The Way of Jesus Christ (The Forgotten God)

“If all you want is a little Jesus to ‘spiritualize’ your life, a little extra God to keep you out of hell, you are missing out on the fullness of life you were created for.” 122

Mediocrity is a drug that numbs the soul. It is a killer to the human spirit. Spiritual muscles require the strain of life if they are to grow strong, if we are to learn spiritual endurance. Hunger and need provide incentive. Too much prosperity unmetered by humility leads to atrophied endurance. Thus, “blessed are those who hunger and thirst after righteousness, for they will be filled” (Matthew 5:6). Thus “blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 5:3).

If all you want is just enough Jesus to say you are a Christian—a little will do.

If you want just enough Jesus to pass for a good person—a little will do.

If Jesus is just your ticket to respectability—a little will do.

If all you want is to distract people from the life you TRULY live, then you need not “hung[er] and thirst after righteousness.” No one may wonder where you have been as long as you show up on Sunday and deftly hurl an “Amen” or two during the sermon. In fact, they too may hope no one looks too closely or asks too many questions. Mediocrity breeds mediocrity. Francis Chan wrote,

“You don’t need the Holy Spirit if you are merely seeking to live a semi-moral life and attend church regularly. You can find people of all sorts in many religions doing that quite nicely without Him.”[1]

People all over the world are living quiet semi-moral lives without Jesus, but we can also wrap morality in the cloak of Christianity. If a little Jesus and a little spirituality is all you want, you can have it for cheap. But if you REALLY want to live a transformed and transforming Christian life, a little Jesus and a little of the Spirit is not enough. “A little bit of spirituality added in to our lives is not what God has in mind.”[2]

While we do not need the power of the Spirit to help us navigate the avenues of self-fulfillment, or cheap spiritual living, we do need the power of the Holy Spirit to help us persevere in a world hostile to the things of God. We need the Spirit’s power to live a life as bold and as loving as our Lord—Jesus, the Christ. There is no human way to simply “turn the other cheek” (Matthew 5:39). The human way is the fist.

“You only need the Holy Spirit’s guidance and help,” Chan wrote, “if you truly want to follow the Way of Jesus Christ. You only need Him if you desire to ‘obey everything’ He commanded and to teach others to do the same (Matthew 28:18-20).[3]

[1] Francis Chan, The Forgotten God, 124.

[2] Chan, 124.

[3] Chan, 124.

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