We are prone to forget the most important thing about being a Christian-is Jesus Christ.
It’s a sad fact about us, that even though we’ve come to know Jesus Christ as our Savior, and entered into all the glory of what that relationship means, we can lose sight of the most obvious truths and drift away, and have to be reminded of them once again.
Sometime ago, we were living in Maryland. My husband and I have been blessed with five children and I was homeschooling pre-school through middle school. A women’s Bible study met once a week in my home, and I was on the board of the women’s ministry for our church. Add to all of that the work involved in keeping a household running and food on the table, and you can imagine how busy I was. To be honest, a few of the things I was doing weren’t things God asked me to do, but things I did out of pride.
I was on a treadmill of activities. I loved Jesus. I just didn’t have much time for Him.
One blustery October day, I was struggling. I woke up late, rushed the kids through breakfast and devotions and lessons before running out with the whole group to get groceries and gear for the kids who were in soccer leagues. We finally got home, hauled the groceries and gear in and I sat down on the steps to take my shoes off, grumbling under my breath about the list of things I still had to do.
As I sat there stewing resentfully, I heard the Lord speak to me.
“I want you to go for a walk in the woods.”
I thought of all I had to do and shook my head, arguing with God. “I have too much to get done.” Just then one of my boys walked by and did something innocuous. I sharply rebuked him, and my heart still sinks today as I remember the hurt in his voice when he said, “Mom, what’s wrong with you today?”
Tears stung my eyes, and I pulled my shoes back on. Only the two youngest children and the dog were willing to go for a walk with their grumpy mother, so we left for the woods. The day had turned sunny. As we walked in the woods by a rushing creek, a crisp autumn breeze blew over us. The kids started running down the path, and I let the dog off the lead to chase them. They were quickly out of my sight, so I started jogging on the path behind them. I ran about a quarter of a mile before I caught up with them, they were in the shallow water of the slow-moving creek with the dog.
I sat down and watched their excited play. As I sat on the bank, a verse popped in my thoughts, “Who for the joy set before Him, endured the cross.”
I whispered, already knowing the answer, but wanting to hear it anyway, “What joy was that, Lord?”
“You!” was the soft response.
That was a turning point in my relationship with Jesus. That was the point where I realized how easy it is to lose sight of the fact that being a Christian means being in a relationship with God Himself, and how essential it is that I hold on to the truth that I need Him every moment of every day.
Jesus said that apart from Him, we can do nothing, yet while we agree with that, we don’t often live in that truth, and our lives aren’t always centered on Him. The truth is that the Christian life isn’t about keeping some list of “do’s” and “don’ts,” or rushing from meeting to meeting, or attending church services. It’s a relationship, and like all relationships, it needs tending.
Let me ask you one question. Think about one of the people you love most in this world. It could be your spouse, or a child, or a friend.
What would that relationship look like if you gave it the same time and attention you do to your Savior?
Many of us allow religious activity and worry, and the busyness of life to sabotage us, because we’re caught up with the superficial and ignore the Person who saved us. The Christian life is really an organic life, and it is rooted in the person of Jesus Christ. Only when that rootedness is happening, will we see the product of that life: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness and self-control.
Since we’re all prone to forget that fact, maybe the best thing to do is to go outside in the beautiful world God has made, and spend time with Jesus. Worship Him, praise Him, talk over your problems, and hopes and fears with Him. He longs for that. He died for that. He rose so that you could do that.
The most important thing about you being a Christian, is that you get to know Jesus Christ.
“More than that, I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish so that I may gain Christ.”