Perhaps no other question is as important for each of us to consider than this one, How valuable is my relationship to God? When I seriously consider the gravity of that question, and more importantly, how I honestly answer it, it is scary to say the least.
Many of us who claim to be followers of Jesus actually are not at all. We cannot live our lives as practical atheists and at the same time be authentic disciples of Jesus. Another way to understand the question I raise is to ask another, not of you but of myself. What is it that happens in my day to day living, my weekly and monthly routine, that could not happen if suddenly, and unknown to me, God ceased to exist?
I can read my Bible, pray, go to church twice each week, attend some devotionals with friends and in every way a man is usually measured I would be considered to be a “faithful” Christian. Another even more telling question I should ask is this one. What is happening in my life that is supernatural and the only explanation for it is the activity of God?
It is one thing to read the Bible, it is another to be taught it by the Holy Spirit. It is one thing to pray, often saying the same things from rote memory, not expecting an answer, and quite another to pray asking for something specific and having an answer that is clearly the work of God. I know we don’t always get remarkable answers to our prayers, but shouldn’t we sometimes? It is one thing to say we want to share our faith with others, but actually doing it and then seeing God change a life is another.
If I make the mistake of measuring my life against yours, or some other person’s, I have shown that I am a foolish man. (2 Cor 10:12) To quote Paul, “For it is not the one who commends himself who is approved, but the one whom the Lord commends”2 Cor 10:18. I believe that in proportion to how much I value God, and my relationship and standing with Him, I will actually be a disciple. It is not enough to be committed to a cause, a church, a heritage, or even a theological ideal, to be an authentic believer in Jesus Christ He must be what I value most. He must mean more to me than my family, my house, and even my church. (Matthew 16:24)
I am becoming less concerned about how I am perceived by my faith community and more concerned about what God actually knows about me and how I should live in view of that fact. I must admit, there have been far too many time periods in my life when Jesus was relegated to someplace less than first in my daily living. One day I (and you) will stand before Him at the judgement seat and give an accounting for how I (we) have responded day by day to God’s gracious gift of life through Jesus Christ our Lord. There will be no smoke and mirrors, no bait and switch, just raw truth staring us in the face.
My goal today and going forward is to be less a hypocrite than I have been.
Your comments are welcomed.