What happened when I stopped calling myself a Christian

I’m sharing this, because a shift in perspective happened when I stopped calling myself a Christian – and became a student and follower of Jesus Christ. I moved from a concept of religion and tradition – into an alive relationship with the one true, living God.

So I’ll ask you to consider:

Are we most comfortable hearing a sermon from someone, based on a sermon they heard from someone else, based off of a sermon they heard from someone else, based off of theological teachings that they learned from someone else, based off of theological evidence that they gleaned from scripture?

Are we most satisfied with a God that is far away from our reach and away from touching and impacting our lives?

Is this the closest that we are comfortable getting to the one true teacher?

Matthew 23:8-12
But you are not to be called rabbi, for you have one teacher, and you are all brothers. And call no man your father on earth, for you have one Father, who is in heaven. Neither be called instructors, for you have one instructor, the Christ. The greatest among you shall be your servant. Whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.

HE is your teacher.

HE is your instructor.

HE is your Father.

And yes, He will send messages through others until you are ready to come close to him yourself. And He will continue to do so even once you are His.

But –

We don’t remain satisfied far from God, looking to others to trade us some of their religion and tradition in return for a purse full of your silver and gold. The things passed down from man to man are not all that He has for us, friend. He has blessings for our lives, and I’m not talking about Properity Gospel, I’m talking about the Eternal Good News of Jesus Christ risen to life.

God isn’t just interested in you hearing ABOUT Him from someone else. He isn’t just interested in you hearing about GOOD and EVIL and understanding the difference. He isn’t just interested in bringing to light those things in your life that are IMPERFECT.

He wants to come into your life and be a part of your life. He wants to be close and accessible and intimately involved in your life. We don’t have to remain satisfied with a far away God that only speaks to us through some far away, distant man in a pulpit or screen. And the blessings poured out are far better than that house, car, paycheck, job, party, mate, or pleasure that has caught your eyes. And He doesn’t say that you will go without those things, unless you decide that you cannot go without them. But a close and accessible God is much better than a far away genie. So let’s don’t decide to only talk to Him when we are in trouble or want something – but let’s don’t hesitate asking Him in those times as well.

Do not misunderstand. This is an encouragement to not be content with where you we with Him today. Today doesn’t have to remain the closest that we are willing to get.

This is not a slam against those who are true messengers of His Word. The only ones this should anger are those trying to lord over others and those who have no interest in His will being done. I don’t bring this as a raised sword in a clinched fist, but as an open hand offering bread. If you do not want to eat the bread, I will not strike you down in condemnation and judgement.

There are many that know ABOUT Him that will go to destruction.

There are many that know about HIS WAYS that will go to destruction.

There are many that do MIGHTY WORKS that will go to destruction.

Matthew 7:21-23
“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’

So you see, this question of where we are with Him matters. Are we calling ourselves Christians, learning about Him, learning about His ways, doing mighty works in His name but we don’t know Him as closely and personally as we should?

Will anyone be so proud as to say that they don’t need to draw even closer to Him personally?

Will anyone foolishly say that His work is completed in them and that they don’t need to grow?

So what do we do?

We seek Him, find Him, love Him, and serve Him – remaining in a relationship with Him. If we wish that He would draw us near and know us, should’t we draw near to Him?

Matthew 7:7-14
Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened. Or which one of you, if his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a serpent? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him! So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets. Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few.

We will each be an example and demonstration of His power – either an example of His grace and mercy, or an example of His power and wrath. This is not my judgement, this is His truth – and I have confidence that this is Good News for our lives and for our eternal destination. Let’s find confidence and assurance that are pressing on toward the finish to one day see ourselves as the few.


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