Wednesday, January 03, 2007

What Holds People Back?

Fundamentally, the idea of being "sold out" for Christ isn't all that helpful , because there are truly only two types of people: those "in Adam" and those "in Christ." I mean that we are either dead or alive and there isn't an in-between. But I think the point of the question is a good one: "Why are there so many resurrected souls who look a lot like zombies?" By "zombies," I mean "walking dead," and my point (which I think is the question's point too) is that many Christians don't live like Christ.

I think that maybe part of the problem is a faulty view of being "sold out." We have to remember that different people have different portions and not all are called to be Paul or St. Francis or George Mueller or John Piper. Like Jesus said Peter about John living forever: "What is that to you? You follow me!" We must be clear (and I agree with Ben here) that Christ's calling will look different for different people. An "in Christ" plumber might be completely faithful by reading the Word three times a week, teaching Sunday school, leading his family, doing his job well while trusting and thanking Jesus in and for all things.

Focusing on externals is dangerous, because it can smack of justification by works. I know we can't chuck it out the window, because those who are alive by the Spirit will increasingly walk by the Spirit (Gal 5). But we need to focus less on ourselves and more on the amazing Jesus the Bible describes. Maybe that's the problem--people don't know Jesus. The question's intonation shouldn't be "Why aren't more people sold out for Jesus?" but "Why aren't people more sold out for Jesus?"

Our practical concept of Christ is far too small. He is the incarnated God almighty, who made the heavens and the earth and speaks all things into existence and sustenance. He is the resurrected Lord of lords, the reigning and conquering King of kings. We must live as those who, in Him, have been crucified and raised and given His own Spirit of promise. The Spirit has been given as the down payment of the future and final revelation of God's holy and awesome Christ. When He is revealed in glory will be like him, because we will see Him as He is. That's the key now, too--seeing and knowing Him. And Our change will come in direct proportion to our intimacy with Him through Scripture and the Spirit.

But too often (even as I wrote the last paragraph I struggled) when we see Him we don't love Him because our hearts are dull and flabby and our eyes are weak to see true glory. I get excited about a piece of dirt where there will be a small-ish house, but not about the Cornerstone of God's holy temple. And it's so sinful. I thank God that the blood and righteousness of Christ covers even this sin, in this moment!

People's Jesus, like mine, is too often too small. A big and true Jesus as the Scripture describes Him will demand and accomplish big and true change in tiny people like me.

1 comment:

Ben said...

Excellent post. I was challenged and moved. Christ is central to everything.