It’s summer time and that means journeys, road trips new adventures, and such. Summer, in my mind is a great time to start new things and switch up your life a little. It is also when I seem to grow the most in my faith as well as in general.
God has been teaching me this summer what that phrase, “follow me” means and how it ties into our indignity in Him. Before the summer even started I had some time listening to Him and he spoke to my heart about trusting Him. He asked me if I trusted Him enough to go on a journey this summer. It has been interesting so far. It has been a little confusing at times, and I’ve really wondered what this journey is exactly. The one thing that has really hit me is learning to trust Him when He says “follow me”. I have gotten good at following Him to new jobs and stepping out in faith with new outreaches or ministries with my church. But He has called me to more lately. He is helping me grow in my identity in Him alone. Who I am is not based on my job, my family, my friends, or even my church, but purely in Christ alone.
What I mean by this is when Jesus said, “follow me” He was meaning you (me) follow Him. Not you and your family, or you and your friends, or even you and your church follow me. It was individual and personal.
God calls individuals!
It is imperative to get this when you are trying to really grasp who you are in Christ. Yes, God also set up the church and said that fellowship with other believers is incredibly important, but it shouldn’t be your everything. The only one who should be that is God. I see two different trends going on among young people today. Either they have the mindset of I don’t need church or fellowship with the church I’m just going to do my own thing with just me and God. Then there is the other side which is where I’ve realized I’ve fallen lately. That is the side that is all about church and your church family. Don’t get me wrong, both have good qualities, but you need to find balance.
Find your balance!
God has put it on my heart lately that I have put my whole life and identity in my church. Again, not all bad, but not all good either. In doing this I have realized that I’ve lost my connection with other brothers and sister outside of my immediate church. I completely realize that it is impossible to know every brother or sister in the faith in your city, but God has called us to encourage each other. When He talks about the church He is talking about the church universal as well as the smaller congregations we go to every Sunday. I personally believe it is part of the enemy’s schemes to drive us all apart-scatter us into our smaller congregations, and keep us focused on our church only. Think about it. There is strength in numbers!
Not only are we weaker this way then if we came together more from time to time, but I know for me personal it has created a bubble that I was perfectly fine living in for forever. (That is until God said, “follow me”.) I realized that I had made my church an idol. I love them dearly and still do. (FYI any church am that is reading this and starting to freak out. I’m not going anywhere.) I had wrapped so much of who I am in my church that they had ultimately become more important than God. Which is why God has called me on this journey. I needed to breakaway a little. As hard and weird as it was it has been good. The really funny thing is that I didn’t really want to at first. I talked about it, but when it came down to it I didn’t really want to. Then God gave me opportunities that forced me to miss a Sunday or go to another church. To be honest, it was incredibly hard. I felt like I was a horrible person. I felt guilty. That’s when I realized that I wasn’t letting my relationship with God be enough. I had turned church into my idol; therefore making it a part of “earning” more love from God instead of resting in knowing His love is unconditional.
Summing things up!
I’m still in the middle of this journey. I’m still growing and learning. To some people what I’m doing may seem to be not smart or a waste of time, but not everyone will always agree or understand what God calls you to. Just remember all He said was, “(you) follow me”!