Remember when you were young? As a young girl I used to have so many friends. I love talking on the phone and having sleep overs. This morning an old memory popped into my mind. When I was in middle school – let’s say the summer after 6th grade – I had a really close friend who wasn’t much of a church goer but that summer she went to a church camp for a week. I remember that phone call very well now that I’m thinking about it. She was on FIRE for Jesus Christ.
My friend, we’ll call her Jessica for privacy, could not stop talking about Jesus and all that had happened to her at the camp. She was going on and on about how she was a new creation and her sins were forgiven. She was reciting Bible verses and could barely catch her breath from how excited she was.
Eventually… church camp wore off and reality settled back in. The excitement began to fade and before long I never heard her mention Jesus again. I knew her for years after that particular summer. Her life didn’t reflect a born again believer anymore after that summer.
That sweet friend of mine believed on the name of Jesus Christ. She received Him into her heart and was saved, however, once she returned back to her “normal” life, around her normal routines, and her normal friends, her life eventually went back to the way it was – with salvation (which does change your life) but her heart turned back to the old things and she stepped back into the role of who she used to be.
I have learned in my own journey of following Jesus that this life is not easy once you choose to follow Him. Every “friend” I have ever had is no longer there. I was told by a group of “friends” at dinner one night that I was a “little too much” when it comes to Jesus (and they claim to know Jesus themselves). I started to see the calling that God has on my life and in order to soar above the mundane I had to stop living among the mundane and believe that He does have more for me. *Side note* If you are dealing with people in your life that bring you down, gossip, and make passive comments at you and your dreams – get rid of them! They are sucking the life out of you. I held on to some pretty rough friends for a long time thinking that eventually God would use me to help them but instead I stayed plugged in with them, they ripped me to shreds almost daily, and I bruised the image of Christ in their eyes when I “broke up with them” because they could never understand me and felt very judged by me. Here I was trying to do all this good but really just created a mess because God had called me to walk away from them years prior to when I actually did. As another *Side note* let me clarify that you don’t ever really hurt the image of Jesus. People can use that as an excuse as to why they don’t follow Jesus or why they don’t go to church, because of what someone else did, said, etc… we’re human and we do represent incorrectly at times BUT God is God… I’m confident He can and WILL restore anything that you, in your flesh, have jacked up! So stop beating yourself up, repent, accept His forgiveness, and move on. Life is too short on this earth to stay wrapped up in this type of silliness****
Anyway – back to what I was originally saying. My whole point of that thought and this blog is to ask myself and you, where are we right now in our walks? Have we burned out? Are we lukewarm? And if so, why do you think that is? Where is our time going, who are we spending time with? What are we watching, listening to, and reading? I’ll just tell you, reading scripture from someone’s Facebook or Twitter status doesn’t count as spending time with the Lord. Yes! God can totally speak to your heart through those tools but it should never substitute for your time with The Father.
I think we all need to have those ‘heart check’ moments where we test ourselves and take accountability for our lives. A lot of times we’re not consumed with ‘bad’ things but we’re just too busy.
When we’re isolated with “church folks” all of a sudden we are different. The distractions of this world seem minute. For instance, I was on a women’s retreat this spring for a weekend. The time away was so refreshing. I was surrounded by women who love the Lord, surrounded by Bible study and teachings, quiet time at the lake with just the fresh air, nature, and The Father. Everything was clearer. When I returned home to reality I was still very much in love with Jesus but all of a sudden the internet had my attention, T.V., a child needing help at the potty, laundry, dishes, cooking, errands, etc… you know – real life stuff. Some nights my head would hit the pillow; I would mumble a halfhearted prayer and drift into the sleep that I was so desperately seeking 3 hour prior to when my head actually touched the pillow.
I pray that you would stand with me in taking responsibility for this life that we, as followers of Jesus Christ, are called to lead. This consists of spending time in the Word, speaking to God, listening to God, praying for others, helping others, and growing our generation up to be the leaders and examples that God has called us to be.
No turning back. Jesus could have gotten to that cross, just about to get nailed and decided that He wanted to turn back. He didn’t. He went through with it all. He was called to reconcile this broken world to His Father… and He did – For you. Don’t just read right over that as if you have heard it a thousand times. Jesus went to the cross and died a sinner’s death for YOU. It doesn’t matter how jacked up you are – He came for everyone, regardless of what you’ve been told by other “Christians”, regardless of how you’ve been treated by other “Christians.”
Get to know Him for yourself and I hope that you seek Him with all your heart, mind, soul, and strength.
I pray there is no turning back.