The balanced Christian life cannot stay in the extreme of corporate spirituality, nor retreat into a radically individual spirituality. Rather, a balanced, stable approach to spirituality must simultaneously embrace both corporate and individual means of sanctification
I love this quote from Michael Svigel’s, RetroChristianity: Reclaiming the Forgotten Faith. Our society is so individualistic, but the more I read the Bible and hear from theologians, the more I wonder where exactly we find that in God’s word? I think the answer is obvious: we don’t.
One of the saddest parts of this world and our existence in it is the inevitable ending. Whether Christian, Muslim, Hindu, any other belief system, or none at all, we can all agree that there is something really messed up about our current home. We all recognize that our existence here will not last. Therefore, our tendency is to make the most of ourselves now that our memory may live long after we do.
In America, we do that through getting an education. We do that through our extracurricular activities. We do it through our GPA, our reputation in church or school or on social media. These things aren’t inherently bad, but they are fleeting, and can so quickly become a distraction from the One we are ultimately suppose to set our eyes upon. This distraction is often brought with the idea of “having our lives together”. Today I want to debunk that lie in three areas. Let us stop giving into the idea of having a perfect life and start giving control to the Perfecter of Life.
Having my life together before commitment
As a senior in college, I have the “what’s your next step” conversation on a daily basis. One thing I hear over and over is that people do not feel prepared enough for the real world. Whether that be taking a job or moving somewhere where the Lord has called, we tend to shrink up at the thought of stepping forward when we do not feel adequate for that step.
But when Jesus asked Peter to step out of the boat, did He first teach him how to swim? No. He said, Peter get out. That’s it. By giving into the idea that we must first have our lives together before committing to the next place we have been called is saying that we do not trust The One who is calling.
Having my life together before marriage
This is a lie I have held dear to my heart. Throughout my first years in college, I clung tight to what my four years was suppose to look like. I bought into the lie that my first priority had to be myself and my future, and then I could move on to thinking about a family and its future. While thinking about those things aren’t wrong, they certainly are not what Christians have been called to place our identities in. We are a people bound by community.
Austin first posed the idea of getting married before the end of college, and my flesh cringed. I could lie and say that my first though was, “Is this what God is willing?” but instead it was, “What would people think?” In fact, I kept the idea a secret reserved only for my family and friends for months. When I did tell people we were getting married the summer before my senior year, I always qualified it with some kind of excuse for why I wasn’t following the norm.
I look back at that time of my life in utter disgust. In no way was I trusting what The Lord had laid out for me. No, I do not have my degree yet. I do not have a solid job right now. My life isn’t what the world would call “together”, but my marriage is amazing. I come home every night to a man who loves Jesus and encourages me in my love for Him as well. God knew full well that I need that encouragement to get through this year with my eyes set Him alone. It is the best decision thing I have ever done.
Having my life together before Jesus
SO many see God as a big King on the top of a mountain we have to climb our way up to. Jesus is the King who came down the mountain to bring carry us up. This is such good news. Jesus is not concerned with how messed up and out-of-whack you think your life is. Friends, He doesn’t need you. He wants you. There is a Savior who left His throne, came to depths of this earth, lived a life of pure perfection, died for our sins he did not commit, and defeated death by rising again. His body is no where to be found! If he wanted us to come to Him, He wouldn’t have come to us. His love is unlike any other love that has ever existed and will ever exist. Do not wait to get your life together before turning to the One who beckons you. Whether it is committing your life to Him now or following in a direction He is sending you, respond.
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A few friends have been leaving comments in the past. I would love to hear an area where the world told you you had to have your life together, and Jesus showed you otherwise. Stories are fun. Share them here :).