“Christianity isn’t for the little engine that can but the train-wreck that can’t.”
A friend of mine posted this on Facebook earlier this week and it reminded me of one simple truth: It’s about what Jesus did, not what you can and can’t do.
I believe God allows certain things to happen in our lives for specific reasons.
Before I really met Jesus, I had started to attend a church in Miami regularly. I was serving on their greeters team (which was a new experience for me), attending Bible studies, tithing (to a certain extent), and regularly attending Sunday service. Heck, I went to multiple services every Sunday. I had even been baptized at that church.
If you asked me, God and I were on great terms.
However, it wasn’t about what I was doing, but the work that Jesus was doing in my heart.
At the end of the day, none of that mattered. I was baptized, but I ended up feeling led to be baptized again at Christ Fellowship (because I felt the first time wasn’t really genuine). I tithed and served, but it was more because I “had to”, not because I wanted to. I went to Bible study, but it was to gain head knowledge, not to know my Savior more.
None of it mattered because, truthfully, none of that saves you.
Only Jesus can save you.
This issue is a bit close to my heart because I know many people who turn to Jesus when things go wrong; I was one of those. When life was great, Jesus was an after thought. Sure, I believed He was the Son of God and He died to save me from my sins, but my life didn’t reflect that belief. However, when life started to go bad, I’d try to “get back into church” and “get back into reading the Bible”. It’s almost as if my faith was a bank account. When it went into the negative, I tried DESPERATELY to put something in the bank before I got hit with “overdraft fees” (in other words, before things got worse).
But going to church or attending Bible studies makes you no more Christian than being in a garage makes you a car.
The truth is, it’s easy to fall into that “little engine that could” mentality.
- If I just pray longer, maybe God will answer my prayer.
- If I just fast a little more, maybe God will guide me towards my next step.
- If I just read a little more of His word, maybe I’ll feel better.
- If I just tithe a bit more, maybe God will bless me more.
And our social media culture doesn’t help. We post pictures of our quiet time, thinking we’re just sharing what we learned, when in truth, we’re feeding into a desire to be noticed and validated. Or we’ll share pictures of ourselves on a mission trip or serving our community for the same reasons. None of those pictures are inherently bad, but, once again, it’s that “little engine that could” mentality.
Try HARDER to look Godly. Do MORE. When all along, Jesus just tells us BE STILL.
We’re not the little engine that could. We’re the train-wreck that can’t.
You’ll never tithe enough to bend God’s will. You’ll never pray enough to suddenly convince Him of something He wasn’t already convinced of. You don’t earn brownie points with God for serving at every single one of your church services (actually, that’s unhealthy for you, as you’re missing out on the message).
No matter how hard you try, you will never be able to simply “work hard enough” to fix your life. Our culture tells us that this is the solution. If we just work harder to make more money, spend more time making ourselves pretty, or even “have more faith”, then we’ll get everything we want out of life…but that’s simply not true.
And it’s not the point.
Would I like a bigger house? A nicer car? A bigger savings account? Sure. But would I like all those things at the cost of forfeiting my relationship with Jesus? No. I’d take a day in Hell with Christ over a day in Heaven without Him.
See, if we’re honest with ourselves, we know that nothing truly satisfies. Not money, not relationships, and not power. It all fades. It all dies. It’s why Solomon, the son of David, cries out that “everything is meaningless” in Ecclesiastes 12:8.
“The good news of the Gospel of Jesus Christ is not that, if you follow Him, everything is going to go well and everything is going to work. The good news, the Gospel of Jesus Christ, is that you get Him and He is enough, no matter what circumstance comes.” – Matt Chandler
Jesus is ENOUGH.
“‘Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!’ The LORD of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress. Selah” – Psalm 46:10-11 (ESV)