How long have you been a Christian? No matter your answer, I have a question for you: “Is it what you expected?” When you came to acknowledge Christ as your Lord and Savior, what did you imagine would be the result? Increasingly, I see Christians encouraging someone down on their luck by pulling random verses out of context and assuring those people that God has big plans for them if they will only trust in Jesus.
In one sense, those well-wishers are correct. God has big plans for everyone who calls on His name. He plans to give them eternal life and bring them into His presence forever. There couldn’t be a bigger plan. But I know this isn’t what these people have in mind. Too many so-called Christians today have believed the lie that believing in Jesus is the way to success, health, and wealth in this life now.
What happens when someone comes to believe in Jesus and doesn’t experience the promised physical blessings? I’ve seen it happen time and again. At first, they will continue believing and trying to find new ways to pray or seek someone who will speak a new “prophetic word” over them or their loved ones. For many, after years of being promised but not receiving blessings or healing, they fall away from their professed faith. Because they didn’t get what they expected, they become disillusioned and move on. They turn away from Jesus because they never knew Him (1 John 2:19). This is a tragedy because someone sold them a version of Christianity that was never taught by the apostles and never intended by Jesus.
When it comes to your relationship with Jesus, is it what you expected? If someone introduced you to Christ through His true gospel, then you knew what to expect. He promises rest and peace for your soul (Matthew 11:28-30). Having Jesus as our Lord means we will live with Him for eternity in the place He is preparing for us (John 14:1-3). It also means we are going to have a lot of trouble in this world (John 16:33; John 15:18-20). Health, wealth, and success are probably not in the cards for us. Our mission is not to seek those things, but to go and tell everyone about the wonderful love of Christ (Matthew 28:18-30). What happens to us down here is irrelevant in the grand scheme of things (Luke 12:16-20; Matthew 16:26). All that matters is Jesus.
The problem with many, if not most churches today, is they preach a “me” centered gospel, which we know is no gospel at all (Galatians 1:6-9). I’m not surprised by the number of people turning away from the faith, because, in truth, they were never part of the faith (1 John 2:19). But I am terrified by how many think they are in the faith but will be turned away in the end (Matthew 7:22-23). If Christianity isn’t what you expected, then you never understood what it means to follow Christ. What we bring to this relationship is nothing but surrender and humble obedience to whatever He gives us to do. It’s not about us, but all about Him. So, when it comes to your relationship with Jesus, is it what you expected?