Jesus was the ultimate revolutionary. We can learn how to be agents of life transformation for the Kingdom of God (the goal of the revolution) by understanding how Jesus interpreted His role in life, how He established and pursued priorities, and the demeanour that facilitated His lifestyle and ministry. But we must also shed light on the philosophy or understanding that fueled His behaviour.
In the Church today, we tend to study Scripture and draw general lifestyle principles. We interpret God’s words to us through a particular analytic framework, one that is typically based on a synthesis or combination of biblical teaching, cultural values, and familial training. But what happens if we apply a completely different framework? What happens if we read the Bible without our religious and cultural glasses on? What is we read the Scriptures through the eyes of a revolutionary? What are the seminal perspectives that the Lord divulged and revealed for us to integrate in our pursuit of a revolutionary life?
Here are a few of His perspectives that may help shape your view of what a revolutionary life is all about.
1> Live the revolution
This revolution is not something you join; it is a way of life. Jesus made clear that the entrance fee for membership in this movement is repentance, obedience, love, and service. Most revolutions that the world has seen or is currently experiencing gained ground for their cause by following a strategic plan. God’s revolution, however, has no incremental plan. This war is won by the fanatics on God’s side living in concert with the revolutionary ideals that Jesus prescribed.
This is a war that is not won by force. It is won by the daily demonstration of courageous faith – the faith to be God’s person wherever He puts you, doing whatever He calls you to do. Don’t wait to sign up. Just live it!
2> Victory through engagement
Most wars are decided in terms of territory seized or the number of enemies killed. Not this one. It is unlike any war ever waged. For starters, we already know who wins. Further, the most effective weapons are those that promote peace and understanding: prayer, love, blessing, and so forth. And, of course, the war is ostensibly invisible, although it is wages in the material realm.
In fact, unlike all other wars, this one has no innocent bystanders. All are combatants who declare their side in the conflict through their words and actions. No gray area exists: you are either aligned with God, the champion of holiness and freedom, or Satan, the challenger promoting evil and enslavement.
Revolutionaries – the frontline warriors for the Kingdom – can claim victory simply by enlisting in the Lord’s army. Embracing the role of revolutionary and the persevering in the war does not guarantee victory – being a revolutionary is victory. All we have to do is show up every day to fight for what is right. The outcome has already been taken care of.
3> Motivated by love and obedience
But why, one might wonder, should we bother to engage? Why not sidestep the whole messy affair, and just lead a low-key, no-frills Christian life? Is it not enough to love Jesus, accept salvation by grace, and then live however we wish until we reach heaven?
Well, for starters, there’s that issue of bearing fruit. When Jesus told His followers, “Yes, just as you can identify a tree by its fruit, so you can identify people by their actions” (Matthew 7:20), He was intimating that all who receive the free gift of salvation ought to be so blown away by sheer gratitude that they cannot do anything other than seek ways to change themselves and the world. Even though you cannot earn your way into God’s eternal presence, your wise choices and good deeds become the evidence of your commitment and transformation.
And forget about fear as a motivator. Yes, we may harbour a healthy dose of fear due to the awesome power and unfathomable omniscience God possesses, but genuine revolutionary zeal must be attributable to an intense desire to worship, thank, and sever God for His goodness and greatness.
In the end, we surrender our lives to serve Him out of love and obedience. He is the only One who matters in life. His incredible sacrifice for us causes is to do no less than give everything we have back to Him as our own sacrifice of praise and appreciation.