We make Christianity too hard. We make it about events, programs, building projects, small groups, Sunday school, and a whole host of other things. It’s not that those things shouldn’t exist within Christianity. It’s just that we too often make them the primary things. They should not be. Let me show you why.
As I was doing Bible study, I came across this simple statement:
But Noah found favor in the eyes of the Lord. – Genesis 6:8, ESV
When I see a statement like this, I ask, “Why?” In this case, why did Noah find favor in the Lord and why didn’t anyone else? This one isn’t hard to figure out as the answer is in the next verse:
Noah was a righteous man, blameless in his generation. Noah walked with God. – Genesis 6:9b
Note that the only action cited is “walked with God.” There’s nothing about how many times he attended worship services or how often he took care of the poor around him. There’s nothing mentioned about how good a father or husband he was. We don’t have any indication of his deeds. Yet Noah was found to be a righteous man, blameless in his generation. There’s something to this walking with God.
Enoch walked with God, and he was not, for God took him. – Genesis 5:24, ESV
Why was Enoch taken? Enoch was taken because he walked with God. None of the others in the line of Adam were said to have this type of relationship. And therefore it’s not surprising that no others were reported to be taken by God. This walking with God isn’t possible if sin is dominating one’s life. For instance:
And they heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden. – Genesis 3:8, ESV
Walking with someone regularly speaks to a deep relationship. Walking with God means having a strong relationship with Him. It’s not that those other things I mentioned earlier aren’t important; they are. They are just not as important as our relationship with Jesus Christ. In actuality, all of our efforts in Christendom should come out of our relationship. They should be fruit of that relationship. However, too often we treat them as replacements for spending time with God, instead of seeking to draw closer to Him.
If Christianity has gotten complicated for you, if it seems like it’s more work and commitments and appointments in an already busy life, look at your walk with Jesus. Is it where it should be? Are you spending time with Him? The Bible and prayer are the traditional ways we get to know Him better. And while one can gain a lot from worship service and Sunday school and small groups and other activities, the best way to get to know someone is one-n-one, which means time alone with our Savior. At the end of the day, our walk with God matters the most. Yes, the Bible directs us to meet together. We are in disobedience if we don’t listen to that. However, meeting together is not to take the place of spending that time with Jesus. Our good works don’t either. There will be plenty at judgment who will describe to our Lord all the things they did in His name. Remember, though, that many of them will be dismissed. Why? Because they never took the time to really know Jesus. Get to know Him. It’s eternally important.