A True Disciple - Walking with Jesus is serious business
It’s amazing how many resources Christians have in the year 2019 - we can access the Bible in dozens of translations with an app on our phone, download sermons from preachers all around the world, watch live video from amazing conferences right on our computers, and network with other believers using social media. You would think the body of Christ would be stronger than ever in America, and yet… the church here continues to slowly erode in size and cultural influence.
Why is this? Leroy Eims of the Navigators was asked that very question; in his devotional titled “A True Disciple,” he shares the following discourse:
When my hair began to turn gray, and it was evident I’d been around a long time, people began asking me, “How are Christians today different from Christians when you came to Christ?” My answer is always the same: Today’s Christians are far better trained to serve the Lord. There are conferences, seminars, and workshops available today that were unheard of in my early years. There’s also one thing lacking: the intense hunger for holiness that was in the lives of Christians a few decades ago.
A hunger for holiness - I know exactly what Eims is talking about. It has been almost 15 years ago to the day that I re-dedicated my life to Christ. This happened after nearly 10 years of wallowing in a sea of sin and debauchery, indulging every whim, passion, and desire without much thought or care. Once again under the influence of the Holy Spirit and conviction of sin, my heart ached and grieved for how I had rebelled against my savior, and every fiber of my body longed for wholeness and purity. With laser-precision focus I set out on making amends, righting wrongs, making restoration, and asking forgiveness as prompted by the Spirit.
Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. – James 1:4
As the years went on, what once seemed new and fresh began to feel… normal. I was a “good” person again; the old had passed away, the new had come, and the passion I once felt began to fade. I don’t think this is abnormal - just like a couple who truly loves each other doesn’t experience the same passion on their 50th anniversary they felt on their wedding night, so too our relationship with the Lord changes and grows as we change and grow.
However, our daily task of picking up our cross and following Jesus doesn’t have an expiration date, and it isn’t dependent on our feelings - it’s a part of who we are as followers of Christ. It’s easy in this phase of life to point at my young kids or “busy” life and make excuses for why I’m not more diligent in following him. When you love someone you make them a priority; so what does that say about my love for Jesus? Is my heart at risk for falling back into those dark places?
I already know the answer to that question; maybe you do too. As we head into the weekend and near the day when we gather with our brothers and sisters in Christ for fellowship and worship, maybe it’s good to stop for a moment and ask the same question as Leroy Eims: Is the light of Christ in you so bright that it’s like a beacon in this dark world?