By Kris Robinson
Christianity has a bum rap; it is viewed as a zero-fun, rules & regulations system which implies God is viewed inaccurately. Unfortunately, it is not just by non-believers that God is viewed inaccurately; Christians, unless they are a part of a Bible-believing church, can and will have a distorted view of God.
Chip Ingram says, “left to ourselves we tend to reduce God down” and “we often come up short on who He really is.”
Should this be surprising? In fact, this view of God with people happened over 2,700 years ago, during the time of the prophet Isaiah:
Is. 29:13 (NIV) – “These people come near to Me with their mouth and honor Me with their lips,but their hearts are far from me. Their worship of me is made up only of rules taught by men.That was then, what about now?
Why is it that after Christ came and shook the foundations of this thinking, many have fallen to the same pattern of indifference, apathy, zero-fun and rules & regulations? Possibly, I think the answer lies with the command found in 2 Cor. 13:5; one I’d be willing to say that 90% of Christians do not do! Why? Because to admit to examining yourself, admits you may have an issue, and no one wants to do that.
2 Cor. 13:5 (NIV) – “Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves.”
Paul knew that status quo Christianity, was not enough; that’s why he encouraged us to examine and test ourselves regularly! To get to that next level, Paul implicitly offers up 3 questions we can ask ourselves:
- Is God honored by what I did today?
- J.I. Packer in his book Knowing God, helps by identifying 4 evidences: Amount of ENERGY, Greatness of THOUGHTS, Degree of BOLDNESS and level of CONTENTMENT FOR GOD
- Am I satisfied with my work?
- Real Christians today, don’t follow rules and regulations, we have a relationship with an Almighty, Holy God who wants nothing but the best for us and we do things because we want to be obedient! We want to go to church, pray, read our Bibles, and spend time with other people, Christian or not. Which overflows to every facet of life.
- Have I studied my Bible today?
- Aaron Walker says in one of his blog posts, ‘Life Long Learners Outpace the Competition’, “that if you take a moment to sit back and think about the most successful people in your life, the ones you truly admire, and the ones you call when you need advice about a difficult situation, you’ll probably notice that they all have something in common. They are driven to soak in as much knowledge as possible, they keep reading and learning. I call them lifelong learners.” Harry Truman also said that, “Leaders are Readers!” What better thing to read, regularly, than the manual of life?
God PROMISES that if we seek Him, we will FIND Him. Therefore, we can either be the catalyst for change and seek Him, or we can continue in our own ‘goodness’ and self-sufficiency, casting blame on others and compromising internally, which in turn allows non-believers to continue to ask themselves, “why should I go to church, when THEY aren’t any different?”
Kris Robinson is an Assistant Pastor at Free Life Community Church helping teenagers & Millennials connect & transform their spiritual journey through Christ Jesus.