Posts Tagged ‘service’

Comfortable Christianity

The devil is an interesting character. Many Christians believe that the devil is constantly out to get us, to show us things that will shake our faith in Christ. While it’s true that those kinds of things do happen, we often forget that Satan is a master of deceit. His best weapons against those who have already accepted Christ as Lord and Savior are not shocking things. No, as C.S. Lewis so eloquently captured in “The Screwtape Letters,” the easiest weapon to use against Christians is COMPLACENCY.

Think about it for a minute. The devil’s already lost the war for your soul. What does he have left? The truth is that the best thing he can do with you is keep you from leading others to the truth. This is a victory that the devil has had over me personally for a really long time. I was immersed in “comfortable Christianity,” where I know I’m saved and everything’s peachy. I go to church, pray to Him, read my Bible occasionally, and generally understand what it means to be a Christian. He’s doing the “sanctifying work” in my heart, so I’m on the straight and narrow path to an eternity in heaven. Sounds great, right?

Until recently. Things have been happening that have moved me at the core of who I thought I was. Scripture doesn’t call us to complacency; we’re to act on our knowledge! James 1:22 says, “But don’t just listen to God’s Word. You must do what it says. Otherwise you are only fooling yourselves.” Jesus Himself made an allusion to it when He said in Luke 8:16, “No one lights a lamp and then covers it with a bowl or hides it under a bed. A lamp is placed on a stand, where its light can be seen by all who enter the house.” While His direct reference is to the idea that everything we’ve done will be brought to light, it also is telling of what we will do with the light that we have found. Will we keep it under our bed, safe and secure but helping no one? Or will we let it shine? Will we go out and give it away so that others can see?

Jesus goes one step further. In Luke 14:34-35, He tells us what our faith is like if we don’t act on it: “Salt is good, but if it loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is fit neither for the soil nor for the manure pile; it is thrown out.” Faith without works is dead; it’s not even worth using on manure!

Doesn’t it feel like “comfortable Christianity” is losing its saltiness? Are we really any good when we’re reactive and not proactive? How often does the phrase, “Let me know what I can do,” escape from your lips? Too often from mine, that’s for sure. Imagine how we could change the world if instead of asking what we could do to help, we were the ones suggesting help or just picking up a shovel and doing the work without any mention.

The time has long passed in each of our lives to keep our Light hidden. He is out there working, and He’s leaving us in the dust. If we really want to emulate Christ, then lets be doers of the Word, and not just hearers. Let’s let go of our complacency, and not let Satan win any battles just because he lost the war. Let’s change our aim from “Well done, good and faithful believer” to “Well done, good and faithful servant.” The reward is infinitely great; give that reward to someone else today.

What Will Change Your Worldview?

Recently WIFE and I had a discussion on a pretty controversial topic. One of the interesting things about our marriage is that I grew up in a very conservative (politically) home, while WIFE’s household was fairly liberal. The fact that we began dating right before the 2004 presidential election and that we are still together to this day is something we both believe to be a miracle of God.

All this to tell you that we initially fell on different sides of the coin on this issue. I thought that was the end of it; we agree to disagree, respect each other’s opinions, and we’re still able to kiss good night. After attending a Bible study that night, on the way home WIFE tells me, “Well, you were right,” and proceeds to say that Satan has led her astray with yet another lie. What’s been interesting to me is that over the course of a couple of years, how the worldview of WIFE has completely shifted.

Now we are still fairly young, but for an adult to make a hard U-turn when it comes to your worldview is something else; something else being a significant event in your life causing you to look at life in a completely different way. For WIFE, it was beginning a relationship with Jesus Christ. Since then, issues are seen through a completely different lens.

In my own life, the significant event in my life was marrying WIFE. Since she was a new Christian when we got married, some of the excitement in learning about God and His Word was still evident in her life. I realize that the worldview of mine that changed thanks to her was what I will call Latent Christianity. Having professed faith in Jesus since I was 9 years old, I had spent years not paying attention in church, thinking a neck rub from my dad during service was more important than what the pastor had to say about Philippians.

When WIFE started coming to church with my family, and especially when we decided to get married and went through pre-marital counseling, my worldview started to change. It was as if some sleeping giant had been awoken and was stirring, ready to start up again. God began to tug at me, telling me that being a Christian wasn’t just something you say; it’s something you live.

WIFE and I recently joined a new church, and this time is exciting for me, because I am truly energized about serving and giving to both the body of believers and to those who haven’t had Jesus change their worldview yet. For the first time, I have an inkling that I might be able to do outreach, something that I NEVER had a desire to do, because I felt I couldn’t connect with people who weren’t already Christians. As a part of the worship team at my church, I’m excited to worship God with the talents He’s given me every single week, instead of using my musical knowledge to critique and judge those who are just giving what they can to God. I’m taking initiative to be the spiritual leader of my relationship and my family, because I finally realize how important that is to God’s plan for my marriage and the rest of my life. I no longer feel chained to Latent Christianity, because my worldview has changed.

So my question to anybody reading this is: what will change your worldview? Can your worldview even be changed, or are you so entrenched in yourself that God can’t work? What it really means to be “open-minded” is to allow your eyes and heart to be receptive to whatever God is truly placing there and asking of you. If you open your heart to Him, He won’t hesitate to enter. Let Him be your worldview; you won’t regret it.