Living in dependence on Me is a glorious adventure. Most people scurry around busily, trying to accomplish things through their own strength and ability. Some succeed enormously; others fail miserably. But both groups miss what life is meant to be; living and working in collaboration with me.
When you depend on Me continually, your whole perspective changes. You see miracles happening all around, while others see only natural occurrences and “coincidences.” You begin each way with joyful expectations, watching to see what I will do. You accept weakness as a gift from Me, knowing that My Power plugs in most readily to consecrated weakness.
Sarah’s first line describes something that most definitely not reflected in today’s culture … following Christ, depending on Christ, is glorious. The world sees “Christians” as weak, non-impacting, legalistic, etc.
I cannot blame the world for believing this. Where I grew up, this type of Christian was rampant, and thus helped to relay that message to the outside world.
I do not like to call myself a Christian because of the negative connotations it provokes. Yes, I am different from the world, but not because of rules, or following a “religion”, or being a part of a “morale club”. It is because of who Christ is, and what He means to me. I cannot imagine not having Christ in my life. That may sound presumptuous to the outsider, but to me, it is just a day to day relationship.
The more you closely follow Christ, the less you need to talk about it. It shows up in your character, your emotions, who you are on the inside. You become different than those that do not follow Christ.
BUT, what following Christ does not mean:
It does not mean that you do not sin, fall short of what you want to do. Following Christ isn’t about living a perfect sin-free life. Remember, God looks at the heart. He looks at who you are on the inside, not what you do on the outside. That does not mean that you do not face natural consequences for your actions. It also does not mean that you can do whatever you want with a free “forgiveness/grace” ticket.
A heart that follows Christ is a heart that desires to live sin-free. So, when you fall short and cave into temptation, or flat out sin, you are sorry for your actions and desire to make a change. This is a heart that God can mold and push forward towards His desires. That is a heart that is repentant, and God promises to forgive those who come to Him with a repentant heart:
1 My dear children, I am writing this to you so that you will not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate who pleads our case before the Father. He is Jesus Christ, the one who is truly righteous. 2 He himself is the sacrifice that atones for our sins—and not only our sins but the sins of all the world. 3 And we can be sure that we know him if we obey his commandments. 4 If someone claims, “I know God,” but doesn’t obey God’s commandments, that person is a liar and is not living in the truth. 5 But those who obey God’s word truly show how completely they love him. That is how we know we are living in him. 6 Those who say they live in God should live their lives as Jesus did. 1 Jn 2: 1-6
Living for God is blessing. You do not reflect on what you are leaving behind, but feel blessed to have an intimate connection with One who loves you more than you deserve, and One who has a desire to bring out your best. What a deal!