Modern-Day Christianity

21 Feb

Is it all what it’s cracked up to be?

I’ve been doing a lot of thinking, observing, and questioning and I’ve come to a conclusion that has left me concerned, troubled, and disheartened.

I look out among us (Christian youth and young adults) and see families that have raised a standard for Christ’s sake, have determined to raise their children for the glory and honor of Jesus Christ, and have prepared a way for their children to attain a higher standard of righteous living that they might grow in their Saviour’s grace. These parents, though sinners, have sacrificed their all for their sons and daughters – their time, abilities, talents, goals, individualities, all for the sake of the children.

But what puzzles me the most is that many youth (I’m speaking specifically of young women) growing up under this wonderfully protected “greenhouse environment” have somehow lost heart and zeal and are now living lives that are similar to the world’s standards and way of conduct. What causes this to take place? What goes wrong? Most importantly, what can be done?

I certainly am lacking in wisdom and knowledge and I don’t believe there is a dry-cut solution to this problem. Yet, as I read the precious promises of the Word of God, I see a vital element that each young woman needs in her relationship with Jesus Christ: submission.

First off, let’s take a look at the children of Israel. The Bible isn’t just filled with stories to entertain us but rather it provides instruction for us to live by and to learn from. In 1 Corinthians 10, we are disheartened to read that even though the children of Israel were living out the ordinances that were laid down for them to obey, ultimately God was not well pleased. Outwardly, they were going through the motions of obedience but their heart was not right with God. Perhaps they thought that they were safe from becoming a backslidden generation but they seemed to forget the realization that God looks on the heart. There are no pretensions with God.

I am not saying that our Lord doesn’t appreciate outward manifestations of our love for Him. He delights when our desire to please Him is manifested in outward demonstrations (how we live, talk, act, dress) but the most important thing that pleases Him is a heart that is surrendered to Him and His will.

We cannot live through life hanging on to the coat-tails of our parents and their beliefs. That isn’t going to get us anywhere. It will send us on a downward spiral that will end up leaving us ungrateful, double minded, envious, and self-seeking.

We must look into the perfect law of liberty and take personal responsibility for our relationship with Jesus Christ. We must seek to nurture an intimate relationship with our Father above and purpose to obey whatever He shows us to be the Light that He desires us to walk in. If we disregard his promptings and convictions, we will live under the heavy burden of sin and guilt. “O Lord, rebuke me not in thy wrath: neither chasten me in thy hot displeasure. For thine arrows [conviction of sin, spiritual griefs] stick fast in me, and thy hand presseth me sore. For mine iniquities are gone over mine head: as an heavy burden they are too heavy for me.” Psalm 38:1,2,4

You may ask, “What if I don’t agree with the standards and convictions of my family?” There’s an obvious answer and easy solution. Read the fifth commandment and then read Ephesians 6:1. We aren’t just encouraged but rather commanded to obey our parents; and if this wasn’t enough, we are told to honour them and their wishes. God has specifically entrusted to them the wisdom they need to raise their children for His glory. Even if you don’t agree, you must take up and bear the yoke of your youth. However, if you are surrendered to the Lord and truly desire to bless, honour, and obey your parents, it won’t feel like a yoke. You will be able to confess what the psalmist David did in Psalm 40:8. “I delight to do thy will, O my God: yea, thy law is within my heart.”

Interesting as it may sound, many of the young people I have known who are now living as a “worldling” on their own and seeking their own ways and desires are still unsatisfied. In spite of everything they look to for satisfaction and fulfillment, they remain empty and bitterness continues to gnaw at their consciences. Some girls have left for freedom, some have left looking for love, some have left looking for acceptance. There are those, however, that have not left outwardly (leaving a father and mother’s home) but have left in their “heart of hearts”. In many instances, no one knows this has even happened because it’s been covered up so well. Until one day, the straw breaks the camel’s back and the girl ‘casts off’ her Christianity and breaks the hearts of those she’s loved. You see, the progression began inwardly. She resented her God-ordained authority, privately scoffed at the principles she’s been instructed in, secretly yearned for independence, and slowly gave away pieces of her heart to the world’s influences and demands.

Have they found that it’s all what it’s cracked up to be? Freedom, independence, pleasure, excitement, acceptance. They may have gained some of these, maybe all of them; but at what cost? They are no longer experiencing freedom in Jesus Christ but are now slaves to the world. They are no longer dependant on a loving Lord who provides for our every need but must now fend for themselves to keep their independence and to protect their self-image. They are no longer basking in the pleasure of God’s goodness and blessing but are now living with the regrets of their foolish mistakes. They are no longer amazed and excited with God’s supernatural workings but are now indulging themselves in that which will only gratify their longings for the present moment. They are no longer at peace knowing of their acceptance in the beloved but are now doing all they can to maintain acceptance through the fashions of this culture which are choking out their individuality and true happiness.

