I think a lot of us are missing the mark here. And, I say “us”, because I’m included. I feel like we, as Christians, don’t really know what we’re doing. I think maybe we don’t understand what it really means to be a “Christ follower”.
Over the summer I’ve been learning a lot. I’m beginning to see that most of us that claim Jesus hardly know what all that entails. Sure, we go to church and do the Jesus thing. We know the right things to say, and hey. We’re even good, model citizens. Great. But Jesus didn’t die for us to be nice people.
I’m reading this book, The Barbarian Way by Erwin Raphael McManus, and so much of what he says just resonates so true in my heart. He explains that Jesus was a crazy man, defying convention and living on the edge. And we, as Christ Followers, should be doing the same.
You see, Christians are supposed to be the most dynamic, exciting and powerful people on this earth. Why shouldn’t we be? We have access to the most high God who created everything we see and everything we don’t. We are children of the God who raises the dead and heals all diseases. But instead of acting like it, we have become a cult of tamed, nice people who listen to Christian radio and say “God bless you”. That is not what Jesus Suffered for.
Mark 16:17-18 says this: “And these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues; they will pick up snakes with their hands; and when they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them at all; they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well.” (NIV, emphasis added)
That doesn’t sound like a suggestion to me. It sounds like those of us who have made Jesus our Lord and savior should be operating in the power of God’s authority.
Hebrews 6:1-3 says this: “Therefore let us leave the elementary teachings about Christ and go on to maturity, not laying again the foundation of repentance from acts that lead to death, and of faith in God,instruction about baptisms, the laying on of hands, the resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment. And God permitting, we will do so.” (NIV)
So basically, we should already be well versed in all these things, which, you’ll notice, includes resurrection of the dead. Not to mention that the author of Hebrews suggests we should not be struggling with repentance from sins. I’m gonna go out on a limb here and say… We are not living up to this.
The reason that most of us don’t ever live up to our potential as Christians though, I believe, is because it takes severe discipline. Mark 9:49 tells a story of how the disciples tried to cast out a demon from a man, but could not. Jesus came onto the scene and immediately drove out the demon with a quick word. The disciples asked him “why could we not cast it out?” Jesus replied “This kind can only come out by prayer and fasting”(NKJV). I don’t pretend to know what Jesus is talking about when he says “this kind” but I do know that Jesus power was unleashed because he had practiced the discipline of prayer and fasting. (which, fasting is another soapbox entirely… but that is for another day.)
Jesus didn’t neglect getting on his knees and seeking the face of His father. On the contrary, Jesus prioritized it above all else. How then can we expect to have power if we neglect the source? We are supposed to be wild and crazy and unashamed. We are supposed to be fearless and bold and full of power. John 14:12 says “I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father.” Even greater than the miracles that Jesus himself performed! Imagine that! And yet we settle into the mundane.
I truly believe that a Christian living up to their potential will never doubt God, will seldom stumble, and never, ever be bored with Christianity. It’s not supposed to be boring. Following after the messiah is supposed to be the most exciting adventure of your life. Let’s get on our faces and start living up to our potential.
That is all.