We're all masters at missing the point. Almost all of the ugliness and damage that has been done in Christian and church history is because we miss the point. One of the crucial turning points of faith is rejecting the legalism that the human heart longs for. Legalism (religious rules) is a cheap alternative to grace-based living from a broken heart!
The truth is, there is something foundational that has to happen before you can ever be an authentic follower of Jesus Christ. To be an authentic follower of Jesus, something has to happen in your life that is about brokenness. Whether we can get to Jesus or not, really depends on our brokenness. We all want to find ways around our brokenness but you really can't do it because to be 'unbroken,' means that you're still in control!
When I talk about unbroken, I'm talking about us demanding control --that's the issue!
To come to Jesus requires a brokenness of surrender where you and I experience the pain of giving up control. Us wanting control is kind of an insanity loop that brings it's own kind of brokenness to life.
It's kind of like steering the car and pressing on the brake after it goes off the cliff! Yes, you have control of the wheel but you're not really doing a whole lot of good in the situation. So it's like we're in a control that's not working but we don't want to give up control to a God who will make life work!
When we move toward Jesus without being broken, we get religion. Religion is based on a lot of things, but in addition to control, religion is based on rules. These rules can be written and unwritten. We come up with all of these rules and rituals and we're just making stuff up. We need to call ourselves out on our own hypocrisy and recognize that legalism is like gravity, it's a downward pull!
Part of authentic faith is recognizing that I am broken, that I am in danger, and that I need help. Jesus is the rescuer, and the process of rushing to Jesus is where the healing begins!
Jesus takes our lives and brings us into a relationship where we soar! When we believe, Jesus helps us defy the gravity of earth and its brokenness.
If you've been broken and you've come to Jesus and experienced real hope in life, if you're not very very careful, at some point, you will stop soaking in the presence of God and experiencing the warmth and joy of God. If you're not careful in your spiritual journey, you're going to take a step back into the deadly ease of legalism and you're going to give in to the downward pull of rules, of ritual and of empty living!
In biblical Christianity we are only justified by faith through grace and our faith is based in the person of Jesus Christ! The justification that you and I have is the same, it is the love of God in the life of Jesus! (Ephesians 2:8-9)
It is a gift! So I cannot be proud of something I did not earn. I received this, and there is a real humility that comes when we understand that our justification comes from Jesus and not ourselves!
Jesus' touch means something --it's a reason to celebrate, a reason to live, and to lift our hands and praise our God! It transforms us from living soul sick to becoming eternally alive!
What God said in the Old Testament is true for all of us, "These dead bones of ours can live again!" It's the breath of God --an up close and personal encounter that changes everything! (Ezekiel 37)
But Jesus only touches the willing, broken hearted people (Matthew Chapter 9).
If you want Jesus, you've got to run to Him! You've got to be broken and you've got to get on your knees and beg for a life change --that's when Jesus gets real! The rest is just religious garbage and legalistic lies! Until we're desperate in need and willingly loved, we'll die in the distance of legalism!
There are so many of us longing to be loved but we're just not willing. Believe you can be loved! Let love win -it's never too late to let love win! -Dr. Drew Shofner