Alicia Keys, a judge on the popular TV show The Voice, once said, 'You got church in you girl!' That statement gave me pause. I knew what she meant. But her comment quickly turned my thoughts to those I occasionally encounter who have 'church' inside - church - as opposed to Christ.
Are we, in some instances, at best a culture of 'church followers' rather than 'Christ-followers'?' And what is the difference?
I have lived as a devoted CHURCHian as opposed to CHRISTian - a CHURCHian with church inside rather than Christ. I personally know how one lives as a church-follower.
~ It's a 'one foot in the world' lifestyle, all the while acknowledging a strong belief that God exists. But, having no personal knowledge of His character through His Word.
~ It's living to please self and appease others with no regard for what actually pleases God.
~ It's being a little 'messy' - today's word for practiced sin: Messy - with no desire to sin less today than yesterday.
~ It's knowing the culture of church and sprinkling church words into conversation, when beneficial, all the while being someone who does not blush at their self-excused sin.
~Its defaming the name of Christ in the name of careless transparency.
A Christ-follower, on the other hand, longs to please God and, even in weakness, lives in an ever progressing effort toward sanctification through the sustaining power of the indwelling Spirit of God. Failing at times? Yes. But 'failing forward' in repentance.
A Christ-follower is one who acknowledges that the only way to know God intimately and to know what pleases God is to read and obey His Word. To be IN the Word.
I long to be that person, don't you? I know most reading this are on this same quest - we are reading His Word, observing, interpreting, applying.
It is a slow but sure process with all the promises of God behind that process.
I am still thinking about Alicia Key's innocuous comment. Somehow it encourages me as much as it warns me to keep on keeping on. Does it impact you that way?
Who knows, if I am 'steady on,' maybe it will result in someone saying to me someday, 'You got CHRIST in you, girl'!