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May 11, 2017

Have you ever walked into a sporting event or pick up game or group ride and there's a person that looks like they just bought everything out of the catalog?  This person is looking the part, but you quickly find out they have no clue what they're doing.  We call this guy (or gal), "The Poser."  They look the part, but they lack the ability to back up their appearance.


Before we go any further, we want to note that we're not here to call anyone out or step on any toes.


With that said, let's get back to "Christian Poser" or fake faith.  This person looks like they have it going on.  They look and appear to be living a life of Christ but come to find they are just putting on a front.  The easy target is social media.  They even have a YouTube video about it called: Christian Instagram Girl.  They post religious quotes or thoughts, pics of their daily devotionals, or even a verse.  


Again, we are not calling out anyone in this post but merely getting at something.  We believe social media can influence people in a positive way, but we have to go beyond the social media post and live it too.  We can't look the part we have to live it!


In an interview with Religion News Service blogger, Jarrid Wilson's speaks of his new book Jesus Swagger - breaking free from poser Christianity.  One question asked was on the topic of mainstream Christianity and cosmetic expressions of Christianity being a problem.  Jarrid responded with: "I’m sure Chris Tomlin is an incredible dude, but I have yet to own any of his albums or stream them on any of my devices. Sorry, Chris! While I do agree that mainstream Christianity has adopted some unique styles and identifying factors, I wouldn’t say that I’ve adopted any of these in order to fit in. I don’t see any of these cosmetic expressions of Christianity a problem, as long as people don’t make these things the foundation in which they build their faith upon."


I want to ask a direct question: 


Are you following Christ for the fame and recognition it will bring you (i.e. more Instagram or Facebook likes or in hopes to be the next big Christian public figure) or is it that you want to live a life according to His will and not ours?


Obviously, most everyone is going to answer with living a life for His will and not your own.  But I want you to inventory your life.  Take a couple of days and spend it in prayer.  Find a place of solitude where it's only you and Christ.  Lay out everything in your life before him i.e. give everything to the Lord.  Ask God what is it in your life that is hindering you from living a life of His will and not yours.


Luke 9:23


23 Then he said to them all: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me.


I have to keep doing this.  I find myself justifying my actions or wants in the name of the Lord i.e. wanting cosmetic Christianity things to look the part or to have people want to look to me.  God wants me to have this or God is telling me I need to do this for His glory.  


Justifying my actions gets complicated i.e. trying to fit a square peg into a round hole.  If we want to follow Christ and make His will, my will then evaluating our needs and wants should be front and center.  Without accountability, we can easily slip into a faith walk of justification or "Christian Poser" and not a faith walk of guidance and understanding His will versus my will.  We will soon find ourselves far from the reason we started following Christ and down a road that looks more like Christ will fitting into my will.


Justified Religion is a scary place to be, and we're finding more and more that this is the type of Christianity people are preaching.  Somewhere along the way, they have disconnected with God's will via means of justification and found themselves fitting His will into their life.  Just like Jarrid said in his interview with Religion News Service, "I don’t see any of these cosmetic expressions of Christianity a problem, as long as people don’t make these things the foundation in which they build their faith upon." 


God's will for our lives has reason and purpose. It is through scripture, where we can find meaning and principles discerning God's will.  Inventory your life... seek to find meaning and principle discerning God's will.  We're not saying having things is a bad thing, but don't make these justified actions or wants i.e. cosmetic needs or expressions the foundation on which we serve the Lord. 


Here are a few verses to reflect on while you "inventory" your life:


Hebrews 13:20-21 


20 Now may the God of peace, who through the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, 21 equip you with everything good for doing his will, and may he work in us what is pleasing to him, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.


1 Timothy 2:3-4


3 This is good, and pleases God our Savior, 4 who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.


1 Thessalonians 5:18


18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.


Proverbs 3:5-6


5 Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; 6 in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.


Jeremiah 29:11-13


11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.  12 Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you.  13 You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.


We will be praying that God will reveal His will to all of us this week.  That we will see Him in all that we do and not justify our means to fit into His will.


Thanks and God Bless!


David Wildman





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