Back in January, I read a biography on a young man named BJ Higgins, called I Would Die for You. When he was just 15, he died from a disease contracted on the mission field in Peru. He didn’t live for a very long time, but his faith in God still stirs people now like it did when he was alive. BJ wasn’t a normal teenager – he wasn’t even a really normal Christian teenager, because his heart was set on being radical and different in a way that not everyone grasps. His heart was incredibly soft and hungry for God, and whenever you have a soft, hungry heart, God gets in there and does awesome things.
BJ’s Christian life started in earnest when he was about eight years old. After that, there wasn’t really any stopping him from pressing into God. He loved studying the Bible and was constantly memorising scripture. From quite a young age he knew that love wasn’t an idea; it was a verb. It was something you did. With that, he just oozed love for others, ready to strike up a conversation with anyone he knew that needed to know Jesus, and learning to encourage other Christians to live their lives for God.
I think the thing that really challenged me with BJ’s life was his obedience and devotion to God. He was sold-out for God, and he wanted nothing to get in the way of him growing in his faith. When he was about 13 or 14, he gave up computer and TV games, and other things, so he could spend even more time with God. As a young teen he chose to grow up and become a man, who would live in a real world and fight in a real battle against ‘the darkness, principalities and powers of this world’. If God told him to go talk to someone about Christ, he was there in a heartbeat. If other Christians weren’t getting along, BJ would get in there and urge them to get things right with each other. More than anything, BJ wanted to glorify God and centre his life around him.
BJ’s short life inspired me to take my Christian walk to the max – to drink in and soak up how God wants me to live, in the words that I speak, the things that I do, the choices I make, because I am a saint and daughter of God, and then go and live it! BJ’s life was a reminder that the dingy things of this world can’t hold a candle to the things of God, and for me to pursue those things, no matter where they take me.
“Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you…” James 4:8