’.
To enter into the likeness and life of Christ, we must come to a place of surrendering everything. We are called to be pioneers, just like Jesus was! In our day and age, it’s so easy to imitate someone, but God is raising up innovators. He’s looking for people who are willing to do something new and follow His voice.
What is God calling you to do? Share your story below.