What Is True Christianity?
Christianity is real.
It’s a personal thing.
It’s a God thing.
It is not a mere intellectual acceptance of Christ’s divinity or reading the Scriptures. It’s more than just walking down that aisle to the altar. It’s more than church meetings, Bible studies, worship services and yelling hallelujah to the stars.
It is not a story.
It is a testimony.
This is why people find themselves in the rollercoaster of commitment and recommitment over and over again. They’re taking it all in with their minds, while holding close to their own way. It’s not an inoculation against sin.
The watching world cannot tell the difference because they're unable to imagine the unseen places of the hearts and minds of men.
What is it?
It is the yielding of everything, including self, to Him without reservation. It is allowing Him to be Ruler, Lord and Keeper. It is the practical day-by-day obedience. It is the laying everything at the altar and letting him pick it up.
It is faith.
How does this roller coaster ride end? It ends in a crisis of faith. It ends with life’s hard knocks knocking us off our feet. It ends when God gets our attention.
We scream, “Are you real, God!”
He says, “Taste and see that I am good.”
One taste, one see and we’re hooked.
It is a God given faith.
Faith is foundational to relationship. It is intimate. It is not a habit, but a way of life. God is not an illusion. The faithful know who He is. The faithful know Him by name. He shows Himself faithful to the faithful. No one can snatch them out of His hand.
Some people get it right away, but for me it took twenty years after I started going to church. I played my role well. I even fooled myself. I looked like the perfect, well adjusted Christian. I held my place right there in the front pew. I always gave my tithes and offering. The pastor could constantly count on me. I was strong. I was religious. I called myself a Christian.
We can lose our religion.
We can’t lose our faith
I hit a crisis of faith.
I found a mountain I couldn't climb.
I stood in front of a wall I couldn't scale.
I hit that wall and crumbled in a heap.
I was helpless, clueless and downright frustrated. It was no longer a search for solutions. It was in search for God – the real God. I had been going my own way for so many years I didn’t even know if I could find Him.
He found me.
I stood before my Maker stripped of all pretenses. My unworthiness screamed in my ears. My pride crumbled at his feet. My secret sins found out and laid bare in His presence. Spiritually I was in anguish. I was afraid.
God was working. He started pruning me. He removed the debris left from my selfishness. He cut away what was not pleasing in His sight. I couldn’t stop crying. The tears washed over the hurting places.
This was not a one-time thing. This was not done quickly. If He had used a whirlwind I would have fallen apart. I would have died. Slowly, day after day, he worked in the inner recesses of my soul.
You might say, “What a terrible risk you took!”
But, in the crisis of faith I found Him.
I gained open eyes to see Him.
I received unclogged ears to hear Him.
I grasped a clear mind to know Him.
My softened heart received Him.
The Bible became real. His words pierced the inner recesses of my soul. He spoke - I listened. He listened - I spoke. It was intimate. It was real. My heart burned within me.
The relinquishment of self is a true work. It cuts into the fiber of the soul. It’s dramatic, emotional and a quiet yielding. We cannot inherit Christianity. It’s too personal for that. There are no “second hand” believers.
He forgave me.
He comforted me.
He is real.
In realness He drew near.
I leaned in.
He didn’t push back.
There is joy in reconciliation.
What is it?
O taste and see that the Lord is good; how blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him! Psalm 34:8
But let him who boasts boast of this, that he understand and know Me, that I am the LORD who exercises lovingkindness, justice and righteousness on earth; for I delight in these things.” Declares the LORD. Jeremiah 9:24
Jesus said to him, “I am the Way, and the Truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me. John 14:6
I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly. John 10:10b
My sheep hear My voice, and I know the, and they follow Me; and I give eternal life to them, and they will never perish; and no one will snatch them out of My hand. John 10:28
Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come. 2 Corinthians 5:17