Have you ever felt like you’re in the stands, watching all the major-league Christians down on the field? Are you convinced that God must be a little happier with super-Christians than he is with you? The better I understand the Bible, the more I see that’s a lie from the enemy, puffing up a few Christians and deflating the rest.
You are not a subpar Christian; you are not condemned to be a spectator.
God is happy with you right where you are. You can be a fully obedient, devoted follower of Christ right in the midst of the life God has given you.
By God’s grace, you are the lead actor in your story, a story that he wrote for you and no one else. He chose your time in history, your family, your nationality, your skills, and your IQ. He wants to work through your experiences, your failures, your strengths, and your weaknesses. He can do things through you, right where you are, that he cannot do through anyone else. God isn’t waiting for you to move to India to start working through you; he’s just waiting for you to rely on his grace.
God gives us this promise:
You [not just your pastor or the missionaries or the heroes of the faith, but you] are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light (1 Peter 2:9).
That is good news. We can be free from the guilt of not measuring up. It can also be scary. It removes many of the excuses we might use to justify our lack of obedience. What complacency or mediocrity have you excused because you’re just a “normal” Christian?
- I have house payments, so I can’t serve God.
- I have kids, so I can’t help out at the food bank.
- I don’t have a formal Bible education, so I can’t share the gospel with my neighbor.
- I’m not a pastor, so I can’t live up to all of God’s standards.
The only thing standing between you and a Christian life of wholehearted obedience isn’t your job, place of birth, income, or knowledge of the Bible. It’s your willingness to fall into Jesus’s arms and lean completely on his grace. That’s what it means to be a Christian.
Maybe you need to repent of self-sufficiency—it was never about you or what you brought to the table anyway. It has always been about what God can do through people just like you and me.
Adapted from Radically Normal by Josh Kelley
Josh Kelley is a speaker and the author of Radically Normal. He served as a pastor for 15 years and holds a BA in biblical studies from Pacific Life College. He lives in northwest Washington with his wife, Marilyn, and their two daughters. Learn more at www.radicallynormal.com.