There are many of us who think we are incredibly strong-willed in our relationship with God. That there is nothing that can separate us from the love we have for our Savior. Our promises are promises, and these promises are easy to make when we are at our highest spiritual peak.
I bet many of you went to a camp when you were younger and experienced God for the first time, and every time, that you went. And each time you would say the same thing – I’m different and changed and will never go back to the old person I once was, I will drop the sin that is holding me back.
That’s the easiest part – experiencing the freedom, and letting go of everything and giving it to God. Here God – take it.
But everyone always forgets part 2…..the work.
Work requires that you give your best effort to truly letting everything go, and it comes at a cost too many people are not willing to pay….because it hurts.
The most difficult part of your journey is letting go of the people who influenced you into your prior position. This could mean: spending less time with them, or no time with them at all. Regardless, these people influence you no matter how strong your faith is.
Boundaries must be created for you to have a sustainable relationship with Jesus.
I don’t mean: if you don’t cut out these relationships you will inevitably lose your relationship with Christ. No. It doesn’t work that way. Jesus’ love for you is an undeniable love that reaches for you in your darkest depths. Jesus Christ chases you down and down again no matter how many times you turn away because his love is unexplainable.
When I say “cutting out relationships,” I am simply telling you to make a choice. I was once this person who led a “rollercoaster relationship” with Christ because I didn’t want to give up the relationships that I loved, especially when I believed full-heartedly that I could change them.
A rollercoaster has twists and turns, ups and downs, and several spirals. There are peaks and valleys, and highs and lows. It was sickening to see myself go through these phases where Christ and I were walking side by side, then I would stop dead in my tracks. I would be at my peak and plummet to a deep valley.
People influence you whether you want to believe it or not.
We believe we are so strong, and we say “i’m not like that – I can influence them.” Do you have any idea how many times I have heard that? When I hear it, and have given all the advice I can give, I sit back and watch. And every time, I see the people I love the most stumble. Our own strength and capacity cannot influence the lost at an intimate capacity.
We are human and sin is in our nature.
Our goal is to love unconditionally, guide when needed, and introduce the lost to the one who can ultimately influence at an intimate capacity. We can only entangle ourselves but so deeply. Imagine jumping into a pit of twine. At first, it’s pretty easy to move around and breath because you are at the surface. But, once you wiggle and move around further you start to sink, and the web starts to wrap around your arms and legs. It’s rather difficult to escape something that is wrapped around you.
If you have ever been to a trampoline park then you understand quite well. If you jump feet first into the foam pit, it’s much more difficult to climb out. The farther you jump the worse it is, and the more tired you become in trying to climb out and onto the platform.
I have a very small pool of friendships now that I consider just as giving to me as I am to them. They walk close to God, and are “equally yolked.” I can turn to them for advice that is biblically sound rather than culturally driven.
If you are tired of the roller coaster ride like I was then you may want to reconsider who you have decided to keep in your life for the long term. If it damages your ability to keep your relationship with Jesus Christ – is it really worth it when you think about eternity?
Photo by Mantas Hesthaven on Unsplash