8 Steps to Living Radically

1.  Reckless Abandon: A huge key in being a passionate and radical follower of Jesus Christ is reckless abandon.  Reckless abandon can be described as doing something in spite of consequences.  Continuously surrender and submit your whole self and the plans that you have for your life to God, and allow Him to have complete control and trust! In Jeremiah 29:11 God says: “For I know the plans I have for you”, declares the Lord. “Plans to prosper you, and not to harm you; plans to give you hope, and a future.” His plans for your life are beautiful. As Katie Davis, a missionary in Uganda, Africa says, “It’s not about God making my dreams come true, but about God changing my dreams into his dreams for my life.”

2.  Don’t be lukewarm: Revelations 3:16 says “I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other!” Christ wants us to lead a life that is passionate, and sold out for him from the words that come out of our mouths to the actions we display and posture of our hearts. We live in a culture today where it’s normal to be ‘okay’ or content with what’s going on around us.  We, as teens, face pressures to conform and be like the world but we are called to be set apart and to live a life that is not of this world!  When we accept Christ into our lives, we are wiped clean and reborn from our previous ways of doing things and we are to live in such a way that reflects Christ and the works he has done in us.

3.  Fear not: The Bible says to “Fear not.”…365 times!!  That is a reminder to “fear not” for every single day of the year. Being radical isn’t just about going to church every weekend and keeping watch on what you say and do; it’s also about stepping out of your comfort zone. We have so many opportunities to make a difference, but yet we fear what people would think if we were to do so. Matthew 10:28 says “Do not fear those who can kill the body but not kill the soul.” We have the tools to make a change, to stand up for what’s right, and to be a light in a dark place. Set out in faith and don’t let fear get in the way!

4.  Turn intentions into actions: Per the dictionary, intention can be defined as:  “Firmly directed, having ones attention or purpose firmly fixed; anything intended, with purpose; determination to act in a specified, purposeful way.”  Instead of allowing ideas of how to step out, serve, or shine the light of God to get stuck in our minds as thoughts only, we should focus our thoughts and intentions on God and see what steps he gives you to walk out the actions.  He says he will direct our steps…listen, believe it, and act with Jesus. (Check out Colossians 3:1 and Ephesians 15-17)

5. Soak in the Bible: The Bible is a powerful weapon against fear, filled with countless truths, advice, and examples on how to live.  A great way to fight fear is to put scriptures in a place you frequent such as a locker, mirror, in school books or even on a cell phone. Surrounding yourself with truths will help to remind you why fear has no place in our daily lives. 2 Timothy 3:16 says, “All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right.” If you are looking for a role model of a person who lived radically, look no further than Jesus himself, in the New Testament. The things he said, did and acted out were extraordinarily countercultural to the world around him.

6. Look around for daily opportunities to serve:  The definition of radical is “Relating to or affecting the fundamental nature of something; far-reaching or thorough.” Even though this is a high standard, it can most definitely be met. You can touch the life of another through God by searching for opportunities to serve those around you whether it is at home, school, on the sidewalk, at the store… anywhere!  There is a constant need for Jesus’ love, kindness, and compassion, so whether it’s a smile, hug, or helping someone with groceries, just know that God’s light shines through you everywhere you are. 

7. Trust:  God is much bigger than we are which is very reassuring. Sometimes it can feel like the little things we do to help others make no difference at all, but that is a lie. If we step out and do something to change the way the world is, even if it appears small, it is an act of good that may not have been there before.  Confidence to act spreads, but it has to start somewhere.  Kindness is contagious. It’s not up to you to change the world; that is God’s job. But you can take part of the change. Trust in Him.

8. Where do your foundations and roots lie? Colossians 2:6-7 says, “As you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so continue to live in him. Keep your roots deep in him and have your lives built on him. Be strong in faith, just as you were taught and always be thankful.” The foundations that we build on play a huge role in our relationship with Christ, our walk with him, and in our radical living. It’s important to be sold out for God and to build your life on him. Matthew 7:24-28 says “Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand.  The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.”  Trials will come during our walk with Christ: doubts, questions, and persecution…but if you don’t have your roots deep in Christ, you will fall like the house built on sand. But those who have their roots deep in Christ and find their encouragement, strength and hope from him will stand strong and flourish. 

                                   ~ by Maddie Lotz & Kate Decker

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