Who are you?
What makes you what you are? Is it your job description, the state you live in? What do you respond with when asked, who are you? While I ask this question I would also like to tie in one more question. What do you love? I think that we often overlook the close comparison between who we are and what we love. What you love is a direct reflection of who you are.
I grew up in a wonderful Christian home with an amazing family who loves the Lord. It was an atmosphere that was rich with the Spirit to nurture me and stimulate spiritual growth. From hearing my father preach every Sunday, to watching my parents all throughout the week demonstrate Godly living, my bubble of influence gave me the building blocks to begin a relationship with Christ. When I was six years old my mother sat me down and explained to me what it meant to be a Christian. I said a prayer of salvation that day with her. I was a young boy who wanted to do the same things my parents did and be the same things they were. I loved the idea of becoming a Christian like them. I did not love God like them.
Right now I see a world full of people who love the idea of God. I see a world lacking in people who love God. Love is a subconscious element of software installed into our hearts. It is a default setting that directly effects our decisions. Society has portrayed a false picture of love that is completely backwards. They claim that love is a choice that directly effects our software. Little did we know that this simple twist on a word often taken for granted would actually poison the Christian body as it continues to today.
We are what we love
When you say “I am a Christian”, do you really understand what that means? Being a Christian in a blessed country like our own is so easy; dangerously easy. It is so hard to see the value in true salvation when we are sitting on the top of the world and have virtually everything to live a so called happy life. We value the lives of luxury we have and drown out the true value only a life with Christ can offer. We love the phones we have, the cars we drive, the houses we live in and the nation we were born in. Those things have become part of who we are. We put time into those things we love. We think about the things we love, and we identify with the things we love. “Well sure, but I’m a Christian, so I love God more than those things”. What kind of love are you talking about if you say that: the false love that runs top down, or the love that stems from the bottom up? Are you choosing to love God based on circumstance? Or are you letting your love for God determine what you choose in every circumstance? We are experiencing an epidemic the Christian culture. It has become a culture that no longer reflects the image it claims to be established under. I don’t think we even realize the severity of this crisis. Our world is slipping fast away from the influence of the Christian body. We are a sleeping body that is unresponsive to this dying world. If we truly are what we love, then why isn’t the world seeing a bold image of God’s power through our lives?
What is a Christian?
The Greek definition of the term Christian is “a follower of Christ”. Simple enough, someone who follows after Christ. Those who love Jesus and value his character enough to want it for themselves. I mentioned the prayer of salvation I said in my youth specifically to highlight the fact that all those great things I grew up with did not make me a Christian. I said all those nice things, but my heart was not following Jesus. I didn’t love Jesus. My decision to ask him into my heart wasn’t rooted in a deep, established love for him. Yet, like so many, I believed that my decision based off of a feeling justified that I loved him. For a long time I thought that was enough. I remembered saying a prayer when I was young so I must be a Christian, right? You said a prayer because you were feeling spiritual; therefore it must mean you love God, right? A follower of Christ has a constant hunger for the Gospel, not just a curiosity. We are so busy filling our stomachs with pleasures of the world that we don’t even know what it feels like to hunger after the Gospel. Sure, we may be curious about it, but it is just another side on our plate that we will mindlessly eat like the rest of the garbage we consume. We are so comfortable in the lives of luxury and security we have, that our taste buds have gone numb to the true purpose and meaning God has for our lives. We have also gone numb to the horrifying reality we are actually living in.
Man has given us our “security”. We live comfortably because our government promises us that our right to be religious is protected. Be honest with yourself; how much would you fear if that right was ever taken away? What if the government shut down your church? What if they burned every Bible? What if a bill was passed giving a death sentence to anyone professing the Lord’s name? We would be terrified, and extremely unprepared; that is the problem. We have this wrong idea that our salvation can be somehow taken away. That it would burn with our churches, our Bibles and our lives. Or maybe I should ask; is your church and that dusty Bible in your desk drawer the only thing that makes you “Christian”? Are you just curious about God? Do you just like the idea of God? Proverbs 29:25 says,
“Fearing people is a dangerous trap, but trusting in the Lord means safety.”
I think so many people who call themselves Christians are actually stuck in the trap this verse is describing. We fear people, we fear what the government can take away, so we find our hope and security in it. The trap is so much more dangerous than we realize. The trap makes us comfortably ignorant to what it means to be a Christian. We don’t even realize we are ignorant! If you don’t understand by now, then let God’s Word spell it out for you: Revelation 3:15-17 says,
“I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! So, because you are lukewarm- neither hot nor cold- I will spit you out of my mouth. Because you say, I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing- and do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind and naked.”
THIS is the dangerous trap people are regularly falling into! God says that he would rather you be hot because you seek to follow him, you are on fire for God; a true believer of Christ. This is the picture of a Christian described here. God also says that he would rather you be cold because you are blatantly living in sin, a clear unbeliever. This is someone who has no justification for their sin, nothing to fall back on when the Spirit comes crashing in. It is easy to spot someone who is cold. But someone who is lukewarm goes to church every Sunday. They have Christian friends, and know a lot of Bible stories. They are rich and wealthy with knowledge of God. Someone who is lukewarm is doing all the right things for all the wrong reasons. God spits them out of his mouth. They have chosen to love God, but they don’t have the true love for God that molds their lifestyle. They don’t know that they are wretched and poor because society has only taught them to love from the top to the bottom. They point to their church attendance in the past month if their faith is ever questioned: all the things that are on the top that are supposed to influence the heart which is at the bottom. Our fake definition of love is setting people blindly down a road to destruction. Now we can all of a sudden understand why our Christian body is asleep; its a whole lot more empty than we thought. Matthew 7:14 says,
“But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.”
Have you found that gate? You don’t need to look back to a time long ago when you may have said a prayer. The answer is reflected through your daily life. It will be evident in your everyday hunger to follow Christ. You follow what you love. You are what you love.
Who are you?