Two little words. We say them all the time, for two main reasons.
“Dude I can’t believe coach would just cut you like that. What a bummer.”
“I don’t really know if that guy is for real or not.”
We all live in reality (well, most of us do anyway…). We desire the people around us to “be real” with us. When we experience something incredible, we usually say, “Pinch me I think I’m dreaming!” because we can hardly believe what we’re experiencing is real. We absolutely hate it when people accuse us of being fake, and we hate it even more when we find out someone we trust is actually faking.
But when God looks at you, blood-bought child of God, does He find someone who is being “for real” with Him? Or does He see right through the mask? The chameleon has an incredible ability to change the pigmentation of its skin to adapt to many situations: hiding from predators, intimidating a competing male, attracting a mate. It probably took a minute for you to find the chameleon in the above picture. However, when the chameleon becomes comfortable, he will always drop the disguise and return to his normal pigmentation. While this is vital to a chameleon’s existence, it is awful for a Christian’s. But I’m not talking about blending in with the world, but blending in with other Christians.
You go to church, you talk the Bible jargon, you preach, you teach a Sunday school class, and you win souls to the Lord – and on and on the list could go….
Yet inside you have no peace, no contentment, no joy. You struggle with assurance of your salvation. You don’t have a consistent walk with God. Proverbs 5:21 says, “For the ways of man are before the eyes of the LORD, and he pondereth all his goings.” When God looks at your life, He doesn’t see the polished shell you present the world. He sees your true colors. He sees that you don’t read your Bible, and when you do it’s with a heart to just “check it off the list.” He sees that you don’t have a real prayer life. He sees what you struggle with in your heart of hearts, though you may have yourself and everyone else convince that everything’s fine. God looks on your heart, and He knows it even when we can’t.
The challenge? The remedy? Be real with God!
Hebrews 12:1-3, “Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds.”
1. Leave the unnecessary. Jesus Christ sacrificed from the moment of His birth until the day He died for our sins. The least you and I can do is sacrifice some things (good and bad) so that we can spend time with Him every day. 2. Leave the unrighteous. Get into the Light of the Word, and let it reveal you for who you are: then confess and forsake your sin before Holy God! 3. Determine to continue. Get up, with your heart and mind cleansed and renewed, and determine to keep running your own personal race before God. 4. Remember your Redeemer. Keep your eyes fixed steadfastly on Christ alone. Turn your eyes from absolutely everything that is not Jesus, and look day by day, moment by moment to Him.
God demands us to be “for real” Christians. It’s not an option, but rather a matter of obedience.