Being obedient is the easiest thing for someone to say they are willing to do. It is hard to put into action, though. I know this to be true because I am a prime example. I started this post at least a week ago and until today I had only made it as far as the first sentence. I sincerely wanted to do it, however, I always found other things to distract me from completing it. As a Christian I do the same thing when it comes to obeying  the Lord. To be honest we all do. 

Everyday tasks can distract us and become the biggest deterrents to being obedient. I let a lot of things distract me from being obedient to God. The irony of it is I have a constant reminder in the form of a wristband that reads "I AM SECOND." Somehow I have not only disregarded that message, but I have also seemed to place my religion on the back burner in my life. Different aspects of my life have been prioritized to have more importance to me. No I am not out doing anything I am not supposed to as a Christian. I am just not doing the things a follower of Christ should be doing. These things include reading my bible and studying the Word, praying, and trying to make disciples of those in need. These are things we as Christians should do everyday. And yes I do mean everyday, especially as a young Christian with so much energy, wide eyed and full of hope for humanity. It should be our main goal and our main duty to pick up that cross.  We should do what God intended us to do. Instead I let twitter, my family, and work stop me. Sometimes I let the urge to do things my way stop me from doing what 2 John 1:6 says to do to show that we love the Lord.

 And this is love: that we walk in obedience to his commands. As you have heard from the beginning, his command is that you walk in love.

As a young Christian it is easy to get distracted with things in the world today. We have so much going on in our social media ran worlds. We spend more of our time looking down in our hands than anything else. We can literally do everything we need to from our mobile devices. As a matter of fact this post is being typed from my cell phone. I use my bible app as reference.

Here is a verse that lays it out very simple and plain. It tells us how being obedient is the only thing we as young Christians should focus on to live a pure life. Everything else will fall in order as long as we are truly obedient. 

How can a young person stay on the path of purity? By living according to your wordPsalm 119:9 

I love how straight forward this verse is. It has also helped me get back into the word and I hope this post will do the same for you.

"Grow up!" Those were the words former Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams shouted as he addressed Christians in Great Britain and in the rest of the Western world who likened feeling "mildly uncomfortable" to being persecuted. Williams also said that "not being taken very seriously" or "being made fun of" in Britain and the United States is not similar or resemblant to the "murderous hostility" faced by other Christians in certain parts of the world.

It would be accurate to say Christians in America are often the victims of such ridicule. This is largely due to the fact we allow our faith to be represented by extremists and heretics in mainstream thought. I've experienced first hand the practice of placing all Christians in a box and labeling it "Westboro Baptist." 

It is especially difficult being a young Black intellectual who identifies with the Christian faith. My blackness, intelligence, and ability to reason logically is immediately called into question once I profess my faith in Jesus Christ.

I am a grown man. I no longer have to rely on the nursery rhyme, "sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me" to cope with the verbal assaults unleashed toward me by those skeptical of my faith. 

That's the worst of our problems; insults. These insults are usually hurled from behind the protection of a computer monitor and keyboard. The audacity of Christians in the Western world to cry persecution. Grow up! 

The reality is that those claiming to be persecuted have no idea what persecution looks like. Black Christians in America understand persecution because we face it daily. But we face it because of the racial prejudice that still exists in "post-racial" America, not because of our faith. 

None of us Christians in America have been persecuted because of our beliefs. In fact we enjoy the privilege that comes with our religion being attached to the dominant culture politically, economically, and spiritually. 

Our brothers and sisters in Christ in Egypt are experiencing real persecution right now! In Egypt, Christians make up about 10 percent of the population. Since the ousting of  President Mohammed Morsi on July 3rd there have been reports that "nearly 40 churches have been looted and torched, while 23 others have been attacked." So far two Christians have been killed, but that number is sure to rise with the current violent social unrest. 

It would be a disgrace to the gospel if I did not mention the turmoil Egypt is facing as a nation. In total, since Thursday, almost 900 Egyptian people have died and more than 4,000 have been injured. Not only do Egyptian Christians need our prayers, but all the people of Egypt need our prayers as well. 
I've been doing a lot of reflecting as my summer break nears it's end. One of my best friends Jameson was in town for his birthday. Every time I see or talk to him he asks me about two:fifth; the movement Travis and I started last summer.

Last summer was a great experience. Travis and I received tremendous support for two:fifth. I still see people wearing their two:fifth wristbands and I still see our stickers on random objects around town. The money we raised went to a great cause and the time we volunteered was appreciated by many. Since last summer, however, I have struggled to find a direction for two:fifth.

It was not until I heard a sermon a couple weeks ago that I began to realize why finding direction was so difficult. The sermon topic was starting a new relationship with God. The preacher reminded the congregation of the need to surrender our lives to God. 

While reading one of my favorite Christian blogs, Of Dust And Kings, I came across a post about submitting to God. In that post the author wrote,
"For many years I thought that I had found a great compromise whereby I could be on God’s side by being a regular church attendee and living a (mostly) moral life while still doing as I pleased most of the time."
Then, just last Sunday, the same preacher from before continued his series on starting a new relationship with God. I could barely contain myself when he shouted the words, "Some of us are living a saved life, but not a surrendered life." 

Over the years I have learned not to ignore God when He brings that amount of clarity into my life. The path to following God is narrow, but it is straight. We make it sinuous when we purposefully miss the signs He is giving us.

The reason last summer felt so fulfilling was because I gave everything (well close to everything) to God. I let God take control of my life. Approximately 95% of my income from my summer job last year went into building two:fifth and creating ways to help others. It was God that blessed me with the funds, so in no way am I bragging about being fiscally obedient to God. 

I wanted to surrender my life to God, but somewhere over the course of a year I got off track. Between the sermons, the blogs, and me reading the scripture that inspired two:fifth, I have come to realize that's all I ever wanted out of the movement anyway; to be a constant reminder to serve God and others before ourselves. 

The scripture that inspired two:fifth was Philippians 2:5:
"In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus."
Paul then details how Jesus humbled himself despite his divine nature. God incarnate made himself a servant of mankind. If we are to be Christ-like then we must surrender ourselves to the will of God.

Surrendering your life to God does not necessarily mean you will become a pastor, youth minister, or anything within the church for that matter. The need for faithful and obedient servants of the Lord extends to every hemisphere of the earth. As the blogger reminds us, it is not enough to live a mostly moral life. Piety becomes self-righteous and pharisaical when we look for a compromise between total surrender and living for ourselves. 

It is with this post that I ask all my brothers and sisters in Christ to hold me accountable as I surrender my life to God once more. I have lived a saved life long enough. I desire to live a surrendered life for the rest of my days. 
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