Are you living for God or just pretending?
I look back on my life and realize that for the majority of it, I was keeping God at a distance. He was a part of my life. But just a part. He was there, but just on the sidelines. And, at the time, I saw nothing wrong with this. Why should I pray about what job God wanted me in? I would make the decision and, obviously, since God knows everything, it would be in his plan. He would have known ahead of time what decision I would make and, therefore, it was all just up to my choices. Right?
I was a Christian, I went to church, I prayed often, but it was more like I was talking to God and not talking with God. He was basically my Genie In A Bottle (link to Christina Aguilera’s music video…just kidding). He was a Being I called on when I needed help and when I didn’t need help, he was a very distant thing.
Not only did I not see anything wrong with this way of living out my Christian walk, I saw many things wrong with the opposite way of living out a Christian walk. I heard of people who asked God what he wanted them to do in the daily, no-brainer, decisions (what job to work at, who to date, where to go for lunch, IF they should go for lunch…) and I thought this was ridiculous. These people didn’t have their own brains, God created us with freewill for a reason, they were too weak, they were too dependent.
I actually don’t remember thinking that I should try it their way, I just remember my mindset: They’re stupid, I’m not, I’ll do it my way. Brutal.
My mom always told me I had to learn things the hard way. She was rolling her eyes when she said this, just like I’m shaking my head as I write this.
When I assess my Christian walk, I realize that I used to pretend to be a Christian. I was going through all the motions but there was no change of heart, barely anything different about me than a non-believer, and certainly no passion for the Lord. If someone had asked me “Do you love God?” I would have said “Yes, of course!” but inside me the words “But no one is actually in love with God” would repeat themselves.
The dictionary’s definition of ‘Christian’ is: “a person who has received Christian baptism or is a believer in Jesus Christ and his teachings.” Was I a believer of Jesus Christ’s teachings? I would have said I was.
In Mark 10:21 Jesus tells a rich man to go sell everything he has and then he will have riches in Heaven. He tells the man to do this, and then to come follow him. I was a believer and a follower of Jesus, but there’s no way I would have been willing to sell everything I had for him…
Matthew 16:25 says that whoever loses his life will gain it. There was no way, when push came to shove, that I would be willing to give up my…anything…for God. Give up your life? God isn’t really asking you to do that…
God will provide whatever you need, clothes, food…whatever it is, he will provide. But you need to get a job, make sure you’re earning good money, advance in that job, make sure it’s one you’re passionate about. And if you don’t do this, you’re lazy. God will help those who help themselves. Right? Um, no. Not what the Bible teaches, actually. Check it out in Matthew 6:26. (As a side note, I Googled “God will help those who help themselves” and…well…Go Google it, see where this saying stems from…).
If I was really, truly, living a Christian walk, loving God and believing his commands, why was I not living like I believed him? Why was I nodding my head to his teachings but yet my thoughts were whispering something different? Why weren’t my actions reflecting what I was telling the world (ok, not the world, but a select few, which in itself should have been a clue)?
I was pretending I believed what I had been taught since I was born, but really, I didn’t actually believe God would do what he said he would do.
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.”
No, actually, what I need is a good nap, not some “quality time” with a God I rarely hear from.
If only I had taken the time to just try what the Bible was telling me! If only I had taken that quality time with God instead of the nap. I would have realized that the rest God is talking about goes deeper than just resting my eyes. It satisfies and stills the very depth of my soul. The root of my foundation is quieted. My need is met, not just temporarily satisfied with a band-aid.
I don’t want to pretend anymore. If God says move, I will move. If he says speak, I will speak. I have learned, the hard way, that when God tells you something he will follow you until you are obedient. And it’s not just because he wants you to listen to him, it’s because he knows that when you do listen to him, it will quench that hunger you feel inside.
I don’t want to pretend anymore! I want to see God work! I want to see his power in my life! I know now that when God is telling you to do something, all you have to do is take that one step of obedience and he will allow everything else to fall into place. He will do all the work.
Do you want to pretend you’re living for God, or do you actually want to do it?
You can start by opening your Bible daily. It’s just one simple step. God will cause a hunger in you that isn’t based on emotions but based on necessity. You will learn to crave him as you press into him.
Do it, I dare you.