I read a book last week that EVERY single Christian needs to read. Pastor Billie mentioned it in one of his sermons...The Christian Atheist: Believing in God but Living As If He Doesn't Exist by Craig Groeschel. Honestly, I did not have high expectations for the book. The last one Billie recommended made me depressed and I only made it half through and I had to put it aside...lol
But this one...oh my word...it is unbelievable. Billie has redeemed his highly favored book suggestion status!! It is very easy to read. (Well, for me it was kind of hard because for whatever reason my sony book reader left all of the apostrophes and commas out of the punctuation. So I had a challenge reading were vs we're...haha) But the guy is hilarious and very straightforward and just easy to read. I highly, highly recommend the book! However I warn you...you will need steel toed shoes on because one night I was sitting in the chair crying and Travis came in and was like...what is wrong with you?...and I said "my toes are bleeding profusely from reading this book...and I may never walk the same again". I was so convicted. I felt like I had been punched in the stomach. And I literally prayed that God would never let me WALK the same again!
Ten years ago I would have fought you tooth and nail if you told me I did not believe in God. In fact, I can never remember NOT "believing" in God. But when I read James 2:19 "You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that - and shudder"...suddenly my heart hurts. If I had read this book 10 years ago I would have balked at it and not been so convicted, but Jesus has brought me to a new place with Him. And He has shown me the HUGE difference in "Believing IN God" and "Believing God"!
Jesus showed me that you don't "Believe God" without a relationship with Him. I spent many years as a Christian who believed IN God but did not trust God enough to "Believe Him" because although I was well aware of the Bible character named Jesus...I did not KNOW Him. In my worldly mind, Jesus was kind of like Mary Lou Retton (work with me)...I knew she existed and I knew what she did, but I've never developed an intimate relationship with Mary Lou Retton to really KNOW her. I only know OF her. Having the personal relationship makes the world of difference. I am ashamed at the time wasted without understanding it that way. The label from the book makes so much sense..."Christian Atheist"...I would describe it as being saved by God's grace but living a self centered life with an occasional "amen" and "praise Jesus" thrown in the mix to be religious.
I pray I never forget the broken place I landed before Jesus picked me up and "took hold of my right hand and said to me, Do not fear; I will help you" Isa 41:13 (paraphrased by me). I pray that I never walk the same again...ever. Henry Blackaby says in Experiencing God something to the effect of..."you cannot stay the same and go with God at the same time". He was referring to going with God where He is at work but I think it applies to your "walk in Christ" as well. 2 Cor 5:17 tells us we become a new creation in Christ...I think it is probably a brighter, more glowing creation as His Spirit becomes a lamp in us. I believe you cannot walk the same and contine growing closer to Christ...your walk will be brighter as the "Light" in you grows stronger.
May your "walk" not stay the same...