Reading A.W. Tozer, I was struck by a passage he wrote: “It cannot be but a major tragedy in the life of any man or woman to live in a church from childhood to old age and know nothing more real than some synthetic god compounded of theology and logic, but having no eyes to see, no ears to hear – and no heart to love!” How many of us have become content with a faith in Jesus which provides nothing more than a ticket to Heaven?
Worse yet, how many have settled for a Christianity which makes little to no impact on the lives of those around us? Is the life we are living worthy of what Christ endured for us on the cross?
In the same article, Tozer also said, “Whatever else it embraces, true Christian experience must always include a genuine encounter with God.” If you have had a genuine encounter with God, you will not – you cannot – ever be the same. When you have fallen on your knees in the presence of your Creator, something fundamental changes inside you forever. At once you recognize how small you are, and how small your vision of the world has been. You are forever wrecked by the love of God.
I heard Gary Haugen, the founder and CEO of International Justice Mission, once say, “If my life of following Jesus doesn’t feel dangerous, I might check to make sure it’s Jesus that I’m following.” What he meant was, once you have had an encounter with Jesus, you are compelled to do things you would never have dared attempt before. The life you now live is not yours; it belongs to Jesus. Make no mistake, following Jesus will be adventurous and will, probably, be dangerous at some point.
If following Jesus was easy, everyone would do it. There’s no downside to giving your life to Christ. The reasons people don’t follow Jesus are because they see the temporary pleasures of this world being worth more than Him, and because they know committing their lives to God will mean doing things they don’t want to do. Pride and selfishness separate sinners from God, and we must never forget, we are all sinners. What keeps a nominal Christian from becoming a devoted disciple of Jesus is their own fear and insecurity. They are afraid to give up control or a lifestyle in which they find comfort and security.
It is not enough to attend church all your life. It is not enough to say a prayer and go on living as if nothing has changed. Jesus demands surrender. He demands obedience. These are the things we promised to Him on the day we repented and asked Him to save us. How quickly we forget. How sad it will be when we face Him and learn the illusion we allowed ourselves to be sold is worthless. Jesus died for you. He gave up everything so you might live the life He created you to live. What are you doing with the life He entrusted to you?