Over the summer, I did something fantastic. Something I’d never done before in my life. And it’s kind-of odd, considering I’m 28 years old, and have been a Christian all my life.
But that’s the thing about it that makes perfect sense. Being a “Christian” means little, really. I mean, just by itself, as a statement or a modifier. For example, anyone can call themselves a Christian and not live in the freedom of God’s love. I know, because I did that for a spell. In fact, I did that for about a decade.
Looking back with clarity, it’s easy to see how it happens. We start creating our own ideals of a perfect god and then we start believing them. And our “god” eventually stands for the very life we want to lead, sin and all. A perfect god, we tell ourselves, wants us to be happy, first and foremost. He would not shun us or shame us. He would forgive. No matter what, he would forgive. Right?
Well, yes and no. Because those are not whole truths. In Ephesians 4, Paul talks about living as Children of Light who should throw off our former way of life (the bad stuff) and embrace a spiritual renewal of thought and attitude. Friends, let me tell you, this “living in the light” is profoundly greater than any other way of living I’ve tried. And I’ve tried a lot in my day…
So yes, God does want us to be happy, and he does have immeasureable grace for us. But he also wants us to live in the light. He wants us to love others, and he wants us to go to him. Often.
So, that’s what I did this summer. For 30 to 60 minutes every morning, I spent alone time with Him, reading His Word, journaling and praising His holy name. I believe that there is nothing greater in this world than that quality one-on-one time spent with our heavenly Father. For when we stop to thank and praise our precious Creator, we live in the light, just as he intended. Amen?