Living the Christian Life Like It Was Meant to Be Lived
If I were not a Christian today, I think I’d have to wonder whether it would make any difference if I became one. That’s not because a majority of Christians aren’t wonderful, loving people because they are. It’s just that, in general, Christians today lack real power in their lives. The Bible says that when a person becomes a Christian, they receive, through the Holy Spirit, the same power in them that raised Jesus from the dead! That’s a lot of life-transforming power! Yet, most Christians basically seem to live life like everyone else; fearful of what tomorrow holds, burdened down with cares and worries and making very little difference in their sphere of influence, whether that be among family, friends, co-workers or neighbors. Moreover, to be honest, many Believers don’t seem to live with any great anticipation or expectation in their lives related to God, other than Jesus is coming back soon. Which, in many ways, sounds more like they’re hanging on waiting to be rescued from the difficulties of life, rather than anticipating the return of their King and Redeemer!
My intention here is not to be harsh or critical. Actually, what I’m doing is making a confession and a commitment to change. I am guilt of living the kind of life of which I now speak, and it’s no way to live. Having the presence of God in your life but living without its power is like owning a Ferrari but driving it like it’s a VW Bug!
When one reads through the Bible, especially the Gospels, it is impossible not to see how empowered Jesus was to rise above the difficult circumstances in life, heal the sick, feed the hungry, confront the hypocrites and religious leaders and teach the truth. Then in Acts, we see how his disciples and the new Believers were empowered to do the same, and with similar amazing results Thousands of people received a new life in Christ, people were cared for, the sick were healed and some imprisoned for their faith were miraculously set free. Courage was on display as Stephen, Peter, Paul and others boldly proclaimed their faith in Christ, as death stared them in the face. Life wasn’t safe nor was it easy but for the Believers it was filled with power those Christians turned the world upside down.
If we have the same power today that Believers had back then, why then, is our world still right side up? Or more to the point, why don’t we live the power-filled, life-changing, world-changing lives they lived? After all, doesn’t God’s Word say in I Corinthians 4:20
“For the kingdom of God does not consist in words but in power?”
As members of the Kingdom of God here on this earth, shouldn’t there be more power demonstrated in our lives? Do we really need to live so bogged down in the cares of life and the worries of the day that we are rendered ineffectual and powerless for the Kingdom, not to mention a poor testimony of God to the world?
Why are so many believers, especially in the West, living such defeated, powerless lives? Perhaps one reason is our lack of reliance upon the Holy Spirit and knowledge of God’s Word. (That’s really 2 reasons, isn’t it?) Before Jesus returned to heaven, after His resurrection, He told His followers they would soon receive power when the Holy Spirit came upon them. However, it didn’t end there. Once, they received the Holy Spirit, they “continually devoted themselves to the apostle’s teaching.” The power of the Holy Spirit wasn’t enough to equip them to live a power-filled life. It needed to be coupled with knowledge of the Word of God. Once that took root in their hearts and they began to believe and act on what the Word said while relying on the Holy Spirit within them, there was no stopping them.
Today, either not knowing what God’s Word says, not believe that it’s true or a combination of the two, is, in many instances, rendering the church weak and ineffective, leaving it with little to offer those in a world (or a life) gone crazy. As a result, people question or refute the need to become a Christian or the message they are sending.
How that must break the heart of God. He gives us so much, yet we appropriate so little of it. II Peter 2:3 says that;
“His divine power has granted to us EVERYTHING (we need) pertaining to life and godliness, through the true KNOWLEDGE of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence.”