'Christ in You...'
by Dale Krebbs
There is an old gospel song entitled “My God I Real”. Is God “real” to you? If God does not seem real to you, perhaps the reason is that you are not real to Him. Sometimes we hear the catch phrase “get real”! Reality: it is becoming more and more elusive, and unrecognizable in our world. Reality is shielded by masks, pretense, and an endless variety of smoke and mirror techniques, etc. In essence, they are hypocrisy. There is curious reality regarding hypocrisy, which of course is deception. Those who are hypocritical and deceptive are the most easily taken in by hypocrisy and deception. Those deceiving are also being deceived (2 Timothy 3:13).
Not being “real” is often a crutch. Crutches relating to the personality and character are generally regarded in a negative sense, but crutches are a reality of the real. Crutches are helpful in the physical realm, but crutches are only aids to something better - until recovery, until completeness becomes a reality. Crutches are never the true reality that God desires for all of us. That which is real today is becoming more and more illusive; and, more and more impossible to ascertain. Lack of that which is real is coming more and more head to head with the Christian live. It is becoming very difficult to determine or, to be, that which is genuine. Even without the influence of the world around us, when we feel we are sincerely real, upon looking at ourselves closer, we are not so real. We only believe we are being real.
In reality, being real is a focal point of Christianity. Being unreal involves two extremes - polar opposites. One is extreme duplicity; the other is extreme lack of restraint. In both cases extreme confusion is the result. Both are enemies of the Christian’s life and growth, and can be counterfeits of conversion and genuine spirituality. One is the result of rigidity and legalism. Pride in self-righteous legalism is still pride. The other is the result of a corruption of grace to the point of ignoring sin, and the propensity to sin. Pride in grace is still pride.
Sometimes there is a curious blending of the two. Nothing will permanently change until there is genuine repentance of both. However, at this point we need to ask - what is “repentance”? A word-picture is one way to define genuine repentance: repentance is a heart broken in pieces and handed to God.- with no reservations. Only God can “mend a broken heart” that is broken over sin, and a broken and contrite heart God will never despise. One who is broken hearted for sin has become “real”. A continuous attitude of repentance leads to permanent humility and holiness eventually, without which we will not see God. Both these conditions undermine and resist conviction by the Holy Spirit, which would lead to genuine repentance, leading to growth and development of Godly character. What would become real would be true reality - real and genuine likeness of Christ. That is the “getting real” that God wants for you and for me.
One of the most frightening scriptures in the Bible bears heavily upon the matter of being real. Notice:
“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter into the kingdom of heaven – only the one who does the will of my Father in heaven. On that day, many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, didn’t we prophesy in your name, and in your name cast out demons and do many powerful deeds?’ Then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you.. Go away from me, you lawbreakers!” (Matthew 7:21-23 NET)
Here we can see that these were convinced that they were “real” in Christ sight. They seem absolutely sure that they are the kind of real that would be accepted and rewarded by Him at the time of their judgment. They are apparently self deceived concerning the “real” that would have caused them to be known of Christ. In not living the faith, they deceived themselves. Jesus did not deny that they had performed miracles, and accomplished many wonderful works by using His name. Performing miracles is not the reality He desires. In the last days, even the false prophet will perform miracles and thereby deceive many - “deceiving and being deceived”. On that day, to know Jesus, and more importantly, to be known of Him, will be the only true reality.
Of what does your sense of real consist of? Are you still using a crutch when you should have been well on your way to being real to Christ? To know and to be known by Jesus Christ is the evidence and proof of being truly “real”. The true reality will last forever – crutches and all other substitute reals will pass away.
Are you ready and willing to really “get real”...?
“The one who conquers will inherit these things, and I will be his God and he will be my son. But to the cowards, unbelievers, detestable persons, murderers, the sexually immoral, and those who practice magic spells, idol worshipers, and all those who lie, their place will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur. That is the second death.” - Revelation 21:7-8
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