Frank Viola on his blog posed the following question:
Question for this week: If you ceased from being a Christian today . . . if you made the decision to not follow the Lord Jesus any longer right now . . . HOW would your life begin to be different? What things would you begin doing that you don’t do? What things would you stop doing that you regularly do? How would your dress, your speech, your lifestyle be any different?
No need to make a comment if you don’t wish to, but this is a penetrating and searching question that every believer should ask themselves. And consider the implications of such a question and your answer.
While, I could easily comment on his blog, I thought that it warranted a little more space than a comment would allow. And who am I to turn down the opportunity to share a little bit on my blog site. This site needs more than just book reviews (some movie reviews are coming soon)…don’t you think?
Here we go:
To be totally honest with you and with myself, my life from the outside would probably not “look” all that different. When I became a Christian, a new set of values was not instilled in me. I did not go from someone who was a devout anarchist to a person that all of a sudden had a moral code to live by. There are plenty of good moral people in the world, who have no connection or ties to Jesus. If I stopped following Christ today, there would be no loss in how I treated other people. What I am on the outside would not change overnight. It is not too far-fetched to say that, over time, something would replace the Lord as an idol. If I were to guess, I would say probably a quest for money. It is the most common battle we face and it is usually the second master for many people within the faith as it is.
When we became a Christian, truly born again, we were not handed a magic rule book, the Holy Spirit took control of us. There is no amount of living the right way one can do to replace the guidance of the Holy Spirit’s leading.
What I would lose is a driving ideal in my life. I would lose an internal purpose for living. That is to say that if I choose to leave Jesus behind, I am choosing to no longer be a living stone, or a part of His Kingdom on earth. If I choose to leave Christ behind, then I am taking away a purpose for living and a role model for my relationships. I would lose the model that I have on what it means to be a Father to my daughter. When I do not have Christ as my standard in parenting, then the world replaces that. The world will dictate what it means to be a husband. If I am not the bride of Christ any more, then I have nothing but the world to relate to in meeting the needs of my wife. Those are two roles that I take very seriously. They are roles that I think all of us should take seriously as God Himself uses those roles as an analogy for us to understand His very nature. He is familial and He desires intimacy with His creation.
In addition to those things, I think that my motivations for fellowship with other brothers and sisters would change drastically. Things would become more and more about what can they do for me and less and less about building a community in which the Lord would like to once again walk and dwell as He did in Genesis. There would be a transition from desiring body life to a desire of personal fulfillment. If the group did not provide me with the comforts that I desired, then I would have no problems moving on to a different circle of friends that could provide those things to me.
Where I now sit, with Christ, meeting the brothers and sisters is not about me, but rather it is about Christ. I can look at my brethren and see that Christ is not showing up for me in all meetings and in all times. That the fact that I am uncomfortable at times, is a process in stretching me to accept the complete nature of who Christ is. Christ cannot be contained in my desires or wishes for Him. He is revealed through His body of believers and we all interact with Him differently.
That would be gone if I chose to no longer follow Christ.
If I chose to no longer follow Christ, what others people see in me that makes me different would probably fade away. I would slowly become one who is in the world and of it. That is the simplest truth. I would still be a person that tries to treat others with respect and obey the laws, but something would still be missing. Would others notice it, probably not at first, but over time…the person I am in Christ would be replaced by the person that the world desires me to be.