Monday, July 04, 2005

# 10: Necessary Distractions Get in the Way

It is difficult, to say the least—if not impossible—to make the Invisible God as real as the visible world. The only possible way this can be accomplished is to keep the invisible on one’s mind and in one’s life at all times. That in itself would be extremely difficult to do. When the invisible is not as real as the physical, the physical wins as to who gets the most attention and is the most valuable.

If the above statement is true, which I truly believe, then we can see why God or Christ is not visible in today’s world. Christ cannot make Himself real or active in a life that is dominated by things, obligations, and the desires that money can satisfy, regardless of how good or necessary they may be. So, when the Apostle Paul wrote to “Pray continually,” he knew what he was talking about. When people have Godly matters on their minds at all times, the result will be Christ-like actions.

This, very likely, is one of the most important principles in living a Christ-like life. You may ask, “Does a person have to live in the above manner to be saved, born again and be a follower of Christ?” Let’s answer that question with a question: How can a person be doing God’s business and his own business at the same time? You cannot have two masters. That is the main reason why Christ or God is not visible in this world. We have many who claim to be living for Christ, but in reality most are living to further their own cause in the name of Christ. That is the essence of religion: me, me, me, my salvation, my eternal life, my family. My, my, my, in the name of God. Until “self” is out of the picture, Christ is powerless in those lives, and if they know it or not, they may be pseudo-Christians. Will the real Christian please stand up?

Exactly what did Jesus Christ bestow on His followers by His life, death, and resurrection? By His life, Christ showed His followers how to live and to prove to the world that a man or woman can become a powerful god. By His death, He died in our place, but just as importantly, He showed us that death is not to be feared. By His resurrection, he gave us the most important of all gifts: his status as a risen God. The sad thing is that this precious gift is of no value if it is not believed and acted upon, to actually live the part; in pragmatic terms, it is beyond easy description.

After Jesus’ resurrection, He had powers which He didn’t have before. That was the reason He said, “I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father.” [emphasis added] John 14:12. Do we see any such things happening nowadays? Absolutely not. That can only mean that Jesus was mistaken, or that present-day religion is mistaken.

I strongly oppose any religious talk that states: “That power was only for the disciples in that period of time and wasn’t meant for us.” The reason Christ’s resurrection power is not available to present-day “Christians” is because our lives are full of pleasing and satisfying distractions which we feel we can’t live without or don’t feel it is necessary to live without. Remember, all that the world considers as satisfying is a hindrance to the worship of God.

In order to remove doubt from one’s belief, he or she must be so close to Christ that when a request is made to God, that person will be absolutely certain of the result. That certainty can’t come when a life is full of necessary worldly matters. “The worries of this life, the deceitfulness of wealth and desire for other things come in and choke the word, making it unfruitful.” Mark 4:19.

Therefore, the secret is to get as close to Christ as humanly possible, with no excuses. Then, Jesus Christ will become visible again with power, in the lives of His disciples.

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