One of the more difficult things to do as a Christian is to follow God. It is rather easy to believe in him; but following has proven to be more challenging. When Jesus calls a person, he never calls someone to simple belief; he always calls one to become a follower.
Unfortunately many people have a hard time understanding this. They go to church, serve on committees, participate in the programs of the church, and believe that all is well with their spiritual condition. But so do Mormons, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Scientologists and a host of other “churches.” Is all well with their spiritual condition?
The reality is that our spirituality is not defined by what we necessarily do. It’s not even defined by what we believe. It is ultimately defined by WHO we follow. Jesus warned against false Christ’s. They abound in the world. Some are readily obvious. Others are harder to discern. One in particular is the hardest.
The false Christ that is the most challenging to discover is the false Christ found within oneself. Consider for a moment who you follow. Are you following the Jesus revealed in the Bible? Are you submitting to his commands? Are you shaping your life according to his teaching? Do you recognize his authority? Have you relinquished control of your loves, desires and dreams to him? Are you allowing him to shape you? Do you allow him to move you out of your comfort zone? Do recognize that he will sometimes do things you don’t like, or feel comfortable with? Will you follow during such times? Or in reality are you going through all the things you do at church because they are the things YOU like?
If you have ever left the church because the programs no longer met YOUR needs, then you are most likely following the false Christ within. If you have left the church because you do not like the music, then you are most likely following the false Christ within. If you have ever left the church because the youth minister did not give your kid enough attention, then you are most likely following the false Christ within. If you left the church because you no longer have the control you feel entitled to, then you are most likely following the false Christ within. In short, if you serve, worship, and or participate in any other aspect of church life because they suit you and or meet your needs, then you are most likely following the false Christ within.
The question we all need to ask ourselves is this? Am I doing this for me, and am I making decisions based on what I want? Or am I truly following Jesus Christ? Am I serving Jesus, or am I serving myself? This is not an academic issue. It gets to the heart of what it means to be a Christian. A Christian is a follower of Jesus. And Jesus said, “For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many” (Mark 10:45).
Who are you serving? The Lord Jesus Christ, or the Christ within?
“Or in reality are you going through all the things you do at church because they are the things YOU like?” I think I have the most trouble in this area but I feel like I have some God give talents in the things and I try to use them for His kingdom. KPBC had a great childrens’s musical last night. You and your ministry are in my prayers!
Thank you! I covet your prayers. With you, I also struggle in this area. I think all people do at some level. Serving the Lord can be very hard. I think Bonhoeffer had is right when said that when Christ calls a person, he bids them to come and die.