Many of you know my story (you can read my testimony here) and why my heart is so set on reaching out to people who identify with Christ but may not display characteristics of what the Bible says a follower of Jesus should look like. I identified with Christ fully and completely. I was on his team. I was a big BIG fan and was emotionally and physically involved in my relationship with him. That is why I am so passionate about this. Had you told me in 2012 that you thought I was not a Christian I would have laughed at you. But I wasn’t. Sure, I loved Jesus, and everything he stood for. Loved going to church. Loved singing praise to him. But I was not willing to do everything he asked of me in the Bible. I was what they call a cafeteria Christian, picking and choosing the theology that worked for me and placing the rest in a file I called “antiquated”.
Jump forward a year and a half later as a full-fledged, bonafide, all-in, do-what-the-Bible-says, newborn Christian and I can tell you something that only is clear to me now. As they say hindsight is 20-20. The biggest mistake I made as a “Christian” (placed in quotes because I was not a Christian) was in creating my own version of who God is. I was majorly guilty of boldly and arrogantly (and ignorantly) breaking the first and second commandments. You shall have no other gods before me. You shall not worship idols. I was a god-creating idolator in the first degree. I placed the word ignorantly in parenthesis because, while I should not blame my own sin on anyone other than myself, I do know that the majority of my issue came from a product of poor theology and a low view of God directly from the pulpit. I was given a large dose of what I call “Pulpit Puppet Theology”; a watered-down, sugary, stage-show of a God that in reality if you came face to face with him would crush the very soul you cling so tightly to. A soul that you view as somewhat clean and acceptable, yet with just a glimpse of God you would see in yourself a grotesque and unspeakably ugly sinner.
If you are a Christian or perhaps an unknowing “Christian” I encourage you to do one thing over the next month, and hopefully from there for the rest of your life. Study who God is. Raise your view of him. Put him back in his high and lifted up place. Look at the throne-room of your heart and daily replace yourself on that throne with Christ. Visualize it. Pray for it. Study it. Research it. Dig deep. I heard someone say at a conference that the first time they went to Japan, they came back thinking they knew everything. The second time they went they came back realizing how much more they wanted to learn. The third time, the realized just how much there is to learn and that they only scratched the surface. As I sat there listening to this man talking about business, I thought, “that is so true about God”. The more you dig into understanding who he is, the more you will realize the magnitude of your original view and how far you are from reaching a truly correct view of him. Someday in Heaven we will have a better understanding, but for now, Christian, don’t assume you know.