I know, I know… yikes! What a presumptive and pretentious title.
Let me try again… Dear Christians, you might be doing it wrong… I know I was.
I’m a good Christian
I’m a devoted Christian
I’m an obedient Christian
I thought it. I said it. I believed it.
I was doing all of the things a good, devoted, and obedient Christian was supposed to do, right?
- I read scripture, though not everyday, and not as in depth as I could have, I still read it.
- I attended a weekly small group.
- I volunteered my time with the church.
- I tithed and gave other gifts when I felt called.
- I consistently attended services.
- I listened and sang along to praise and worship music.
- I wholeheartedly believed Jesus was my Lord and Savior.
- I shared my story and the gospel with my daughters and other people, to show them the goodness, grace, and love of God.
- I tried not to sin and to pray for repentance.
Good! That’s so good, right!?
Look at me, Jesus! I’m a good, devoted, obedient Christian. I am doing all of the Christiany kind of things.
Right, Jesus? Do you see all of the good Christiany things I am doing that you tell us to do?
What am I missing here?
Do you guys ever feel that way?
Where it feels like you are doing what you’re supposed to be doing… but you still feel a void. You see other people absolutely ON FIRE for Jesus. You’re doing the same thing… but why do you feel this hole?
Jesus finally answered me.
He saw what I had been doing. I was trying to please and serve Him but I missed the most important thing.
He Softly whispered…
What? but I thought that’s what I’d been doing?
Nope… Maybe building with relationships with others through Christ… but not building my relationship with Christ.
If you’re reading this and thinking… “Well, this was a waste of my time, I do have a relationship with God”, I want to challenge you to take a step back and evaluate the authenticity and depth of your relationship. If you don’t feel like you’re on fire for Jesus, then you might need to work on your relationship.
I am speaking from experience.
I remember the first few intimate and emotional experiences I had with God. I had longed for similar experiences to happen again but I had no idea what to do or how I was supposed to do it.
I eventually understood… those experiences came when I was receptive and ready to grow with Him.
I also began to understand that having a relationship with Jesus did not look the same as the earthly relationships I have with friends and family. A relationship with Jesus meant inviting the Holy Spirit into my heart, truly believing that He is the way, the truth and the light, leaning on him to guide me and trusting his way over my own understanding.
Do you have a truly authentic, intimate, and close relationship with Jesus?
- do you talk to Him like He’s your best friend?
- do you turn to Him in times of stress,struggle, and temptation
- do you rely on the Holy Spirit to help you discern between situations in your daily life?
- do you feel at peace when you pray and comforted in times of trouble?
- when you see someone else you care about experiencing adversity, do you urgently want to introduce them to Jesus?
I know it can be hard to have a relationship with someone who doesn’t appear to be physically present in your life, but if you have given your life over to Christ and invited Him into your heart, He is alive in you! Once you believe and understand that, He will draw you closer and closer to Himself.
I also understand that every Christian will experience stagnant seasons in their relationship with the Lord, just like we do with other earthly relationships. God tells us that He will never leave us, nor forsake us, He is always with us. So, when we feel we are far from God or stagnant it’s generally because we’ve separated or distanced ourselves for some reason. Identifying that reason, followed by praying and surrendering to Him, will reignite the fire in your relationship.
Why is this the most important thing in Christianity?
You can have all of the biblical knowledge, a compassionate heart, a strong mindset, etc… but without this relationship your heart is not guarded and therefore itself susceptible to sin, hate, pain, and further destruction.
This can be best explained and understood when reading 1 John 4:16 and Corinthians 13:2-3 which, in summary, state: God is Love and without love you have nothing.
1 John 4:16 NIV
And so we know and rely on the love God has for us.
God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them.
1 Corinthians 13: 1-3
If I speak in the tongues[a] of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. 3 If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast,[b] but do not have love, I gain nothing.
Christianity is not a religion.
Christianity is a relationship with Jesus Christ.
This is the most important thing.