International (MNN) — On Day 2 of Urbana 15–a student missions conference in St. Louis, Missouri held by InterVarsity Christian Fellowship, Francis Chan dug into a hard topic: Living under the authority of Christ.
“Those early years of college, just trying to figure out God, ‘Where are You sending me? What do You want me to do?’ And there was so much of me that was afraid of that question. There was so much of me that was afraid of the authority of Jesus Christ,” said Chan.
Emily Johnston, the Global Opportunities Coordinator at Cornerstone University, says, “The perspective that he brought is this idea that the world tells us we don’t want to live under authority.”
And it’s understandable why many people shy away from living under Christ’s authority.
Living under Christ means letting go of our desire to live a comfortable life. It means things may not always be the way we want them to be. But it also means we might face suffering.
“We’re not going to get to the nations if we’re not willing to suffer. We can’t be sent out by Christ if we’re not willing to suffer,” explained Chan. After all, in John 3:30 we’re told we must decrease so He may increase.
So what does this mean?
Johnston says, “When we live under the authority of Jesus, there’s a sense of security, but it doesn’t always mean safety. It doesn’t mean the authority of Jesus protects us from everything…but we have the freedom within the authority of God to enter into the suffering of the world…. We have the opportunity to enter into that with the security that God is with us.”
And what greater security can anyone ask for than knowing God is present. God’s invitation to live under Christ’s authority isn’t one of oppression, it’s one of incredible freedom.
“I don’t have to feel like I have to change the whole world. That’s not my job,” says Johnston. “And the authority of Christ gives me the ability to say, ‘Okay, that’s God’s job. And I just want to be a part of whatever that little piece that God’s called me to.”
Take today’s opportunity to challenge yourself to live under God’s authority. For all you know, it might be the most freeing thing you do all year.
For those unable to make it to this year’s Urbana Conference, there are still ways to be involved. Urbana is offering streaming services for the evening seminars.
To stream, click here.