Following Jesus requires denying ourselves and taking up our cross. In this article, Pastors CJ and Mye Nunag share their thoughts on how to embrace a life of obedience and sacrifice.
Was there a point in your life where you had to make a big sacrifice to follow God?
PASTOR CJ: Life, generally—in light of following Jesus—is comprised of making sacrifices. But these are not sacrifices caused by sin or disobedience. It’s just that, at some point, there are preferences that we have to let go of for the sake of following Christ.
Years ago, I shifted vocations to follow Jesus. Initially, the plan was for me to become a medical doctor. Everything had already been laid out, including the resources, but I decided to give that up when I was called to serve the Lord and do full-time ministry.
Even until now, there are still sacrifices that I make every day in order to follow Christ. (Like when God prompts me to give more, even after I have been faithful in giving.) But obviously, all of these pale in comparison to Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross. All of these are nothing compared to what He has done for us.
PASTOR MYE: Sometimes, we feel like we are making sacrifices because we are giving up the things that we want, but in reality, we are simply embracing what God wants for us.
There was a time in the past wherein, just like CJ, I thought I had it all figured out. I was supposed to go to law school when God started calling me to a different path.
Even before I became a Christian, I had always wanted to be part of a change in our nation. I thought the best way to do that was to help create laws for the betterment of our country. So I thought I could work in a government office as a lawyer. However, even if it was a noble desire, it wasn’t what God wanted me to do—He wanted me to do full-time ministry. I could have been successful pursuing that career, but I couldn’t have lived with the fact that I was not at the center of God’s will.
How do you continue to respond in faith when troubles come?
PASTOR CJ: We find the grace to sacrifice because our Savior sacrificed for us first. Most of the time, it doesn’t feel like we’re making sacrifices anymore, because God is giving us so much grace to do it.
PASTOR MYE: Personally, knowing that God has gone ahead of me as I go through whatever situation gives me the strength to face it. I know I just have to move forward, trust Him, and hold on to His grace as I go to where He wants me to be. There will always be challenges when we follow Christ, but knowing that I’m at the center of His will keeps me grounded in faith.
PASTOR CJ: Responding in faith is really about moving forward and learning how to trust God despite difficult situations. So when there are things that I don’t understand, I take time to reflect and talk to people, confirm with scripture if possible, then take the next step even if things are still a bit vague. I take time to slow down if necessary, but I still continue moving forward.
PASTOR MYE: I guess, the more we move in faith and have a revelation of who God is, the more we become willing to sacrifice. We realize that there’s nothing we cannot lay down before His feet. There’s nothing we can’t give up for Him.
Indeed, there’s nothing better than following Christ and being at the center of His will. In the end, it is always worth it to live a life of obedience and faith.
Pastor CJ and Pastor Mye serve in our church in U-Belt. They have been married for fifteen years and have two children—Samuel and Elle.
Beyond the Series is a set of interviews with Victory pastors on topics related to our sermon series.