“And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.” -—Hebrews 11:6
It seems I’ve reached a point in my spiritual journey where I’m now considered “out there.” And “kind of a holy roller.” These words echoed at me recently when spoken by two people in my inner circle who were–believe it or not– trying to be gentle. I’m sure others have said far less gentle comments that I haven’t heard. It doesn’t matter.
I am not here to engage in a popularity contest with our ridiculous culture and its values. I am here to tell a truth (the only one that matters) and hopefully lead others to Christ. I’m here to say, “This is real, people,” and “Your time is short, so decide where you stand with God.” Who can deny the time is short? Even a life of 80-90 years is short in light of eternity.
I wish I could neatly explain how I arrived at my “holy roller” status. But the journey’s been more like a zigzag than an arrow shot. However, one constant with me has always been the seeking. I am curious by nature. I like learning and ask a lot of questions. I investigate, and when looking into other philosophies and “religions,” I found them to be empty.
A quick rant on that word “religions.” It simply denotes a set of rituals and rules one tries to keep in order to gain favor with God. That’s almost 180 degrees off the message of Jesus. If you describe someone as “religious” to me, I hear you saying either a) They adhere to rituals and attend church; or b) You don’t understand what they do or why they do it. It is too general a word to describe a changed life and heart inhabited by the Holy Spirit.
That’s the end game of Jesus and the message of Easter. But how to shuck “religion” and get real with God?
Seek Him! Investigate! Isaiah 55:6 advises, “Seek the Lord while he may be found. Call upon Him while He is near.” God is not afraid of your questions. He is used to doubters (and forgiving of them). But if you come with a humble heart and entertain the possibility that The Bible is God’s inspired Word and not a book of fairy tales, you have a strong starting point for a real relationship with Jesus.
By the way, Jesus didn’t regard The Bible as fairy tales or mere history. He often referred to the Old Testament and even quoted it to defeat Satan in the wilderness (Matthew 4:4). It’s that powerful and important!
I read the Bible for years but… with a stony heart. No change noted. No one giving me the crazy lady silent treatment when I spoke about God (which I didn’t do because I had relegated Him and His Son to an hour on Sunday). That, my friends, is what you call a religion.
The Holy Spirit works through the The Word of God to bring change, and I believe that’s how I got to be a “roller.” Approaching the Word with a broken and open heart allowed it to work in my life. To invade my being. To be dynamic and three-dimensional. No longer strange words on a page, but spiritual food from a living and personal God. This, my friends, is what you call a relationship.
So, where do you have Jesus situated in your life? We must all answer eventually. It would be best to decide sooner rather than later. And there is only one correct answer.
Choose wisely and maybe someday you’ll be blessed enough to reach the “holy roller” status, too! Perhaps there’s even a “Jesus Freak” in my near future…We can always hope!