It did not work for me.
by Michael Wilmot
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People have used the excuse for not adopting a Christian life of “It didn’t work for me.” But this statement articulates the Christian life in reverse, a nature bent on being served rather than giving service and a lack of understanding of Christianity.
Not understanding purposes limits your effectiveness. A hammer used to pound nails yields good results but not so for cleaning teeth. Looking disgustedly at the hammer a dentist would justly say “It didn’t work for me”. Knowing what Jesus came to do and what he is doing now is no different but many fail to grasp it. They see Christianity part of a pie wedged life. To them life is sliced into work, family, and spiritual pieces neatly divided by schedules and commitments. They see faith in Jesus as something done in installments instead of a lifestyle.
SMO (Sunday Morning Only) or CEO (Christmas Easter Only) people see Christianity as obligations to a church or organization. Like marking check boxes on a form, they report for worship duty while the remainder of their time is lived differently. Asking them what life with Jesus means reveals answers directed inward; “It makes me feel good”, or “I get a great start to my week after Sunday service.” For a time, perhaps a long time, they remain content in this state.
Eventually everyone is presented with situations where need exceeds ability. It could be health, finances, family crisis or destructive addictions. In crisis non Christian people will return to church and prayer but with no understanding of what the purpose for Jesus is. They see Jesus as an emergency option incased in glass, to be used only in desperation. They plead out to Jesus with prayers of false motivation and expectations. When things do not resolve to their liking they drop Jesus and say “It didn’t work for me”
Jesus met Peter and said “Follow me”. Peter left fish filled nets, boats and a community behind with no expectations except to serve and follow his new Lord. Peter recognized something greater about Jesus than his old life, and those who formed the fellowship around Jesus retained this understanding except one. When Judas could not subject his own desires and expectations it led to his betrayal of Christ. If you could ask Judas why perhaps he would reply “It just didn’t work for me”
Today Jesus knocks on the hearts of people saying, “Follow me.” He offers a life of service to expand his glory and the Christian life is calibrated to that purpose. In practice it will shape all aspects of your life. The goal of Christianity is to become one with the purposes of Jesus where in time everything you do is directed towards them. There are rewards for this life. Knowing what you are going to do and for what purpose is an amazing way to start your day. You will be witness to signs and wonders which defy natural law and the privilege of seeing these events forms a relationship of intimacy between you and the creator of all existence!
Many find the cost for this relationship difficult to pay. It requires you to surrender and put your full trust in Jesus. Unlike a listless drone waiting to observe the power of Jesus solve problems you proceed towards the purpose of Jesus and allow his power to work through you. While your arm can swing the hammer towards the nail it is the hammer which drives the nail in. Life with Jesus is being willing to swing the hammer, and not own driving the nail. Understanding this relationship is center to the life of Christianity.
Trusting Jesus can fly in the face of logic. Sometimes your senses will scream the task is impossible and beg you to quit. This is where the majesty and might of Jesus will be revealed if you can trust him. When Peter left the boat to walk in the seas he trusted that Jesus was in control. In natural law flesh can not walk on water but for Jesus natural law was not a factor. Peter heard the call of Jesus to take a leap of faith that made no earthly logic and he listened. People who say “It just didn’t work for me” have never put Jesus to this type of test.
Imagine a man with a parachute on his back walking around the mall. People notice and call him a fool to walk around with it all day. Trying to demonstrate the power of the device without understanding the purpose of it, he pulls the rip cord and the long silk mess drags behind him. Eventually he takes it off because “It didn’t work for him.” When people fail to understand the purpose for Christian living then a life with Jesus can be a burden with no reward. A life where Jesus Christ is Lord and in control is like jumping out of the plane and trusting the parachute. And when you are jumping from 5,000 feet it sure makes a lot of sense.
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