There are dozens of so-called Christians who are stuck in a 25-year-old, 100-year-old, or 500-year-old Christianity. As a result, they’ve stopped exploring the vast mystery of God. They’ve settled into a superficial relationship with Him. They’ve got their theological systems in place. They know what they believe. Too bad; so sad. God invites them to traverse the vast Mystery of Himself in a lifetime of discovery. But they settle for building sandcastles on a isolated beach where the slightest wave can reduce their structure to nothing.[featured-image single_newwindow=”false”]
I have been there and done that. Theological systems failed to draw my heart to repentance and intimacy with the Trinity. Same thing with Bible information and spiritual “models.”
Here are a few realities that have captured my heart as a part of my journey into the Mystery of God. (The first 6 are shared in my previous posts.)
7. The Church did not begin at the Reformation. I know. I know. This sounds like a no-brainer, right? But somewhere along the journey, many of us came to believe that the church became contaminated rather quickly (really?!?). And by the time the heroes of the Reformation came riding in on their white horses to save the church, it was totally corrupt. No doubt, the Roman Catholic church needed some reforming. However, reforming was not the same as beginning. That would be taking from Jesus Christ, His apostles, and the Holy Spirit the honor due only to them. The Church began in the first century. She has existed and grown ever since. Through persecutions, corruptions, exploitations, and perversions, she remains. The Church has been around for over 2000 years. You need to become better acquainted with her development. It matters.
8. There is a bit of monasticism in every Christian. It’s even in the Bible – Love not the world neither the things that are in the world (1 John 2.15-17). Jesus, led by the Spirit, went into the wilderness to do battle with Satan (Matthew 4.1). Jesus often separated himself to pray (Luke 5.16; 6.12, Matthew 14.23). To be like Jesus, and for that sake, to be a Christian means being with God in solitude. However, evangelicals do not easily accept monasticism. Many dismiss it as wrong or extremist. Yet, there is deep within an intuitive sense that you are to BE with God in solitude, in creation, in work, in relationships, and in prayer. It has taken me years to become comfortable with my “inner monk” due to decades of instruction otherwise – serve others, “win the world for Christ,” being alone equals being selfish, “do the work of an evangelist,” produce, perform, preach, proclaim, talk. Yet, most of what we read from the lips of Jesus, especially the Sermon on the Mount, is best lived out in monasticism. Embrace your inner monk. He/She is in you waiting to come alive.
9. Only Jesus is “I am.” The rest of us are becoming. I grew up being told that a sincere decision to trust Jesus as my Savior made me “good to go.” “I am saved” was the mantra of the true Christian. Then I did a sermon series in Hebrews and discovered that the word “salvation” is used in the past, present, and future tense. In fact, most of the uses of “save” in scripture are future tense. So, I’ve become comfortable with journey language – I am becoming or I am being saved. This can be applied to most “I am” statements that modern Christians use: redeem, child of God, Christian, holy, sanctify, fill, justify, or mature, humble, loving, or faithful. It is better to use the word “becoming” before each of these realities. You might think, “I am” a Christian. But if you look at how you actually live, you are more likely “becoming a Christian.” You are not “good to go.” You have a journey to travel.
These realities have challenged me to go deeper into God. I hope they do the same for you.
How do these realities challenge you? What will you do about it? Share below.