What would you say if you were asked, “up to this point in your life, would you call yourself a follower of Jesus Christ? Why do you say that? Do you see evidence of your faith like in Luke 6:40?
I came across this question today as I was reading a book called “Multiply” by Francis Chan. When I first read this question I skipped past it not giving it a second thought, like it was an unwritten thing. If I tell people about Jesus and go on mission trips and put Bible verse in my twitter bio and as my captions on Instagram, doesn’t that mean that I follow Him? Then I thought about; am I REALLY following Christ right now? As much as I wanted to say yes, I wasn’t.
Yeah, I might have been telling people to follow Him but I wasn’t following Him in my own heart. (It’s like when you eat spinach because you’ve read that it’s good for you but you really don’t like it, you just know if you eat it then you know your parents will let you eat dessert after.)
And then the next question came…
“Do you trust in the death of Jesus Christ for your salvation? Do you ever struggle with believing you need to do something to save yourself?”
YES, I realized. It dawned on me that I was trying so hard to find my salvation in other things of the world; and let me tell you, I did not find fulfilling joy or happiness in any of it. I had become obsessed with becoming someone I wasn’t, someone that God didn’t make me to be. I was searching for love in ALL the wrong things and places, field hockey, friendships, how I acted, how I dressed, what I said to people. I was searching for salvation in this world. I was believing that Jesus was A way to heaven, not THE way to heaven (Breakaway Podcast – The Trajectory Series).
This year I’ve been having a hard time following God. I’m 79 years away from death (assuming I live to be 100), that’s A LONG time until heaven. Why can’t I just do some of those things that you’re “supposed” to do in college and then find God again after college? Can’t I just have a good time. Do those good times bring as much joy as being in a relationship with Jesus Christ? No. But everyone else is doing it. Maybe they’ll find Jesus after college, heck maybe I’ll even lead them to Jesus after college, but why do I have to follow now? Well, once I figure that out I’ll get back to you. (I’m currently collected my secondary data right now -putting my college education to good use with that term right there)
BUT, I do know from experience that following God has brought me the most joy. And I do know that God gives us these rules and instructions to protect us because HE LOVES US THAT MUCH! Would He be telling us to go out and drink so much that our liver fails? Probably not, because hangovers suck and He doesn’t want us to ever feel that horrible. I read passages like Luke 9:23, “Then Jesus said to them, ‘If anyone wishes to come after me, he must deny himself and take up the cross daily and follow me”, and they scare me. Why do I have to deny this world, that’s so hard. I find myself thinking, I can’t start to deny myself in like 10 years? But if I truly believe that God is the creator of the universe and that He is sovereign and only good and all-knowing and all powerful, why would I not want to follow Jesus? Why would I not want to have a relationship with God through Jesus? How lucky am I that I am not the one that has to sacrifice my body on the cross and be ridiculed and whipped and all those other things that Jesus experienced as He laid His life down for us?
So why can’t I just take a break from God?
Because why would I want to?