Everyone is Devoted to Jesus
We were talking at lunch about defining Christianity properly—what a Christian is and what a church is and then living that way. All of that applies when you’re asking somebody to help you with something. If they’re not really devoted to Jesus, then they are just religious. Maybe you can’t talk with them without them being defensive when there’s a problem. Maybe you can’t really trust the person to follow through on what they’ve promised. You’re always on the verge of betrayal or confusion or a broken word.
You want to know that they’ll do something if they’ve given you their word about it. As Jesus said, “Let your ‘yes’ be yes and your ‘no’ be no.” In the world’s system, it doesn’t really mean very much to break your word. But in the church, if someone actually breaks their word and lets you down, then you talk to them about it. They’re humble and penitent, and they want to change. You’ve helped them change their character, while they’ve also become more forthright and dependable in the things you’re working together on.
We talked earlier about what a church is and what a Christian is and that the whole church should live that way. Everybody ought to live as if they really believe that the commands from God are from God instead of just good ideas. If everybody is converted (the Spirit of Jesus lives inside of everybody in the church) then everything becomes a learning experience, spiritually and life just flows. But if you’re trying to depend on unsaved people and religious pretenders, then you end up with back-biting, chaos, hypocrisy, confusion, broken words, misunderstandings, hard feelings, and other such things.
Where I live, we can be trying to work out the most intense things imaginable in a short amount of time, but we’re not going to have any fighting, or people pulling back and having opinions, or hard feelings, or separation or people talking about others behind their backs. It’s just not going to happen. It’s been 15 years since that’s happened to my knowledge. We don’t have anything like that because everybody’s devoted to Jesus. Even when we get a little tripped up and we’re tempted to do those things, everybody wants to talk about it and resolve it because they want Jesus to be pleased.
When you define church and Christian properly, it greases the runway for everything. Educating our children and finding success on the job then happens all the time. A couple brothers help you finish a project even though they’re not on the payroll—things like that happen all the time. Everybody’s careers are better, the children are better, and everybody’s talents are shared mutually. Anything you could ever dream of needing to do is solved because each part is more than happy to contribute into your life as you are into theirs. All that to say, God’s design is pretty Good. :) It’s never been lacking, but it’s mostly been untried.
I think that’s the scary part, because where do you go from here?
As we’ve talked about, “Without vision the people cast off restraint.” If a person doesn’t see it, then they don’t ask God about it. If you’re not looking and leaning in and wrestling in prayer and talking with each other about the details, then nothing changes. Seeing it first and holding the vision up before God is really the beginning place. If you could go out and do it by yourself, then it really wouldn’t be from God, would it?
Instead of God doing it, it would be us doing it for God. Then we’d be able to take credit for it, which wouldn’t be any fun at all. :)
(To someone strumming a guitar in the background): Did you ever take lessons or did you just teach yourself?
After two weeks he asked me never to come back until I practiced! (laughter)