Something that has been on my heart a lot this last month is the idea of what we do vs. who we are. Specifically in terms of our Christian walk. As I meet with different people and discuss different aspects of the Christian walk and get to hear people share their struggles another common theme has emerged. It would seem to me that many people, who I no doubt believe are Christians, have fallen into the lie that- to be a Christian means going to church, reading the Bible daily, volunteering at church, tithing etc. Unfortunately this is a lie, and it is a lie that can have an extremely strong dampening affect on our lives. It’s so easy to believe this lie because our culture is built so much around DOING things in general and we have incorporated this concept into the church as well. Is doing things bad? No! Doing things is really good and there are lots of things that God asks us to do. The problem is that after doing things for so long we start to believe that we are Christians because of the things we are doing, when really the Bible teaches that we should be doing things because we are Christians. Feel free to read that line again.
What happens is that most people, who legitimately accept Jesus Christ into their lives, do so because they at one point in their lives realized their own depravity and their need for Jesus Christ to save them from an eternity in hell. But what seems to happen almost immediately after is that this is usually the extent of what their relationship with Jesus Christ entails. A new believer may start going to church where he/she is told that they should follow the spiritual disciplines etc. because that’s what Christians do. They are told to just have faith and trust in God. After a little while of this the new believer starts to get the false idea that their identity as a Christian is in the spiritual disciplines and in this new ‘faith’ that they were told they needed to have. There are two really big problems that arise from this false teaching. 1) The person now thinks that they have to keep doing these things to stay a Christian. The problem is that we cannot ever be made righteous by anything that we do, it is only because of what Christ did that we can be made righteous. So now the new believer is on a mission that can never be completed. (2) The second problem is probably the biggest problem of them all. The person misses out on actually having a relationship with Jesus Christ. They become so focused on doing things for Jesus Christ that they don’t take time to develop a relationship with Him.
THE TRUTH IS that Jesus wants us to know Him intimately in a strong relational way. As our Lord, as our Savior, as our King, as our Father and so on. So many Christians are trying to do what God calls His followers to do, without getting to know Jesus, and without letting Him reveal Himself to them. God wants experiential Christians not theoretical Christians. How can you have faith in someone you don’t know? What’s the point in being a Christian if you don’t reap the rewards of being one? Who wants to run the race without the peace that passes all understanding or without life to the full, or without their joy being made whole? Not I.
So I encourage my brothers and sisters to make sure that they don’t get so caught up in doing things for Jesus Christ that they forget to spend time getting to know Him. Amen!