As I read the Scriptures and learn more about following Jesus, I’m starting to think more about what it means to be a Christian. By this, I mean, what it really looks like to follow Christ.
I was reading Jesus’ “Sermon on the Mount” the other day and noticed something- something that I’ve read hundreds of times, but I saw something new in it this time.
Matthew 7:7 says, “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened to you.”
When I read these words, I can’t help but notice the seek and you will find part. What is it talking about here in this verse? What is Jesus saying that we will find?
I think that the next section in the sermon gives us the answer:
Matthew 7:13-14 says, “Enter by the narrow gate; for the gate is wide, and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and many are those who enter by it. For the gate is small, and the way is narrow that leads to life, and few are those who find it.”
I think that Jesus is talking about seeking life. He said that if we seek it we will find it. So if we seek life we will find it. If we ask for life it will be given. If we knock the door to life will be opened.
So, why would Jesus need to say these words? Isn’t everyone seeking life?
I think that everyone is seeking something, but not everyone is seeking life. I think that so many aren’t seeking life, because they don’t know that their dead- spiritually dead of course. I think that so many of us don’t realize that there is more to knowing God and experiencing the life that He gives.
So, why did Jesus teach to seek life? I think it’s because we are seeking the wrong things. If you look at the following passage in vs. 13-14. You will notice that Jesus is comparing two paths or two gates; one is wide and the other is narrow; one leads to life and the other leads to destruction; many are entering one and few are finding the other.
You see, I think that many people are actually on the wide path- the path that leads to destruction. I think that many people are seeking the wrongs things. Even those people who call themselves Christian. The word Christian literally means “Christ Follower.” Which would leave you to think that Christians would look like Christ and try to act like Him.
Statistically, in America, about 60 to 70 percent of people say they are Christian. America is called the “Christian Nation.” I, however, don’t think that this is true any more. I don’t think that everyone who calls themselves Christian are really Christian.
ok… now I have your attention! Now you’re probably thinking, “This guy is starting to sound a little crazy!” But please hold on for a second and hear me out! I’m going somewhere with this.
You might be thinking, “Where is he coming up with this stuff?”
Let me take you to two passages of Scripture very quickly:
1st is John 6:63, which says, “It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh is no help at all!”
Jesus is telling His disciples that life can be found in the Spirit. In His sermon, Jesus says that whoever seeks life will find it. Then in John, He says that life is given by the Spirit. Wow! Let me explain: I think that when we really seek life through Christ- to be a Christian- we will find it. Meaning that when we seek to find God, God as He says He is, then we will find Him- He will reveal Himself to us and we will know and be known by Him. After that, the Spirit will grant us the gift of spiritual life and we will be made anew.
2nd is Romans 8:9 which says, “Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him.”
This verse is where I will end this whole thing.
This is where I’m questioning the whole validity of everyone’s “so called” experience with God or everyone’s claim to be Christian.
It is the Spirit that give life. We will find life if we seek for it. Few will find it, however. And then, those without the Spirit do not belong to Christ or are not Christian.
I think Francis Chan does a very good job of summing this up in his book Forgotten God. Let me share it to you:
“Churchgoers all across the nation say the Holy Spirit has entered them. They claim that God has given them a supernatural ability to follow Christ, put sin to death, and serve the church. Christians talk about being born again and say that they were dead but now have come to life. We have become hardened to those words, but they are powerful words that have significant meaning. Yet when those outside the church see no difference in our lives, they begin to question our integrity, our sanity, or even worse, our God. And can you blame them?”
Francis Chan, Forgotten God, pg. 33
In closing, let me ask you a question: Would you say that you are Christian? If so, can you honestly say that you have new life? If you can’t answer this question, then chances are, you don’t. So take another look at Romans 8:9 and try to honest with yourself. Do you have the Spirit? If not, then maybe you are seeking the wrong things. Maybe your on the wrong path- the wide one…
If you have to admit this to yourself, it’s not a bad thing. Don’t listen to the voices in your head telling you that you are bad! It’s a good thing that you’ve discovered this! It’s a very good thing!
It’s a good thing, because you now have the choice to change what you are seeking. You can change your path and maybe, just maybe you will find the narrow one. Remember: ask and you will receive, seek and you will find, knock and the door will be opened!