One of my favorite things to do is watch campy b-movies (in case you couldn’t already tell with the title of this blog already!). It always makes me laugh, especially while watching with friends. While having dinner with a few of my old roommates we were joking around about this movie that we had kept seeing clips from, some direct to video stuff. The movie’s premise was showing the dangers of playing dungeons and dragons, and in it you see a comical caricature of Christians. The movie looks ridiculous, but that got me thinking (not about the danger of D&D, because it’s just a game, silly), but it got me thinking about what a real world faith truly looks like. You see, there are so many misconceptions of what having a relationship with God is truly like, and many people are turned off by some of the types of people that claim to have a relationship. A relationship with Christ is one of the most incredible and real things. What that means is that you have acknowledged that you’re a sinner, which creates a disconnect from God, but God sent his son to bridge that gap. His death and resurrection allows us to enter into a relationship with him, it is a relationship that is real and raw. A relationship with Christ isn’t some legalistic or holier-than-thou type of thing, it is an authentic walk with Christ.
None of us are perfect, we have all made mistakes and done things we wish we could take back, and Jesus saw this first hand. When he began his ministry, he didn’t choose the religious leaders of his land, he chose the misfits. There’s no worse feeling than not fitting in and being looked at as an outcast, but Jesus calls the misfits into something greater. He wants to do the same with you. Jesus chose to have dinner with the tax collectors and prostitutes, the people that the religious leaders cast aside believing they meant nothing in the grand narrative of the world. I think sometimes we feel like this, we hold onto shame of past mistakes or look at others whom we believe have never done wrong, believing that we can’t do anything to change the world. Here’s the truth: God made you, and knows everything you have and will do, and he says that you are so worth loving. We can love God and love people, that’s what faith is all about. It is not a list of rules to follow or a person that we are supposed to be just like, that’s not a faith for the real world. Faith is following God in the midst of the chaos and mistakes, and continuing to rely on him alone. Today I want to share to those who have a relationship with God and to those who are questioning what it’s all about, and I want to show you what Faith truly looks like.
Determined each day.
This is the core of having an authentic relationship with Christ, each day when we wake up, we need to ask God to fill us. God has something to teach us and give us opportunities to speak life into the life of someone else. I wrote an in-depth view on this point last week, so this is like a sparknotes edition. Each day we need to put on the armor of God, because we will fight battles and have the ability to change lives forever. Like a ripple in and ocean, our influence can become a tidal wave, we just have to step into the calling God has for us. We need to be active in spreading the love of Christ to the unloved. Just like He-Man, you have the power (Might just have to write a post on that idea all together), so use your power for good and lift the name of Christ high.
Serve others together.
This is where many believers stop, we have the one on one time with God down, but forget to be in community and serve others. Small groups are vital, just like the early church, meeting with other believers helps you grow in your faith and stay accountable with others. The second aspect is to serve others. I’m currently taking a class that I was invited to, and the core idea of it is to bring other colleges together and reclaim democracy by working together and breaking down barriers. I love this class but there is a key aspect missing, without Christ, real change is impossible. With Christ, we have the power to move mountains and break down the injustice that surrounds us. That’s why I love my church, I am able to join with other believers and take a stand for those who don’t have a voice. On one of our serve days my small group was able to serve a refugee celebration day, we were able to witness and look into the lives of people whose cultures. With Christ we can take a stand, we can serve others together and change the world.
Respect a higher authority.
As believers, our focus is on Christ, he is the ultimate authority in our lives. When we enter into a relationship with him, he is our number one, anything else is second. This determines everything we do in life, sometimes this can be hard and may mean to sacrifice, but it is so worth it. Everything in this world will fade, but God will always be. We are still called to respect people who have been put in authority over us, this means our bosses and even higher like our president, even if we don’t agree with their beliefs. God is higher than all of it, and we need to focus on him and obey his laws. Not because we are struck if we fail, but because of his love for us, we worship him by obeying the things he has set out for us. When we run after his heart, we step into what he has for us.
We live in a real world. We have real issues, real fears, and real pain; but our God is a real God. He is bigger than anything we have or will face. He chooses to love us when we feel unloved or that we have been damaged. When our past haunts us, God washes it away and makes us whole once more. Jesus died for your real sins, and he rose again so that you could step into real freedom. We are no longer shackled to our fears, but set free in the power of Christ. When you have a real relationship with him, you are determined each day, you serve others together, and you respect the higher authority in your life. God says that you are so worth loving, live in to that promise.
You are a real person with a real God who loves you, so have faith for the real world.