Many firefighters today speak powerful words of inspiration, train intensely, and make great sacrifices on behalf of the fire service. But what if someone saw them in their private life?
Would they be the same person?
Would we witness them speaking words of affirmation and encouragement to their loved ones?
Would we see them pouring that same intensity into their faith, their family, and their communities?
Would we see them making those same great sacrifices on behalf of their family?
Would we see them stand up for their faith or compromise under pressure?
Many of us would be found lacking in our dedication outside of our passionate pursuit of our calling. Yet if we claim to be followers of Jesus, He calls us to live a life of sacrifice and self denial not recognition and reward.
Jesus said “If anyone would come after Me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily & follow Me.” Luke 9:23
This isn’t conditional sacrifice of based upon our profession. It is a calling that we must live out in our homes, our jobs, and our communities.
The innate calling of a firefighter, first responder or police officer is one of self-sacrifice. We honor the lives of those who have given theirs so that others may live. But what about the act of a living sacrifice in all aspect of our lives?
“Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship.
Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.” Romans 12:1-2
Not conforming means not allowing negative thoughts, moral compromise, or allowing the demon of pride to rise up in us. If the devil is allowed an inch in our lives he becomes our ruler. He breaks us down and makes us feel unworthy, and points out our sins, and then tempts us to sin yet again. We cannot fall into this continuous trap when we are called to be a child of God.
If we follow the pattern of the world, our road will be easy and with few obstacles but if we choose to follow Christ in all aspects of our lives we should be ready for battle. For the devil doesn’t come after anyone who is already on his team, he only assails those who choose to live One life for the One True God.
Andy J. Starnes
Bringing Back Brotherhood Ministries