"Our greatest fear should not be of failure, but of succeeding at things in life that don't really matter." ~Francis Chan

Friday, November 30, 2012

Is it the real thing?

I recently began receiving books from Book Sneeze in exchange for a review.  My latest book is Everything by Mary DeMuth (what you give and what you gain to become like Jesus).  While this isn't my official 'review', I can say with confidence that my review will be a good one.  I am only in chapter 2 and I am already convicted.  She has already brought up two different thoughts that I will be writing about.  I am so excited to continue on with this book!  That said, here's the first conviction I've had.........

In this book, Mary talks about the concept of 'All You Do Is......' Christianity.  A few examples of this are:

  • All you do is.......Meet Jesus and your life will improve*
  • All you do is.......Meet Jesus and He will save your marriage! Your kids! Your life!*
  • All you do is........Meet Jesus and He will make your life perfect and uncomplicated
Then there is the progression of 'growing in faith' (see the book for further details), which ends with 'All you do is die to your own desires and embrace Jesus' lordship'*  When in actuality, this is what salvation should begin with.  The moment you are saved, it should bring about change in you.  Awaken a desire to die to self.  Which requires you to realize that the Christian life isn't all rainbows and butterflies. That is not a popular idea.  

We want to believe in the lie that if you accept Jesus, you will be free of troubles.  Your life problems will be solved.  We are told in John 16:33 that we are to expect troubles.  

What this got me wondering is if this is why children that grow up in church leave so easily after graduation.  Are we teaching them that 'All they have to do is.........'?

All they have to do it say a prayer?  Go to church?  Pray when they need something?  Attend church camp?

While all of these things are good, none of them is a true picture of salvation.  There is no dying to your sinful desires.  No desire to become more like Christ.  No desire to build a relationship.

Last night I was watching a tv program and a statement was made that really hit me.... 

"Faith isn't to get what you want, it's to get through when you don't get what you want."

Do I model this for my children?  

Do I gripe and complain about life circumstances falling back into the old me of living like I want because I said a little prayer at age 8?  Do I only want God when things are going good?  Do they see me praising Him when times are tough and thanking Him IN ALL THINGS?  

Faith is trusting NO.MATTER.WHAT.  Faith is trusting in the things that I can't see, believing that God sees all and has a better plan for me.  True Christianity isn't 'All you have to do is.....', it's a relationship.  A love. A friendship.

I spent years being a luke-warm Christian because I thought 'All I had to do was....' be a good girl, go to church, wear Christian clothing, stay away from the 'bad crowd'.  

I am sure that I was saved at age 8 because the little voice inside me was always there when I was living worldly.  I just didn't listen to it.  It was just something that saved me from hell.  There was no relationship, no desire to grow in the Lord.  

This is what scares me so much about recruiting people to Christ with the pretty speeches.  All you have to do is say this prayer and you will go to heaven and your troubles will be over.  Then, at the first sign of trouble, when God appears to be absent, they turn away.  Was that ever true faith?

"Faith isn't to get what you want, it's to get through when you don't get what you want."

I love that statement, and it has changed my life.  True faith takes away worry and uncertainty and replaces it with peace because you know that God is in control.  

Faith in Jesus isn't easy and all sunny days, but it will hold you and give you hope in the darkest days.  It gives you peace in the midst of the storm.  It gives you confidence that there is a lesson to be learned and you are being shaped into a being that is more Christ-like.  It lets you remain grounded that God's plan is always best (Isaiah 55:8), even when you don't feel like it is.

Are you a recruiter that sells Christianity as something that makes all things ok?  Is that how it was sold to you?  Do you get mad because God left you in your darkest hour or do you praise Him and look for the lesson in the darkness He very well may have caused?  Is it enough for you if your kids 'say the prayer' or do you encourage the relationship that must ensue, for faith to grow?

Finding true faith has completely changed me and transformed my life.  As a mother, as a wife, as a friend, every aspect of my life.  My life has not been easy in the last few years (since God brought me back) but I am confident that He hasn't left me.  I am confident that he is teaching me in these storms.  I am open to the lessons I am learning.  I no longer worry...I know that things will work out for my good (Jer. 29:11).  

In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.  ~James 2:17
As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead.  ~James 2:26
 'All you do is'....is not real faith.  Real faith needs action.  Real faith plays out in your life.  Do you have real faith?

* - quoted from Everything

1 comment:

  1. Nicole, I really enjoy your blog and I nominated you for the Liebster award. You can find the instructions at http://www.npmom.com/2012/11/liebster-award.html


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