When you think about what it means to be a Christ-follower, what words come to mind?
Right after I began to understand there was a difference in simply saying, ‘God is God’ and having God as Lord over my life, I started looking around at the people who seems to have grasped the second concept. Sadly, I began to see Christ-following as the opposite of what it is: external appearances and routine versus an internal transformation.
At one point, I am sad to say I probably thought true Christianity looked something like a Friday night packaged with board games, off-brand soda, and a turtleneck to boot.
Anyone feel me?
As God has worked in my heart both through the study of His Word, the modeling of His children, and the best teacher- the trials and challenges He has graciously allowed in my own life- I am learning quite the opposite. True Christianity isn’t a comfortable, partially cheesy Friday night. Following Christ is an adventure from one faith step to the next; a journey of sweat, blood, and tears out in the center of the trenches of the spiritual battle.
If your version of Christianity is comfortable or boring, I want to challenge you that maybe it’s not Christianity after all.
Look at the examples of faith in God’s Word.
“…but as servants of God we commend ourselves in every way: by great endurance, in afflictions, hardships, calamities, beatings, imprisonments, riots, labors, sleepless nights, hunger, by purity, knowledge, patience, kindness, the Holy Spirit, genuine love, by truthful speech, and the power of God; with weapons of righteousness for the right hand and for the left; through honor and dishonor, through slander and praise. We are treated as impostors, and yet are true; as unknown, and yet well known; as dying, and behold, we live; as punished, and yet not killed; as sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, yet possessing everything. We have spoken freely to you, Corinthians; our heart is wide open.”- 2 Corinthians 6:3-11
Sound boring to you?
I think part of our issue, if we are honest, is that we limit God. We try to put Him in a box and envision Him as a really great human. Our pastor, Matt Mason, said something along these lines a couple weeks ago: The bigger God gets in your mind and heart the more you will want to trust Him. The smaller your view gets will do the opposite. You will begin to tighten your grip of your life, because either He could do it or you could.
God is not someone we will ever grasp on this side of heaven; nor were we ever intended to. We are meant to view Him in Holy awe with understanding that He is much greater and bigger and wiser and perfect than we will be able to fathom and that is a good, good thing.
I also believe that we push the snooze button on truly following Him, because we are scared of what it will look like. We are afraid that if we say yes, He is going to send us somewhere completely different than we anticipated. Which also means, by the way, that we think we are the best determinant of what our life should look like. Spoiler alert: while He might send you somewhere completely different than you planned, His plans for you are infinitely better than your perfectly laid out best. When we push snooze to the adventure He desires to take us on, we are choosing the comfortable over the eternally significant.
What sounds more boring, micromanaging your life to the extent that you basically know what’s coming up next; or depending on God to the extent that He has to light each and every step as it comes up?
How can the Light shine in the darkness if you are constantly running away from the dark?
How can you truly know and trust Him if you are showing up with your own, manmade flashlight everywhere you go?
Friends, in 2016, God has pressed it upon my heart to truly view this life as what God intended it to be: an adventurous journey with Him in which the eternal can start NOW.
“Whoever feeds on my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day.”- John 6:54 (emphasis mine)
Not will have.
Life on earth isn’t a dress rehearsal. Eternity with Him can start today. I don’t want to get to heaven, and when I stand at the gates, simply say,
“I had a quiet time each morning, went to church on Sundays, volunteered occasionally, lived a moral life, and gave to a few Christian organizations every now and then.”
I want to kneel before the throne, my earthly life completely spent for the sake of the Gospel.
I want to live the adventure that God has called me to live in the here and now.
I want to see Him in every breath and every move and every soul He places in front of me.
I want to use every trial He allows in our life for His glory.
This world is much too big to center however many years I have here on me while claiming that eternity will be about Him.
Eternity begins NOW, and I want to live like it has.
Friend, I will share what this looks like for our family throughout the upcoming days, but let’s talk about you:
Has faith become mundane?
Do you feel like saying, ‘yes’ to God is saying, ‘no’ to excitement?
Freedom. Life. Light. Joy. Peace. Abundance. Provision. Kindness. Goodness. Love.
These are just a handful of the words that the Lord doesn’t simply exhibit. No. He IS the very nature of these things.
I can promise you one thing: while saying, ‘Yes’ to God will most certainly spur you on to make choices that the world might say are absolutely impractical or illogical or crazy; you will never look back and say it was boring. The more steps we take toward Him, the more we open our hands to whatever He desires from us and for us, the more we are able to trust Him in whatever comes next.
Friends, let’s wake up and begin tasting instead of simply drinking.
Let’s gulp- not simply sip- the wonders of the plans God has for each of us.
Let’s stop being bored and start truly living.
He’s taken the 99 steps, why don’t you just take the one?
What are you waiting for?