In the midst of extending unconditional love and grace as Christ has taught each one of us to do we have mixed it in with “approval”.
Sitting in a pew of a church I remember reading Matthew 7: 21-23 “21Not every one that said to me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that does the will of my Father which is in heaven. 22Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in your name? and in your name have cast out devils? and in your name done many wonderful works? 23And then will I profess to them, I never knew you: depart from me, you that work iniquity.”
This brought fear into being. How could God say that, it sometimes drove me to doubt and questions my salvation, always feeling insecure that maybe I do not have this relationship at all with Christ and it is all for pretense while in reality my relationship with Him in nonexistent. Of course I kept these fears to myself as I would not want to appear as if I was not saved. I came to a place in my life where I chose to accept this is one of those verses I do not entirely understand and would choose to trust Him regardless of my lack of understanding.
In today’s time we have many people accepting the Grace and favor of the Lord, but not investing in their relationship. They walk around touting God is love and his grace has embraced me and I am highly favored. All while accepting things that God clearly has indicated are not okay with Him. We rationalize and say that God did not mean these things for today, even though He clearly did. We compromise and pretend that God is perfectly fine with all our choices.
Being with God is being in a relationship. He sent us the Holy Spirit to be in constant communion with Him. In the same way a husband and wife who work together 24/7 are in constant communication . Just as we tune into our wife/husband we learn their cues, we learn to read their mind, we become very sensitive to the hidden language between the lines and the body movements. This is an example of how we can live, move, breathe with the Holy Spirit guiding our paths. The art of this takes practice and making a choice to tune in.
In an intimate relationship we do everything we can to bless the person. We strive (sometimes fail) to hold their best interest at heart. We sacrifice some of our own desires to show our love for those in our lives. We diligently work at not hurting those we love; of carefully wording our words, of making choices because we desire to protect their heart. When we do have difficult news/thoughts/ideas to communicate we speak it in love to allow it to penetrate their being, in the least hurtful way. If we do this with each other why would we think God would want any less from us?
Today’s Christian is trying to change who God is, make Him look different to society, make Him more politically correct! How can we be in an intimate relationship with Him and continue to do that? If we did that to our Husband or wife I doubt we would be married for much longer.
God is the beginning and the end. God is all knowing. Yet we think He must be old fashioned and we have to somehow change him to match our times? How crazy is this.
Gods love is nothing short of amazing, miraculous, all enveloping, and uniting. When in a relationship with Him one of constant communion we gain peace that passes all understanding, bravery and courage to stand up for Him, humility and the ability to truly love people. It is truly in Him that we live and move and have our being.
I feel as though Christians have forgotten the refiners fire, the holiness He demands from us. Grace indeed covers all our sin, and the blood brings about forgiveness as it washes us clean. But we must not mistake that for condoning sin. Sin is sin, this may be cliché but it true. The good news is truly that as we abide in Him and tune into the Holy Spirit our hearts are quick to repent when we’ve done wrong. Furthermore He is slow to anger and quick to always love us.
Christ called us to live in the world and not of the world. We are not to conform ourselves to some new breed of Christianity that compromises all that Jesus commands in his word so we feel more comfortable and we go completely un recognized by our peers as Christian.
As I look around I can see how that Matthew 7:21-23 may be more the reality then I ever imagined. As Christians are openly living with each other, some having affairs, openly creating “Christian porn”, marrying homosexuals…. and saying this is all in the name of Christ. Walking a tight rope keeping one foot in the world in the name of unconditional love. Pretending that you are truly serving the one living God who breathed life into men, who made the DNA chain, who has created all of the universe to display His Glory! The only person you are fooling is yourself.
Being a Christian is not be a part of organized religion, a morally acceptable club, to be “good”… It is to have a living breathing communication with the Father, Creator of the universe who truly wants to spend time with you. If you are not up for this sort of commitment (like marriage), then maybe this whole Christian thing is not for you. Most of us assume this kind of relationship is impossible with God and we have traded our relationship in to simply “do good.” But I would challenge everyone to the fact He desires to communicate with you, if you would exercise your faith and tune in and listen you will be amazed.
On one final note this does not mean we do not love those who sin. We love because he first loved us, we judge not lest we be judged. But loving unconditionally caring about people, praying for them. Asking God how you can help meet their needs and love them, is not the same as falsely claiming all they do is “okay”, and that it does not matter to God. God does bless us as we are steadfast in Him and abide by His will in our lives. It is time to stop rationalizing and coming up with all the reasons it is somehow okay for you to walk you life out in sin. God knows none of us are perfect, that is why He gave us Jesus, but that does not mean we should not be quick to repent (changing our ways 180 degrees).
I found Bob Hamp to have an exceptional ability to teach on two way communication with God. If you would like to learn more I encourage you to listen to Him.