One of the most frustrating aspects that I keep running
across in ministering to “Christians” is the lack of belief in God and His
Word. It’s even more frustrating when I find these aspects in myself, which I
find more than I like to admit in various areas of my life. Thank God that He
forgives, and that He still wants to use us in spite of our innumerable
failures, lack of faith, and lack of trust.
Where did this start though? Where do we get the idea that
our opinions and beliefs are more important than God’s thoughts, beliefs,
principles, and commands for the way we live? If we are not living for God, His
Word, and for spreading the message and love of the gospel, then what are we
living for? Can we even call ourselves Christians, if we never follow Christ or
resemble any part of what He said or did in His Word?
These questions run through my mind more frequently
nowadays, because it seems like in our churches we are continually bombarded
with cheap “Grace” and easy faith. There is only mention of how great God’s
love is (and God’s love is magnificent beyond belief), how you just have to
believe in Jesus Christ, and then that is it. There is no mention of Jesus’s
words, in Mark 8 and Luke 9, where He calls us to deny ourselves, take up our
cross, and follow Him.
It is not easy to deny yourself if you have spent your whole
life living for yourself, and the desires of your eyes, mind, feelings, and
wants. I know that it is even harder in our culture in the U.S.A., where
everything is about me, me, me, and I, I, I. But Jesus is calling us to deny
ourselves, so we better find out what that is about and realize that it is
sometimes a monumental battle to actually deny ourselves.
It sounds like work to take up our cross and follow Him.
I’ll let you in on a little secret, your cross will be light as a feather if
you follow Jesus with a biblical belief system and thought process. It will be
the heaviest thing in the world if we cling to sin-filled, selfish, and
unbiblical beliefs when trying to take up our cross.
We have to follow Jesus. That means He gets to choose where
we go, what we do, and how we live. He is our guide on this road of life, and I
know He will lead me through valleys, mountain tops, places of rest, and places
of refinement. It is not just a joyride, where we get to live out the American
dream. We need to follow through the hot and the cold, when it is uphill and
downhill, when it is painful and when it is joyful, when we can see clearly and
when we cannot see at all. Where is our trust and faith if we only follow when
we are comfortable or “okay” with it?
I hope if we call ourselves “Christians”, that we will
follow Christ no matter what. I hope that we will live for Him, instead of
living for ourselves. I hope that we can point people in the direction of Jesus
Christ and God’s Holy Word.
If we don’t live for
Him, follow Him, or never point anyone in the right direction….can we even call
ourselves Christians without lying through our teeth?
If you lack faith in God, or have a hard time trusting Him,
know that we all do at certain times.
Know also that we need to actually build our thoughts,
beliefs, feelings, and actions on God’s Word to get anywhere in this Christian
Please know as well that we actually will have to start
taking faith steps following Jesus Christ if you want to see God at work, if
you want Christianity to make any sort of sense, and if you want to see your
faith grow and become steadfast.
I’ll be praying for you that read this to take the keys of
your life, and turn them over to God. I’ll be praying that you will actually
take faith steps as well, instead of being stuck in the land of indecision
where we only think about following God and never back it up with any actions.
I’ll finish with God’s word from Joshua that has helped me
enormously in this area-
Joshua 1:9- “Have I
not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be
discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”