Quite recently, I have been having these heavy thoughts of what it really means to be a Christian; a Jesus follower; one who will deny himself and takes up his cross to follow Him (Luke 9:23). I have not been questioning my thought of walking with Him, so do not get me wrong. I am merely asking what does it mean to be a real Christian – one who doesn’t falter in their thinking when it comes to deciphering the right and the wrong, and one who really wants to have the genuine relationship that God longs for.
Just last week I had started “Searching for God Knows What” by Donald Miller and he makes incredible remarks, some of which I have already known and serve as reminders, but some come as an arrow. For example, in one chapter Miller says this:
“This God, and this spirituality, was very different from the self-help version of Christianity. The God of the Bible seemed to be brokenhearted over the separation in our relationship and downright obsessed with mending the tear.”
This came as a reminder/arrow to the heart. I completely understand the relational aspect that God longs for, but the words that Miller chose – “downright obsessed” – in order to describe the longing, made my eyes open up. While I won’t go into too much of the book – except to highly recommend it – I, thereafter, kept thinking about God’s obsession over our relationship with Him. In the Old Testament it is found in Jeremiah where God’s wrath is like a wavering tidal wave over Judah, and poor Jeremiah is sent in to tell people about this wave and the power of its crash if they don’t clean up their act. So then I got to thinkin’…
Our actions are our beliefs.
Now, don’t quote me on that, only because that actually comes from Miller’s other book “Blue Like Jazz”, but the truth of the matter is… our actions are our beliefs. As Christian’s, we cannot and should not become stale to what the Bible, and ultimately, to what God says. If He truly is, and He is, obsessed with mending this broken relationship that happened at The Fall, then why do we insist on going on our way with a mere Jesus tagged onto our clothes. Why should we let our Christianity become a sweater that can be worn one day to fit in here or there and the next day, we can remove it because we are around a different group of people. That does not describe the character of Jesus. It does not give truth to who God is.
Honestly, the biggest thing that gets me is that, because we as Christian’s can be labeled to be “Holier than thou”, those who do not know God, nor want to know God, become immediate watchers. Christian’s are on the field, while we have a crowd of spectators seeing the next time we mess up in order to chalk up another excuse on why not to believe in God. I think the worst of the matter is is that we Christian’s do mess up, and will mess up because we are nothing more than humans. So the onlookers see that and will not realize that our failures, most of the time, shape us. I guess that’s where the humility comes into play. Not pride. We admit that we do not have it all together, it’s a daily process, and it’s trial and error sometimes, but at least we know God is hand-in-hand with us.
So while that is the worst of the matter, I speak more to those of who become the fence riders. The ones who get it, but don’t care enough to get it more. The ones who don’t see the obsession that God has with that relationship and in return, become stale to it. The ones that give off a bad reputation of God. That is what gets me. I wish we as Christian’s would all wake up to the fact that we are representatives of the Lord. It should serve as a reminder each and every day. I know some days I am clicked back onto it – I mean, really, I work at a law firm… I should just have it tattooed on my arm for a reminder.
I am not sure if this all made sense. I think I just wanted those of you who do read this and see my blurbs about God, to know that I’m sorry if you have ever received a bad taste in your mouth towards church and towards Christianity. I think you should know that God is bigger than us and we try, we really do. There are Christian’s out there who will love you through and through as we are told. You are not judged and should never be; we all would have to take the plank out of our own eyes before that could ever happen. There is a longing for a relationship between you and God and it’s real. It is the realist thing that you could ever encounter. Sometimes it takes years to realize it.
It took me 18 years to finally get it, but 19 years for me to stop being a fence rider and to wake up to this relationship, and to finally take up my cross and follow Him. Daily, my actions are becoming my beliefs.