He went on teaching from town to village, village to town, but keeping on a steady course toward Jerusalem. A bystander said, “Master, will only a few be saved?”
He said, “Whether few or many is none of your business. Put your mind on your life with God. The way to life—to God!—is vigorous and requires your total attention. A lot of you are going to assume that you’ll sit down to God’s salvation banquet just because you’ve been hanging around the neighborhood all your lives. Well, one day you’re going to be banging on the door, wanting to get in, but you’ll find the door locked and the Master saying, ‘Sorry, you’re not on my guest list.’ “You’ll protest, ‘But we’ve known you all our lives!’ only to be interrupted with his abrupt, ‘Your kind of knowing can hardly be called knowing. You don’t know the first thing about me.’ – Luke 13:22-27 Message
In our society, we have different levels of knowing people. There are acquaintances, classmates, co-workers, church friends, Twitter and Facebook friends, best friends, boyfriends and girlfriends, husbands and wives and family. All of these people are grouped based on how well we know and love them. The closer these people are to you, the more important they are and the more they know about you.
I’m starting to realize that for a long time, I have been a Christian who treats Jesus like that person I want to think I’m really best friends with but really I’m not. We’ve all had that friend. The friend who calls but you ignore their calls and who texts you and you take 3 days to text back. The one you tell your best friend you really don’t feel like talking to but when you get around them, you guys are the best of friends.
The one who takes a backseat in your life based on what you have to do that week. The one who you randomly call when your boyfriend, best friend and sister are all too busy to talk and there is nothing really happening on Twitter. They aren’t really as important to you as you want them to think they are either. If they needed you to do something, you would likely try to see if someone else could do it.
What amazes me about this is that I know I’m not the only one. And sadly, I may have continued to be this person had God not caused some major changes in my life a little over a month or so ago. The issue with this is that Jesus tells us that acquaintances who ignore His calls won’t be in Heaven with Him.
Heaven is literally the most exclusive, never ending, all-white party and Jesus is the man of the hour. The guest list is one that everyone wants to be on whether they know Him or not. But in reality, the people that will be invited are the ones who didn’t wait for Him to call. The people that truly loved God with everything they had. The people that were beating down His door telling Him how much they loved Him and showed Him with their lives. Those who told Him that they were willing to do whatever He needed whenever He needed. Jesus even told us that the greatest commandment was to love Him with all of our heart, soul and mind. He really meant it to!
We have to get out of this mindset that we are cool with Jesus just because we stop by His house once a week so that we can check in on Foursquare and see what everybody has on. Or if we follow His commandments but don’t pray. Jesus isn’t going to tally our visits or count how many commandments we kept; He wants us to be intimate with Him. He wants to know us and for us to know Him. He wants to have a real relationship with us. I am realizing that God will do whatever He has to do to have this relationship too. If that means taking you away from things and people you love, He’ll do it. If it means that you experience failure, He’ll allow it. His love for us is so strong and He wants to be close to us.
If this is convicting you, don’t feel bad. I am going through these things and I have been a Christian forever! Pray and ask God to help you make Him first in your life. Also, take the first steps to spend time with Him. If you need a friend to hold you accountable, ask a friend. If you need to set an alarm on your phone to remind you, do it. Growing closer to God begins as a choice. If you want to read an awesome book about growing your relationship with the Lord, I highly recommend the book “Simple Devotion: Answering the Radical Call.”
We love you. It is so easy though to be caught up by the things around us. This world is full of distractions that keep us from focusing on You, and we all need to give You more of us. Lord, help us to be intimate with You. Help us to cut off the tv, put our phones down and get on our knees and into Your Word. Surround us with people whose hearts are after Yours and guide us in everything that we do.
In Jesus Name,