Admonition or Recrimination?
Not long ago I spoke/wrote to an old friend who pulled away from her walk with God; leastwise, her walk with Christ. That specific conversation ended with her saying, “I tried the Christian faith and it didn’t really work for me.
Well, believe it or not, I’m not one to cram anything down another person’s proverbial throat, most of all, my faith. I choose to live my walk with Jesus as much as I talk or write about it but that is my choice; leastwise, I do the best I can and leave God to handle all my sins, you know, all the rest my life’s issues. Thank You Jesus! Glad I’m saved by the blood of the Lamb (sacrifice of Christ) and not by my own righteousness.
Reason for these thoughts: If God gave me the freedom of choice to accept or reject the sacrifice His Son made for my eternal soul and life who am I to deny that same freedom of choice to anyone else, period, exclamation point “?”
As far as I’m concerned that attitude should reside in every Christian’s way of thinking and looking at the salvation message for another. We are to plant the seeds and let God produce the increase. Even in that process God is at the head of the curve. If we are free to choose why aren’t they?Anyways…
My friend’s attitude, her rejection of her faith and choice not to succeed as a Christians was a bit puzzling to me.
Is living a Christian life really so difficult? I don’t see the difficultly and I have also not experienced that attitude in my heart personally; nevertheless, I have met many a former Christian who has expressed the same or similar misgivings. Why?
As I reflected on this myriad of individuals I’d met, former Believers who had pulled away from the saving grace of Jesus Christ I noticed a common pattern; most did not fully enter in to a relationship with Jesus. Their walks with God more times than not were superficial.
With most I’d noticed they were caught up in the religion of Christianity, you know, the pseudo knowledge about their faith.
For example: the pastor said this, my Christian friend taught it this way, I was raised to believe this or that or the other maybe incorrect “biblical-fact,” Christian belief.
The common denominator for many of these waylaid believers was their lack of effort in truly getting to know the Word of God, what they believed and more importantly genuinely forming that one on one relationship with the Savior, Jesus. I was fortunate in that I developed an intimate relationship with the Lord at an early age. It helps but is not required to fully come to know your God and Savior.
Think about it…
How can you truly lean on Jesus/God if you do not genuinely know Him, know He really exists and is concerned with your wellbeing?
How can He, Jesus, be your ROCK and STRENGTH if you haven’t really learned that you can trust Him in all things? Learning this takes time and living through things as He delivers you again and again.
When life utterly falls apart, and it does for all of us at one time or another, how do you fall to your knees, cry out to God/Jesus and know deep down in that place where we know that we know something is real and genuine and true if we haven’t actually met our Lord and Savior? How can you FIND peace and the knowledge there really is a Jesus/God wanting to help you if you don’t lean in and get to know Jesus and learn your can trust Him in all things?
How can you discover He will or will not help us out of every situation carrying us through our most difficult times, pains and sufferings or circumstances to that safe place within His arms where we can finally recover and be safe?
Such knowledge only comes through getting to know Him.
And we get to know a great deal about Him through His Word, the Bible.
This requires time invested in His presence and Word. I call this “practicing His presence” and reading the Bible often.
One of the most significant mistakes young and old Christians alike make is in not “knowing” why they believe what they believe;
Where the tenets of their faith are found IN GOD’s Word?
It is extremely important to know why you believe what you believe.
Where those beliefs can be found in God’s Word?
We need to be able to back up each primary tenet of our faith with scripture AND real understanding of that text?
People who don’t truly know why and what they believe are easily detoured from their faith.
They do not have the ROCK of God’s word behind their meager arguments when confronted by life or challenging questions from others about what they believe.
Know what you believe and where to find it in God’s Word. This is very important!
However, what is infinitely more important… getting to know your Savior.
Just like getting to know your friend, spouse, teacher and the list goes on…
We need to get to know our God and that happens by spending time with Him.
The Bible tells us we can hear His voice (John 10:27) and know His ways (Psalms 25:4 & 9).
We do not need to earn God’s mercy or salvation for we are saved by Grace:
For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast. (Ephesians 2:8-9 NKJV)
So I admonish without recrimination: cry out to your Savior who is rich in mercy (Ephesians 2:4-7). Spend time getting to know the most amazing God/Man the universe has even known.
Hear His voice; share your happiness, joys, concerns, tears, sorrows etc.
Don’t quit or fall away from the greatest joy a human can know.
Lastly, there are those who fall away after suffering great loss. give yourself time to heal. Loss is a natural part of life. The Lord understands and will give you time to reach out to Him. He is infinite in mercy and love.
Steven R. Harrel
If you would like information on how to get to know Jesus as your personal Savior or to how to find salvation you can consult my book, “This Side of the Whirlwind, The Coming Apocalypse” pages 45-49 or locate a local Christian Church or pastor.
The Lord bless you and yours,
Steven R. Harrel