Secondhand Faith

We have all the self-help books we could possibly read.  We have all the collective sermons preached over the years.  We have Christian music, Christian concerts, Christian conferences, Christian retreats, Christian coffee shops.  We have Christian schools and Christian skate parks.  We have it all, as far as Christianity goes.  Or so it seems.

The question that has been burdening me-and I mean really bothering me lately- is this:  Why do Christians today-with more resources available than ever before- feel so hollow, empty, alone, and unfulfilled…so confused and frustrated with the very faith that’s supposed to bring “life abundance”?  Let’s face it.  How many Christian people do you run into in a day that make you feel better by being around them?  How often do you see that spark and go, “Wow-there’s something different there”? When the world looks at us, do we give them a good reason to want what we have or do we turn them away with actions that contradict our very doctrine?

You would think that with so much knowledge built up, and so many Christians having gone before us, we would have it all figured out by now.  But it seems that our generation of Christians is more dependent on the latest anti-depressant or a good day of shopping to pull them out of a slump.  We would rather entertain ourselves with trash on television than seek God’s word for rest and renewal.  Since when did it become so much about us?

When I think about the lives of the twelve disciples, I am amazed at their faith.  You might be thinking- well, they had Jesus with them.  And you’re right- but, only for 33 short years.  After that, the Holy Spirit was their helper, and the same Spirit that was in the disciples (yes- those guys who healed the sick, helped the blind see, and essentially revolutionze history) is in US!  We are told in the Bible that God never changes.  That very same Spirit dwells within us.  Would you have guessed by the way we live?

Christians today rely on conferences and books and music to encourage them throughout their day.  I’m not saying that any of this is bad, but when it is more satisfying than Christ Himself, we have surely lost our way.  I haven’t read any stories of Paul attending Promise Keepers or Mary going to Women of Faith.  Not to mention, these people only had the Old Testament- they were the ones being inspired to write the New Testament!!  Yet, their faith was the most authentic, impactful, Christ-oriented faith you could find.  They weren’t relying on others to reveal what only Christ can.  They weren’t looking around, they were looking up. 

Do you realize how much of an impact these people had?  To think that the letters we read in the Bible today were words that came from the very heart of God- delivered through Paul.  These concepts are the framework for our faith.  Paul wasn’t interpreting Christ from someone else’s point of view.  He wasn’t recording something from the latest song released by the choir.  Paul was connected to the very real, very personal and intimate person of Jesus.  We’ve missed that.  We can look around all we want.  We can pursue every avenue labeled as “Christian” and hope that it will change us for the better, and it might help.  But only Jesus can fuel our fire and keep us going.  Only Christ can be that Encourager- reminding us of His return as we run with every ounce of energy we have towards Him. 

It’s time.  Time for this generation to step out of other people’s faith and into their own.  It’s time for Christians to stop living in the “idea” of Christianity and start living with faith that can move mountains.  The promises in God’s word, we have to claim them.  We have to stake our lives on them.  We have to push for change, not compromise.  It’s gonna be hard, and the world won’t agree, but that means we’re doing something right.  I don’t want to fit in, because according to God’s word, that means I’m not doing something right.  We are supposed to step up and stand out.  Today is the day.  It starts now.  If not now, when?  How many more “tomorrows” will it take for you and me to live, really live as Christ calls us to? 


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