Take it from a friend...
I was doing some cleaning in my study this morning and ran across something really good. One of my best friends, Justin Garcia, had written down some thoughts back in 2006, and I am going to share them with you now:
"I really feel as though God is bringing me back to a place of simplicity in my life...Let me just be honest for a second and open up...college was great...it was probably my favorite 'season' of life so far. I learned so much and just had a great experience. But one thing that I really do feel like has happened is that, in terms of my faith, things have gotten really complicated. Just through reading lots of books (or half of lots of books, shall I say) and hearing lots of different teachers/preachers/speakers and talking with different people, I feel as though...well, first of all that I've had to filter through it all because you have different people with conflicting opinions and so you have to sort through them in order to find out what is true, but sometimes that is not an easy process. I just feel like my head has been filling up with all this stuff, all this knowledge, and that is where it is still sitting today. But I remember the days of high school, when even though I was much younger in my faith, things were much simpler. I had not then read all kinds of books or heard all kinds of opinions about prayer, repentance, God's God-centeredness, Calvinism/Arminianism, the Holy Spirit, predestination, free will, etc., etc. Some of these things are excellent. I would never want to go back to not having learned things about them. But, I do miss the simplicity.
Back then, it was 'Jesus died for my sin because He loves me, and He wants me to draw near to Him.' Just that. I didn't fully understand that love was God's desire, not to make much of me, but to labor and suffer in order to entrall me with that which would satisfy me most. I didn't know that God is the most God-centeted person in the universe. I didn't quite realize that when Christ died, I died, and that the life I now live in the body I am to live by faith in the Son of God who loved me and gave Himself for me.
I am so grateful for these things that have been revealed to me. But to be completely honest, the one thing that I do not like about them is that it is easy to get them in my head. It is a million times more difficult to get them in my heart. To get them into my heart is something that I cannot do on my own. Somehow, in some way that I can't understand, the Holy Spirit must put them in my heart. Only then will I fully believe them and fully live them. And through that, my life can be simplified...by not trying each day to force them from my head down to my heart but by asking God to help me to fully believe them, so that I might fully live them."
He is right. I am so thankful for more and more knowledge of God, as I ever pursue Him as He has, is, and will pursue me, but Christianity is not an attainment of knowledge but rather a receiving of God's very own life into me. From the depths of my personality, He ends my life of selfishness, establishing His rule and reign in me, and through me, He lives out His very own life. Christianity is not about profession but possession; "He who has the Son has life." I can only profess what I possess. May the Lord live His very own life through each of one us, so that we may not only claim to profess His name but also possess His nature. Leonard Ravenhill was right when he said that the world "...is not waiting for a new definition of Christianity; it's waiting for a new demonstration of Christianity!" Thanks for the words, Justin. Keep spurring me on dude.