We all need them. Some people write on their hands, some people use apps on a phone, some post-it notes around the house- but we all need reminders. Reminders are helpful because they typically lead us to intentional action. When we remember to buy some milk, we tend to walk into a store and buy it. Good reminders lead to positive action.

I believe God gives us reminders too: reminders of who He is, what He can do and who He’s made us to be. God gives reminders of what really matters. This past Sunday night was one of those reminders for me. I stood in front of a lake and watched as person after person went under the water. I prayed prayers of blessing over 28 different people and watched those 28 be baptized in front of a crowd of over 300 people. And as I reflected, I was reminded: this is why I do what I do. Each person had a different story, but every story included the intersection of a life with the life of Jesus. Jesus had changed everyone of them. This was not just some outward religious ritual – this was real people who experienced real change and who were looking forward to more transformation in the days to come. That is powerful and that is why I love my job!

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Where the people of God start…

We are studying Judges this summer and it’s been powerful and even somewhat depressing. The story is essentially about the people of God, called out to be about Him choose not to tell their children about God, choose to be apathetic to God’s call and to their sin and end up compromising more with the culture and ignoring God. The real travesty is for centuries, the people of God were intended to be a blessing. The people of God are intended to demonstrate an alternative community — something so inspiring and hope filled that the world around them long to be a part of it. However what has happened through the centuries is that often the people of God end up compromising and looking more like the world around them than shining as a light.

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You don’t drift

Holiness is not something you drift into. I think one of the things that holds us back as Christians is that we think if I am just around God-things and God-people that I will be Godly. And I do believe that culture is important. In fact it’s nearly impossible to grow and be holy if you never spend time around God-things. But I think the mistake comes when we stop at just being in the right environment. It’s important but not everything. Holiness involves choices we make and steps we take. Left to ourselves, even in the right environment, we will still fall and drift. And maybe we won’t end up in outright sin but we may end up in apathy and in some ways that’s worse! I know that sounds like a shocking statement, but think about it when you, as a Christian are involved in outright sin you know you’re off and you know you are in rebellion and therefore there may be opportunity to repent and come back. But what is really dangerous I found is Christians who are apathetic about their faith but because they’re around enough church/God-things they don’t see a need to grow. They don’t know they’re out of alignment, they have no idea they are missing anything and they just drift. And so what happens is you have people who spend their lives in church but who are far from God and far from who God created them to be. Holiness is something I choose into.

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