So, is it all what it’s cracked up to be? Definitely not! The grass may always look greener on the other side – but once that fence is crossed, you are now prey to the wolves of despair, fear, and rejection.

As I mentioned before, we must look into the perfect Law of liberty and live thereby. Seek to nurture a more vibrant relationship with the Lord that saved you from your sin and saved you from a life of misery and guilt. Start cultivating a grateful heart. Begin to recognize the blessings in your parent’s instructions and guidance and take notice of its benefits; even be open to fostering the same convictions. Submit your will to His and begin to find true joy.

There will be hard and discouraging times; but just remember, it will be worth it all when we see Christ. To have His blessing and to know Him supremely holds no comparison to whatever the world may offer. His way is the best way and His favor surpasses that of anyone for it holds no obligation because of Jesus Christ living in us. As you seek and follow Him, your heart will be glad and rejoice in your Saviour above as He takes delight in you, His child!

“The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord: and he delighted in his way.” Psalm 37:23

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11 Responses to “Modern-Day Christianity”

  1. Tori February 21, 2008 at 1:17 pm #

    That was very encouraging, helpful, and beautiful! Thank you for posting that! 🙂

  2. Margaret February 21, 2008 at 4:56 pm #

    That is exactly what I needed to hear right now. For myself I often find it very difficult to be submissive under my unsaved parents authority. But I also know that if I can’t be submissive to my parents, how will I ever be able to submit to a husband if God calls me to marriage one day? And what does that say about my relationship with God? If wives are supposed to submit unto their own husbands as unto the Lord, why shouldn’t a child to their parents? It’s God’s command with a precious promise attached to it. (See Eph. 6)

    Have you heard any of Paul Washer’s messages on modern Christianity or courtship? Something I would strongly recommend. See sermonindex.net.

    Blessings! (sorry it was so long)

  3. Tricia February 21, 2008 at 5:14 pm #

    Sara, once again, great job capturing the spirit of submission and looking into the law of liberty. We, as Christians, who are looking for “freedom, independence, pleasure, etc…need to be reminded of Matt 26:39, “Nevertheless, not as I will, but as thou wilt.” If only we can learn to yield ourselves to the will of God, today, where He has us, whatever the circumstances, there is true liberty!

  4. elianna February 21, 2008 at 5:28 pm #

    So true, Sara! Thanks …:)

  5. kaysie February 22, 2008 at 4:39 pm #

    Sara, this was an amazing post. Many of your thoughts and urgings are the exact echoes of my heart, especially in regard to the deception of the world’s passing pleasures. I was truly inspired and renewed in my purpose as a daughter to submit to the Lord and obey Him with all my heart.

    Thank you.

  6. JoannaRenae February 23, 2008 at 1:05 am #

    Sara, that was lovely. Thank you. 🙂 I think that many times (from what I’ve seen) it is also an undying longing to be “good-enough.” Finding satisfaction in being accepted by a few select people can be rough on girls who watch the world stream by them with it’s “live love laugh” outward mentality. Just the idea of walking through a grocery store without getting the “oh. One of *them*” looks from the girls laughing in groups in the cosmetic isles can be enough to drive someone into a blind tizzy…
    To find contentment in Christ is a challenge that comes with that of submitting to Christ. I don’t know that I could continue to submit were it not for love to my “Darling, who is fairest of ten-thousands.”

    ” Start cultivating a grateful heart. Begin to recognize the blessings in your parent’s instructions and guidance and take notice of its benefits; even be open to fostering the same convictions. Submit your will to His and begin to find true joy.” ~ I LOVED this!! Gratitude… sorely missed, yet desperately needed….

    Thanks again!!
    ~Joanna

  7. a heart of praise February 23, 2008 at 1:09 pm #

    What a wonderful post! It was such an encouragement to my heart to read it! Thank you Sara! 🙂

  8. Lauren February 23, 2008 at 5:54 pm #

    This was a blessing! Thanks, Lauren Brown

  9. !April Olivia! February 25, 2008 at 9:11 pm #

    Sara, AMEN, AMEN, AMEN!!
    Together over the past school months we read the book
    So Much More, it talked alot about being submissive to
    our parents and especially God, it touched my heart to
    read what you have posted. You have been such a blessing on my life and I thank you so very much. I can’t tell how much you speak from your heart.
    fondly,
    !April Olivia!

  10. lemons to lemonade February 26, 2008 at 7:09 am #

    Amen, The world is not as great as it seems. How blessed you are if you are brought up in a God fearing home. Many are not. What a shame if one gives away such a wonderful gift.
    Thanks!!

  11. Lindsey March 2, 2008 at 4:37 pm #

    Amen! (I’ve been reading here for awhile, but I don’t think I ever commented) This was a well thought out and encouraging article – thank you!

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