I'm thinking about Christianity a lot lately. I have come to believe Christianity was intended to be a lifestyle which has been watered down through the years to a faith-choice. I've traveled religious circles for my entire adult life and the closer I get to God, the more I fear we deceive ourselves. I realize I have erred in my thinking about what it is to be a Christian. I have made it more about the church I attended and allowed myself to feel good about what I have done there to serve God than I have made Christianity my lifestyle. And I think my life has been robbed because of that.
1 John 2:6 says, “Whoever claims to live in him must live as Jesus did.” Hmmm. I don’t think I can say that more clearly than John did. And then there is John 13:13-15 ““You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and rightly so, for that is what I am. Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you.”” Those are Jesus’ words and they are incredibly challenging when I look at the structure of my life and compare it with the structure of Jesus’ life.
What if one of the greatest deceits the Enemy has been able to put over on mankind is the lifestyle of complacency among Christians?
What if that has robbed us of the fruit and joy and blessings God holds for us? And we have settled? By causing us to focus on the things we do and don’t do - we are able to feel satisfied with ourselves and overlook who we are supposed to be. I mean, let’s face it, I avoid murdering people. I avoid stealing. I avoid getting drunk. I avoid lying. I avoid cheating. Maybe you have heard the lingo - “don’t drink don’t smoke don't chew and don’t hang around with those who do”? Silly, but a motto for some. I am a Christian and I try hard not to do the "unChristian" things God condemns in the Bible and then I feel comfortable with myself because I know people who do do those things. and I know I'm not like them.
So what about the "Christian" things I do? Go to church. Read my Bible. Pray. By doing those things I can feel comfortable with myself because I know a lot of people who don’t do those things. So I'm not like them either, which must mean I am set apart just like the Bible says. Right?
I'm not so sure.
What if thinking that way puts me in danger of complacently believing I am doing enough?
And enough is not a lifestyle - especially when I have been very clearly told if I claim to live in God I must live as Jesus did. Suddenly I realize I have much work to do and many things to fix because I don’t live a Jesus lifestyle. I often live a Rhonda lifestyle and fit Christianity in where I can. I have been examining my life and thinking about the attitudes of my heart and trying to re-align my priorities, which is not an easy task. But I don’t want to complacently travel down the easy road of following a contemporary Christian crowd and settling for less than the life God wants for me. If He says live like Jesus it might be hard to adopt that lifestyle, but it certainly is not impossible. He wouldn't have said to do it if it were impossible. It’s more a matter of whether or not I am fully in. And whether or not I fully believe. And whether or not I am willing to undergo the challenge.
My heart has to be willing to try. Instead of viewing my life as being planned around my job, I need to think in terms of carving time out of my service to God to fit my job in. When people ask (and it happens frequently) how I have time to lead The Torch, I need to correct them and let them know I am making time to work at my job amidst what I do for The Torch or anything else God wants me to do.
I see many examples of complacency in my life and throughout Christianity. I’ve known people who have told me they pray on their drive to work, because that’s when they have the time. I just can’t buy that anymore. I don't think it is okay. I think we tell ourselves God will understand because a lot of people don't pray at all, but in reality it is cheapening God and a Christian lifestyle. Sure, we can pray when we drive - and I drive around high schools all the time so I definitely pray when I drive - but if driving-prayer is the sum total of a prayer life, we risk becoming complacent about prayer because we cannot possibly sustain or remain entirely focused when we are driving. Seriously? We lie to ourselves if we say we can. And when we do that, we make Christianity a piece of a lifestyle and not an actual lifestyle.
When I reflect on the years of my life it is very evident to me the times when I have received supernatural blessings and witnessed incredible miracles were either times before I became a Christian when God intervened in my life so I did not make a terrible mistake OR times after I began to follow Him and found my worldly life fitting in with Christianity which was a lifestyle that absorbed me. I have experienced it and know it can be done.
I feel like if we made Christianity a lifestyle and fit the world in where we could, people would see the supernatural power of what God can do in a life and they would find it irresistible. Wouldn't we be loving and serving and helping and improving everything around us that we could? Wouldn't we be the most positive people around? Who doesn't like to be around joyful, positive people? And we, His followers, would be so wrapped up in serving and following we would lose track of what we were and were not doing because we would bask in His Presence and seek the next mountain. What a lifestyle that would be. Can you imagine?