Over the past few weeks I have felt that familiar nudge inside, the one that is prompting me to an overhaul in how I am living life. I’ve mentioned this in previous posts in regard to self-indulgence and culture and goals. At the root of all these things, for me, is my faith in Jesus Christ. Without His prompting and nudges, I would not care to harness my overly indulgent ways or to pull my gaze away from the culture’s notions of beauty or to set my feet on a path with a different end-goal. Jesus Christ whispers to me to listen to Him, to obey Him, to love Him with my life.
It concerns me that my faith is at once so integrated into my thinking and so limp. More often than not I am turning back to God asking for help, asking for His presence. But too often I float through my days without living (externally, at least) much differently than those who are not following Christ. This is wrong.
I have been tracking a blog that has been challenging me in my faith, in a good way. Many of the arguements posted by him and his visitors that challenge the Christianity they see, I have to agree with. I see it too, and often I see it in myself. Here’s an excerpt from one comment that I thought was particularly telling:
Although I was taught to keep my eyes on Christ and not other Christians, I could not help but see the completely stale and passionless religion that the majority of people calling themselves Christians practice. There is no life in it, but plenty of ritual. It places a lot of importance on comfort and ease, but not holiness and sacrifice. I came to believe that I was in fact living among practical atheists. That is, people who claim an intellectual belief in God, but whose lives show no desire to conform to the image of the One they claim to worship.
Ouch! I must say that I see this in myself. I lean too far into comfort and ease and amusement; I need much more in the way of holiness and sacrifice. This deficiency I take as my own error; this is not the fault of the Lord Jesus that His people are lukewarm. He hates that very thing too, as He stated so bluntly, recorded in Revelation 3:15-17:
“I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth. You say, ‘I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.’ But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked.”
The American mentality is one of wealth and self-sufficiency; even those whom God has called out unto Himself often fail to recognize our spiritual depravity and neediness, to see plainly that we are “wretched, pitiful, poor, blind, and naked.”
My pastor preaches often about spiritual apathy, charging us to recognize our passionless religiosity, crumble in desperation before the cross, and plead with God for mercy regarding our callousness. God is using his words to chase me down. And that blog I’ve been following has shown how devasting my spiritual apathy can be on all those around me.
I don’t necessarily want to “be a better Christian” so that others will look at me and be amazed. But I don’t want people to look at me and think that Jesus Christ is a fake. I hate it that my spiritual sluggishness would tarnish the Name that has called me, covered me, healed me, and grounded me.
Oh to have more passion for Jesus Christ.