Lyrics on many contemporary Christian songs have the repeated idea that we are all flawed and messed up, but it’s okay because God still loves us anyway. The bottom line is that it’s okay to be not okay. While it’s pretty obvious that we are all flawed and God loves us regardless of this, it’s not okay to be “not okay”! As believers in Jesus, we settle for mediocrity in our lives way to easily. Allow me to explain what I mean.
I’ve talked to many Christians who constantly make bad choices, live lives that are are more worldly than holy, and have a shallow relationship with Jesus. When asked about this they just shrug their shoulders and say “oh well, I’m not perfect”, and then just settle for a mediocre Christian life. This shouldn’t be!! Do you see, when someone trusts in Jesus as his/her Savior, the Holy Spirit instantly regenerates them (John 3:3-8, Titus 3:5; which means they became a new person in Jesus), indwells them (John 14:16-17, Romans 8:9-11; which means His dynamic presence comes into their life permanently), baptizes them (Acts 1:5, 1 Corinthians 12:13; which means He initiates them into the family of God and now they are identified as God’s child), and seals them (2 Corinthians 2:2, Ephesians 1:13, 4:30; which means He forever marks them as belonging to God, and are protected by Him). Do you grasp this? If you are truly born again, you have God Himself indwelling you in the person of the Holy Spirit, and He guides you, teaches you, empowers you, and leads you through life. And because we have the indwelling Holy Spirit empowering us, we have everything necessary to live in victory in order to bring glory to our awesome God! I’m not talking about perfection, obviously, as our sin nature (the old self) hasn’t been eradicated, but a much deeper and richer walk with Jesus, and a holier life than most Christians experience.
Ephesians 1:3 says: “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ“, and 2 Peter 1:3 states: “…seeing that His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence”. Isn’t that absolutely incredible? We have been blessed with every spiritual blessing and have been granted everything pertaining to life and godliness. Bottom line – we lack for nothing that will bring God glory in our lives.
Why, then do so many Christians settle for a mediocre life? First of all, what do I mean by mediocre? By mediocre I mean: a life that settles for worldly behavior instead of holiness: a relationship with God that settles for shallowness instead of intimacy; a life that is void of a deep knowledge of the Bible and theology instead of having a solid grasp of knowing what we believe and why we believe it; and a life that settles for defeat over temptation and sin instead of victory.
Why are there so many mediocre Christians today? Probably because they have never been taught the truth about what happens to us when we are born again, or, if they have been taught this, have not put these truths into operation in their lives. Well, the obvious question, then, is how do we do this, how do we put these incredible truths into operation in our lives? The answer is pretty simple but so hard for us to do – die to self and surrender totally to the Holy Spirit. We need to give Him the reins of our lives and let Him be in control of every aspect of our beings. Since God the Holy Spirit indwells us and empowers us with everything necessary that we need to live a life that glorifies God, we need to get out of His way so His power is unleashed in our lives.
But, someone might ask, since the Holy Spirit indwells me, why doesn’t He just take over? Because we must choose to surrender to Him. God doesn’t take over our lives by force. He has created us with free will, and we must choose to surrender to Him by an act of our will. To be sure, it’s what God wants for each of us, but He allows us to exercise our free will in how we choose to live. We must choose to die to self and surrender to Him. We must choose to hand Him the steering wheel and driver’s seat of our lives. We must choose to give up all rights to ourselves to Him. But, unfortunately, most Christians don’t really want to do this. They are afraid of where He may lead them, what He may want them to do, and what He might ask them to give up. So they live controlling their own lives, which leads to mediocrity – shallowness, defeat, and joylessness.
My friends, I believe that God has a specific destiny for each one of us in the life we live on earth, and this destiny will only be accomplished when we die to self and surrender to Him. This destiny will will bring Him glory, which is the only way to live a life of meaning, purpose, and joy. Let me encourage you, don’t be mediocre! It is Biblical truth that you have everything necessary to live a life that glorifies God. Don’t settle for anything less. Die to self, give Him all of you in complete surrender, and be on the journey of holiness. Remember, we exist for one purpose – to glorify Him. Life isn’t about us – our happiness, our pleasure, our success, or our fulfilled dreams – it’s about Him!! And when we truly make Him Lord of our lives, when we strive to be all He wants us to be through the power of the indwelling Holy Spirit, when we won’t settle for being mediocre in our Christian walk, then we will know Him intellectually, pursue Him relentlessly, approach Him reverently, love him intimately, follow Him unconditionally, worship Him passionately, stand up for Him unashamedly, serve Him excellently, and enjoy Him gladly. And this is a life worth living that makes a powerful difference for God’s kingdom in this dark world.
Oh my friends, in the person of the Holy Spirit who indwells you, you have everything necessary to live a God honoring, victorious life. Don’t settle for anything less. Don’t be mediocre!!