Have you ever purchased a new item only to feel overwhelmed when you go to use it? It’s so new and different that you don’t even know where to begin. A new Christian may often feel this way as he/she learns to navigate the Christian life. There is no instant pot Christians.
That’s how I felt when I took my instant pot out of the box. It wasn’t a crockpot where I could just toss things in and turn on. The instant pot has so many buttons and options. And, within each feature, there are more features! It’s a completely new way of cooking, and I just couldn’t figure it out was I went. The instant pot was a new way of life and I needed to learn and understand how to use it. I thought I’d be making fancy meals right out of the box, instead I needed to start with the basics.
There’s No Instant Pot Christianity
For those of us who have been followers of Jesus, we sometimes anticipate an instant pot Christian. We expect the moment someone believes, their life is instantly changed to what we expect a Christian to look like and speak. There is no instant pot Christians.
If Christianity was about molding a person to a specific set of standards and conduct, we’d have a religion with a group of people that looked, dressed, and acted the same.
Christianity is the Transformation of Lives by the Power of God
In Romans 12:2, Paul writes that we are not to conform but be transformed. Conforming, by definition, is to comply with rules and laws. Conforming does not indicate there is new life within you; instead, it’s an indication that you are are a rule follower. Anyone can conform to a set of rules. However, true life transformation is by the power of God. This is the power that changes lives.
When you come to Christ, you are a new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17). Your previous way of life and thinking are no longer relevant, but it takes time to learn God’s way. There are no instant pot Christians. You learn His ways by consistently renewing your mind. As you renew your mind, your life is being transformed, from the inside out, into the same image as the Lord (2 Corinthians 3:18).
I remember my own journey as a new believer five years ago. Theologies and terminologies were overwhelming. I would call the language of mature believers “Christianese” for I didn’t understand what it meant when “God spoke to you” or “being saved”. My attempts for understanding through the Bible only led to more questions. My previous ideas of life needed reprogramming. I didn’t need a new set of rules to follow, I needed a reboot of my operating system.
This is what the transforming power of God does, it wipes out our old operating system and puts in a new one.
The More I know, the Less I Understand
Fast forward five years later, and I have a deeper understanding of God, but I also have many unanswered questions. Unanswered questions is good for it keeps us seeking God. We will never understand the ways of God, and we must learn to accept the mystery of God. God doesn’t think the way we do for He is greater than us and so are His thoughts (Isaiah 55:8-9).
Because we are made in His image, we can relate to His thoughts, but we cannot understand Him. It’s like a young child who can relate to the thoughts of his parent but cannot understand his parent at the same time. As parents, we have experiences and a larger picture to base our decisions. So it is with us and God for we are His children and do not understand the ways of God. We need to be okay accepting the mysteries of God.
We get ourselves into a lot of trouble when we think we have God figured out. And, when God doesn’t act the way we expect Him, this leads to disappointment and a crisis of faith.
While we may have lots of questions, God reveals truth to us in His time. The Holy Spirit will teach you everything you need (John 14:26). Remember, your life is not built in an instant for there are no instant pot Christian.
Christianity is not an instant pot. You are not changed in an instant. Instead, by the power of God, and over time, you will find your life tranformed. Don’t allow anyone recieve you, you are a work in progress.
Thanks to CHRISSY PETRAITIS for this piece.