Remember these? The “What Would Jesus Do” bracelets. I think they were popular when I was in about 9th grade around 1998. It was a nice idea and I am sure whoever created them made a few dollars off many youth groups and church folk like myself. It was another way for us to look at others and say, “Now is that what Jesus would do???”
In Part 1 and 2 of this bloging adventure, I talked about how religion has pushed on many the idea of “Acting” like a Christian verses being a follower of Jesus. I also talked about how this movement has created a group of people that do things or act a certain way and think that makes them righteous or good Christians. And reject the power or the Spirit of God that came to able us to be fearless followers of Christ.
The bible teaches that when the Spirit of Christ intersects, collides, fills, touches a human spirit, it is renewed or made new again as if you were reborn. It also teaches us that the “old things are gone and behold EVERYthing has been made NEW.” In other places we are taught that Christ is like a vine or a life source and we are the branches. If we will stay attached, stay connected, stay grafted into the vine, we will be changed and people will see we are changed by our “Fruit.”
I think we get this process backwards sometimes. I think “Acting” or following rules is much more tangible, black and white, right or wrong. And sometimes, I think we teach act first, connect with the Spirit of Jesus, connect with the LIFE or breathe of life second. And if we would connect first, abide first, live in him first, stay close to him first, look to him first, then we would be transformed!
This is what I am after, I did the trying to be good and perfect for waaaaayyyyy to long. Now I want to do the follow Jesus the best way I know how and allow him to transform me, shape me and create me into the person he wants me to be. And on this journey, there is forgiveness that causes growth, there is failure that pushes us forward, there is hurt that allows for his healing, there is pain that refines. It is a pushing, pounding, fiery processes that makes pure gold.
I believe Christ asked us to follow him, he did not say “believe in me and then follow”, he did not say “once you stop doing this then follow me”, he said “follow me.” His followers in biblical times walked with him daily and after 3 years some of them still did not believe he was the Messiah. Doubt, questions, fears, concerns are welcome on this road of follower-ship. The road or the journey is why we are here, follow close to the ONE and allow him to completely transform you by the power of his Spirit that collides with your earthly vessel and behold all things are made NEW.