The Finish Line

[Things aren’t always what they seem]

Religion was just so unusual to me, and Christians spoke their own language. People who said “Jesus loves you.” made me want to run the other way.  Who was this Jesus anyways?

Christianity turned out to be a whole process of unlearning for me.  A relearning of all the things I had come to know and believe.  It wasn’t an instantaneous revelation that drew me to the cross; instead it was a slow,  uphill– downhill journey that revealed the Character of Jesus to me.   The Trinity was a sketchy subject (God the Father, God the Son and the Holy Spirit. Three persons of God, yet all God).

I had a vague understanding that somehow God and Jesus were both an integral part of the story, but Jesus wasn’t someone I was all that familiar with, and I had no idea Who or what the Holy Spirit was, or even had to do with the story.   The connection was just lost on me, until I started attending church and even more so, reading the Bible.

People will call it brainwashing.  But I was a willing participant.  Nothing was forced on me, and I wanted to know more.  In fact, I’ve found that those who are raised in the church don’t always find God.  Instead they can even abandon a faith they never truly had to begin with.  For me– any brain washing that occurred was a gentle scouring instigated by God.

I wonder how often those seated in their pews never truly hear or understand the words being spoken.  A relationship with God is much more than church attendance; it’s a continual seeking and learning.  Learning both who Jesus is, and what is required from our Father God. For the truth isn’t mere words that one memorizes and recites.  It’s an understanding that cuts deep to the heart.

“For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.”

–Hebrews 4:12

It propels you forward and into action.  James–who is often referred to as the “show-me” Saint.  Put it this way:

“For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.” (James 2:26)

Faith requires action because that action is proof that your life is alive in Christ.  This means that you’re following Jesus, which in turn means you are listening and doing as Jesus did.  It’s a process, and there’s a lot to be learned.  I’ve learned so far that this journey requires that you trust God with all your needs, and that you sometimes have to go through the tough stuff to get to the finish line, but I have my eyes on the prize, and my Lord at my side– so I have no doubt I’ll make it to the finish line.

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