DISCLAIMER: Not to sound amazing or holier than anyone else or to make my story fascinating, but I know and confess that it was the Lord Jesus who sought me out (and found me!) when I was not looking for Him or could care less about Him. He sought me out. He found me. He saved me. He has done it all. I wouldn’t be who I am today, if it were not for Him. If there is anything good in me, if there is any good I have said or done, it is because of the Lord and His amazing grace. Sri is not a “good guy”. God/Jesus alone is good (Luke 18:19).
All right. On with it.
Do you want to know if you are a “good” Christian? Here’s a checklist (not exhaustive):
- Read and study the Bible
- Memorize Scripture verse
- Attend Church
- Give tithes and offerings
- Attend Bible studies
- Serve in church or in Christian ministry(ies)
- Love and serve fellow Christians and people in general
- Constantly remember to be and behave like Jesus
- Live everyday knowing that you are a sinner saved by grace
I don’t know how many of you (IF you are reading this) is a Christian, but I can honestly say that I can place a check against each of the items in the list.
But you see, that’s not where the problem lies for me.
Though I do all of the above, not merely as a put on or for show or to impress people, but with conviction and in faith, I have come to the conclusion that I am not IN LOVE with my Lord Jesus and I don’t appreciate Him as I should :(.
This is very hard to describe for me, but I will try.
I have identified myself as a Christian for over 10 years now. Has my walk with the Lord been perfect this whole time? NO. That’s a resounding NO. Am I ashamed and sad to make that declaration? Yes. That’s a quiet and sorrowful yes. Lord knows (and a few people as well) how much I have failed and how many times I have sinned against Him (and others) and been anything but a Christian. I will use the words of king David from Psalm 51:3-4 to sum up my heart and mind: “For I know my transgressions, and my sin is always before me. Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight, so that you are proved right when you speak and justified when you judge.”
I believe in God. I believe in the WHOLE Bible as God’s revealed Word. I believe in Jesus Christ as the Son of God (yet fully man), who came down to earth, lived a perfect and sinless life and then chose to die on the cross as the atoning and all encompassing and ultimate sacrifice for my sins and was raised again from the dead (after 3 days) and now sits at the right hand of the Father, praying and interceding for me. I believe that I have to live my life according to the Bible, relying on the Word as the blueprint for EVERY AREA of life, imitating (not pretending to be like) Jesus in my speech and conduct. I believe that nothing is impossible with or for God. I believe that He has my best intention at heart. I believe that no matter what I say or do, be it according to His ways or not, as long as I believe and have faith in Him, trust in Him and have an ongoing relationship with Him, He will bring about good out of everything (though I may have to face the consequences of my words/actions). I believe in prayer and in the power of prayer (not to “change” God’s mind but to “actively” engage Him in a situation). I believe that He is always watching and listening to us. I believe that He is always in control of EVERYTHING and EVERYONE (even people who don’t believe in Him). I believe that the devil is real and not a metaphor. I believe that though the devil has been given great power and authority here on Earth, he is still under God’s power and authority. I believe that God has given us freewill, to make whatever choice we want (even to deny Him). I believe in miracles, that God can still do amazing and supernatural things in this world and in people’s lives. I believe that though God ALLOWS “bad/sad/tragic” things to happen, He will still bring about good out of it all, even when we cannot clearly see, understand or comprehend it at the time. I believe that God is NOT cruel or a puppet master, but He is PERFECT and not only is He LOVE, but that He/Jesus is the PERFECT EXPRESSION/EXAMPLE of LOVE. I believe that Jesus is coming back. I believe that one day, in God’s time, everything will be all right again.
This is not an all encompassing declaration, but I have tried to cover everything. You see, this is what is in my mind and heart everyday, what motivates me in my every day living. Though I confess and admit that I do sin and transgress against the Lord (and people) on a daily basis, the above summarizes who I am in Christ and because of Christ.
But despite all this, I have come to realize that I am still missing something. Not just something trivial or some small part of the “Christian” life, but what I believe is THE MOST CRUCIAL thing, the CORNERSTONE, of the PERSONAL faith and relationship I am meant to have with the Lord Jesus. Though I “love” Him, I am not IN LOVE with Him. My “love” is incomplete, barely there. Though I know who He is and what He has done for me and the whole world, though I love the Word He has spoken, though I am amazed by Him and in awe of Him and believe in Him and everything He has said and done and trust Him for my salvation and though my every word and action is as a result of His influence and Him being in my life, though all this and so much more is true, sadly and sorrowfully I confess that I am not in love with Him and appreciate Him (what He has done for ME) as I ought to. How do I know? I cannot describe it, but I just know (not by my own understanding or because I am anything special or being overly critical of myself or analyzing myself too much or being too sensitive or feeling guilty). Though those who know me say wonderful things about me now, I fully believe that WHEN the Lord does this in my life, who He will transform me into will be truly amazing and make the “old me” look like dross!
Lord Jesus, I am not satisfied being what I am in You right now BECAUSE I don’t have a genuine, passionate, appreciative love for You. Only You O Lord can make this a reality in my life. All I can do (and have done) is to confess to You, this most SORROWFUL TRUTH YET DESPERATE NEED of mine. All I can do is to continue to live according to Your Word, Your example (as I have been living thus far, though not perfectly). All I can do is pray to You and wait patiently on You to do this for me Lord. I CANNOT do anything on my own, for myself. I CANNOT make me love you. I CANNOT make myself appreciate nor fully understand Your sacrifice and how utterly grateful I ought to be.
I CANNOT do anything for myself Lord.
Please help me, my Lord and Savior. Father in heaven, please hear my prayer.
in Jesus Name.