As of 2019, according to PEW FORUM, 65% of the adult population in the United States self-identify as Christian. Further breakdown shows that 43% of U.S. adults are Protestant, 20% are Catholic, and 2% are Mormon. They also found that 26% of the total population have no formal religious identity.
In fact, Christianity is declining at a rapid pace. However, there is an EVEN GREATER concern to ponder. How many of the people who still profess to be Christian are truly ALL IN and authentic in their faith and walk with God? Is there alignment between their faith, beliefs, and actual lifestyle?
I would like to submit to you, that when it comes to Christianity, we MUST be FULLY committed. Anything else would be false representation of Christ and cause unbelievers to see GOD in a bad light, because professed Christians bear His name.
“Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves. Do you not realize that Christ Jesus is in you—unless, of course, you fail the test?” 2 Cor. 13:5 NIV
Reflection time is CRUCIAL in all aspects of life, but in our spiritual life most of all!
How do you know if you are holding back? Here are some questions to ponder…
What is your priority when it comes to your job or career and your spiritual life? Do you often find yourself feeling too tired to regularly attend church, virtually or in-person, even though you NEVER miss a day of work…unless you ABSOLUTELY HAVE TO? Do you have time for God? Do you feel the need to compromise your morals and values to keep your boss happy? Sure, you must invest time and effort in your job and your spiritual life, but is your spiritual life being sacrificed to satisfy the demands of the job?
Are you easily characterized as a workaholic? Is your goal of climbing the corporate ladder the most important thing to you in life? Are you willing to pursue it at all costs? Have you put your health, well-being, and family on the backburner, so that you can work those extra, long hours?
Do you find that you just don’t have time for personal quiet time with God?
Friends & Family
Do you put your family, race, or social circle over the Word of God and the importance of reflecting God’s character? Are you willing to compromise your Christian beliefs to accommodate the wishes of someone else, whether a family member or a group that you are associated with?
Is being accepted by people more important than pleasing God in word, in deed, and in your life? Are the places you go, the words you speak, and the things that you do pleasing to God? Do you consider God as you make these daily choices? Does your lifestyle and the company you keep reflect your spiritual values? Are you living out a Christian example to those around you? Are they influencing you or are you influencing them and in which direction…positively or negatively?
Believe it or not, one of the most difficult things for us to overcome, when it comes to our spiritual lives and our walk with the Lord, is OURSELVES! Until we allow the Spirit into our lives and our hearts, we tend to like who we are SO much that we are unwilling to let certain things go, even if it displeases God. When confronted about our behavior, the response is always the familiar, “That’s just how I am!” We can be very proud of behaviors that do not reflect the character of God.” Therefore, in order to live a life that is pleasing to God, we must surrender SELF and allow God’s spirit to give us NEWNESS of life and character.
“Therefore if any man be IN CHRIST, he is a NEW creature: old things are passed away; behold, ALL THINGS are become NEW.” 2 Cor. 5:17
Spiritual Imposter/Double Life
Are the things that you do, when no one is looking, pleasing to God?
Consider this: Our TRUE character includes how we think, feel, and believe inside and who we are when no one’s looking. In turn, our thoughts and motives DIRECTLY impact our habits and behavior.
“As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he.” Prov. 23:7
“Watch your thoughts, they become your words; watch your words, they become your actions; watch your actions, they become your habits; watch your habits, they become your character; watch your character, it becomes your destiny.” – Lao Tzu
Attempting to live a double life as a spiritual imposter is a very dangerous and futile lifestyle. Why? Because the worse thing we can do is lie to ourselves about our true spiritual condition. To live one way in front of others and another way behind closed doors, changing like a chameleon, is hypocrisy and causes conflict in the soul. It also becomes very easy to believe a lie if you are “playing the part” in one place and living a contradictory lifestyle in another. Simply put, when you tell a lie long enough, YOU may start to BELIEVE the lie yourself.
We must have an AUTHENTIC relationship with God. It is the ONLY way that we can be saved and truly experience God’s wisdom, favor, and blessings. Make no mistake about it, these things CAN NOT and WILL NOT happen with a pseudo (false) relationship. You can be sure that even if we fool MANY people or even ALL of the people around us, we CAN NEVER fool an omniscient (all knowing) God!
Friend, if you have been honest with yourself during this time of reflection, you may have stumbled across a few surprises and revelations about where you currently are in your walk with the Lord. If so, remember that this is simply your current situation. It is not YET your destiny!
“Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” John 8:32
In order words, if you find that your genuine and honest responses to the above questions are less than desirable, then it is time to make some serious changes, if you truly want to live the life of an authentic Christian. This time of reflection has simply revealed matters of the heart that need to be brought before the Lord in prayer.
Please understand, that although a Christian life is a life of consistency and dedication, it does NOT mean that we are PERFECT in everything that we do. However, we certainly are consistently seeking to please God and asking Him for guidance in our day-to-day lives. Without a doubt, we live for an audience of ONE! As such, we are constantly growing and improving as we listen to the Holy Spirit who is there to lead and guide us into all truth.
We MUST prioritize God and our spiritual life over ALL else. As the song “Christ Is All” says, Christ must be our “all and all!” We must spend daily time with God in His Word and stay in communion with Him through prayer and listening for his voice. God can not be on the backburner of our lives all week and only invited in for a few hours during worship service. No…We must STAY connected to God!
“Love the Lord your God with ALL your heart and with ALL your soul and with ALL your strength and with ALL your mind.” Luke 10:27a
We must be ALL in!