Following Christ is…simple. Now, I understand that simple does not always equate to easy. Yet, the fact remains…following Jesus does not require the complexity of doctrines, theologies, or statements of faith. Are these things invalid? Certainly not. But their weight comes from a relationship that is lived out. They tend to muddy things up when we consider them the means of living out that relationship. As I have said before, following Christ happens in action, not in belief. To put it simply, whoever is in Him ought to walk just as He walked (1 John 2:6).
Some would consider that to oversimplify is to under-spiritualize. But in actuality, under-spiritualizing comes by the way of overcomplicating. There is nothing complicated about following someone. It is always a one step process–this step, the one right in front of you. If there are a multitude of steps to be taken, this would imply a distance between you and the person you are following. If this is the case then you are not following someone, you are trying to get to him.
What I want you to understand is that if relationship with God is something you have to attain to, rather than live from, you will never understand what it means to be a son (daughter). It is backwards to think that relationship with the Father is something you have to work towards. That distance was closed through the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus. Now, through uniting yourself with Christ, God puts His Spirit inside of you. He identifies you as His own. There is now no distance between you and the Father.
There is…no distance between you and the Father.
Now, is this to say that we have no responsibility in this relationship? On the contrary, in this covenantal unity we have profound responsibility and privilege. I’m just saying that it’s not complicated. Our responsibility is to be conformed by the Spirit into the image of the Son…to think, act, and be like Jesus. But the thinking, acting, and being is what transpires in the depth of relationship. It happens in the process of surrendering our perspective and gaining His. This relationship, this access to the Father’s heart, is our immense privilege.
When we put the simplicity of these two things together–the responsibility to follow, and the privilege that comes from following (relationship)–we experience something profound…