It’s been exactly 1 year and 9 months since I started having a good look into what it means to be a Christian, what it meant before then and what being a Christian in the future will be. 5 years ago, on Christmas I accepted Christ.
August 2018 started a roller coaster of events that would set my heart in an abyss of pain and discovery. Of hurts and rejection, of knowing the future and wishing to not know it. Before we go any further, let me clarify that I’m not a saint. I say this while accepting the redemptive power of Christ to make me one and rejecting any work that can presumably make me one.
Serving God is not Synonymous With Being Right With God
It only leads to a conflicted Christian. Unless you’re truly connected with The Source, your service will always be a scandalon to your faith. He’ll be an obstacle every time if service precedes your relationship. I have always feared the Lord’s wrath, partly because of his Sovereignty and my own projections on Him.
His Sovereignty led me to quit service and focus on the relationship. It’s hard having to incline daily but it’s essential.
The relationship is Not By Association
Service can be by association. There’s nothing wrong in this. As seen in the gospels, there were people who served by associating with the believers, they themselves were not believers.
A relationship with Him is based on accepting that He Lords over your soul, he’s your master and your saviour. It’s moving from the association, from the sidelines to oneness as in the case of Cornelius. It’s not enough to be associated.
The Relationship is Painful
As with any kind of learning, it can either happen through pain or through knowledge. As Jerry Seinfield says in Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee, Pain is Information hitting you real quick.
When you stub your small toe against the table, the awareness that there is a table and you should check where you’re going hits in jolts you never expected.
You’ll have such moments and your soul will throw tantrums against the Lord. Or you’ll learn through knowledge. Choose knowledge.
Relationship Means Rest
A relationship with Christ is painful because as soon as you take two strides with Him, He begins to show you all that’s wrong with you.
In the beginning, He builds a kind of pray-and-receive relationship but as the walk continues, the mirror is held and you won’t like what you see. In addition, you have to knock longer before the door opens. Knuckles will hurt.
However, you’ll soon discover that with Him, there’s Rest. Your soul will learn how to just rest. To be still.
There Will Be Mountains as There Will Be Valleys
Expecting to always be illuminated Christians as Oswald Chambers puts it in his book, My Utmost For His Highest is being a Spiritual drag on God. We’re Spiritual beings just as we are human beings.
The real deceit lies in believing that life will be smooth and straight after accepting Christ. You will have periods in the Mountain when He speaks to you clear as day. Through scripture, servants, songs, His creation and His conviction He’ll speak and you’ll hear.
You’ll wish that these moments will last forever. They won’t.
The real test will be going down in the valley and practising what you heard. Doing the commonplace things in the commonplace — places with no inspiration, revelation, or miracle.
You Repeat All The Tests You Fail
God’s class is tough but rewarding. When you’re doing the devil’s work, he sets you up on a pinnacle and when you move, you fall. See the temptations of Jesus.
When you pass God’s test, He sets you on a plateau. On a tableland. There is legroom and you can move. I have failed so many times in a single test that I grew tired of myself and thought,’ How tired must He be?’
Aim for the tableland. Learn through knowledge or learn through your failed tests.
When You’re Almost Succeeding, You’ll Lose Your Elijah
When God starts having His unhindered way with you, things will change. When He wants you, you can’t shake Him off. He won’t leave you alone. No matter how hard you try.
Coupled with this Jonah effect is that your Spiritual helpers and teachers will leave you at the moment you start making spiritual strides.
The people who started with you will relocate, have a falling out or fall by the wayside. It will hurt and it will be heartbreaking. Keep your hands on the plough. Your double portion will soon be with you.
There’s a lot I can write about this. As a Christian who has been torn between service and relationship and chosen relationship, I have tea. At times I would wish He’d leave me alone. After many years of serving in the Catholic Church and Pentecostal churches; I found service or being a worker to be a bit robotic.
Service doesn’t mean we wait to be inspired to serve. However, it must never come before the relationship.