I’m not sure who this last series of posts are really for – one of you out there actually taking the time to read them, or me the guy writing. Perhaps this is just part of my own personal therapy. But until this topic gets out of my system, we’ll continue to unpack it in this forum. Love to hear your thoughts and personal stories.
I’ve been following Christ for a long time. In fact, in my 35 years of life on this earth, I don’t remember one day I would have said I was “away from God.” And for the past decade I’ve pursued Him passionately: reading, listening, learning, praying, discussing, growing. Some would even consider me a “professional Christian” (after all, that’s what pastors are, right? We get paid to follow Jesus).
But after all these years, I’m noticing an interesting phenomena. Knowledge is not my friend (or at least it initially seems that way on the surface). The more I learn, the more I dig, the more I uncover about God, the more overwhelmed I become at the complete disaster that I am. Knowledge has simply illuminated my failure, my innate inability to be Godly.
But if you’re like me, your gut reaction to this revelation may be as follows:
The more you learn, the more you realize the distance between where you are and where you should be. That realization instinctively leads to immense effort to close the gap. But the harder you try, the more you fail, and the more you fail, the more frustrated, fearful, or depressed you become. And honestly, that’s where a lot of us live our lives each and every day (even many of us who have known Christ or been in and around the truth of the Gospel our entire lives fall victim).
So here’s where I am personally (and perhaps I should be embarrassed to say this as a life-long Christian, and a full-time pastor at that). I’m going back to the basics. Don’t let knowledge and revelation lead you towards effort, let it drive you to repentance.
Effort is your broken, sinful, human attempt to close the un-closable gap. Repentance is your submission to the only true Gap Closer. Effort leads to consistent frustration and failure. Repentance allows the supernatural life of Christ to ignite inside of you. Effort leads to religion. Repentance leads to Jesus.