“I didn’t go to religion to make me happy. I always knew a bottle of port would do that. If you want a religion to make you feel really comfortable, I certainly don’t recommend Christianity.”- C.S. Lewis
Unlike C.S. Lewis, maybe a bottle of port wasn’t/isn’t your thing. Nevertheless, I’m sure you could take that out and fill in the blank. At one point in time, I could think of a million things that made me happy, but the thing was, when I didn’t have those things, I would feel sad. I had to continually do the same things over and over to feel happy or to think there was any meaning to my life. I found myself going in cycles…seemingly moving, but going nowhere.
When I decided to pursue Christianity, I thought it would be something else that would add to my happiness. I say this because, for those not in Christ, Christianity can often be portrayed as a coping mechanism to handle the stresses of this life. It is often glamorized and full of misconceptions.
As I began to spend more time with God and in his word, things began to change. God’s word promised everything that I had been searching for, but there was one thing that I realized….it wasn’t going to be an easy journey. At this point, there was no turning back. I had already tried to fill the void in my life with so many other things. The one thing that I hadn’t tried was a relationship with God. For those of you who don’t know, Christianity is about relationship, not religion. There is no amount of charitable deeds that will make you favorable with God.
Now here’s where the big decisions have to be made. The question now becomes, “will you follow Christ?” If you say yes, you must pick up your cross and follow him. This all sounds very extravagant, but basically, Christ is asking you to die to yourself. When you give God your yes, you immediately begin dying to yourself. Although this may not beseech you, I am here to give you a reminder. No matter what point you are on in your journey, you are going to have times where you’ll have to PERSIST UNDER SEVERE HOSTILITY (P.U.S.H.)
God will place you in situations that he knows will make you the most uncomfortable and you will have to P.U.S.H. You don’t like that job or the people there?…P.U.S.H. Your marriage seems to be falling apart and your kids aren’t acting right… P.U.S.H. You’re tired of being single, tired of dating and tired of waiting…P.U.S.H. You’re drowning in debt and you still haven’t given your 10%…P.U.S.H. You lost a loved one and your world seems jaded…P.U.S.H. It seems like no one is for you and the whole world is against you…P.U.S.H.!!!!
Push because Christ was the #1 Pusher and because you are now an heir with him. He carried all our sins and then laid down his life for us. Do you think that was easy??? Of course not! He persisted and did our Father’s will. Christ gives us hope in the push. There are new levels of glory on the other side of the push. Just think….as you are being pushed, God is also causing you to be stretched. Imagine a rubber band being stretched. After it’s released from the stretch, it is propelled. That is exactly what God wants for us. God wants to drive us to new levels, but first, we’ve got to P.U.S.H!