Imagine with me that someone bought a whole bunch of bright red, crisp apples and tied them onto an apple tree.
Everyone who casually walked by the tree would think, Wow, that tree looks great. See all of those apples? and never notice that the apples were just tied onto the branches.
If you let some time go by though, anyone would be able to notice that the now-rotting apples were not really a part of the tree.
So Right, Yet Completely Wrong
Our Christianity can be like that apple tree. By knowing the appropriate behaviors, we can make our lives look so spiritual. However, you and I can be right in our understanding and all our doctrines, yet be completely wrong on the inside.
Look at the Pharisees. They had everything right. They knew God’s holiness and all the laws. They were missionaries. They fasted, gave, prayed and taught the Scriptures.
Their problem? Everything began and ended with them. God had no part in it.
What God wants us to be goes beyond doing all the right things. Our “apples” should be produced from the tree, or our fruit will not last.
So often we want a plan, an agenda, a book to tell us how to become godly. But godliness is not a list of how-tos.
The answer is Jesus. If we listen closely, we’ll hear the Lord calling out to our hearts, “Be Mine. Let My life be yours.”
A Living, Growing Relationship
Please don’t look for a quick fix. This call from the Lord involves daily walking with Him, being sensitive to hear His voice, seeking to do His will and loving Him through our choices. It is not obedience to the letter of the law, but rather understanding the heart of our Master. This is not a fill-in-the-blank test, but a living, growing relationship with the Creator of this world.
We must see Jesus—everywhere, in all of our life, in everything. The book of Hebrews tells us, “Let us fix our eyes on Jesus” (Hebrews 12:2, NIV).
Have you ever studied a car that was passing you, and all of a sudden, without realizing it, you actually started to steer toward the passing car? The more you dwell on negative things, the more negative you become. The more you dwell on positive thoughts, the more positive you become. The more time you spend with someone, the more you actually take on their mannerisms and vocabulary without even trying.
We are called to be partakers of His nature (see 2 Peter 1:4). How do we do that? We see Jesus. Scripture says that when we see Him, we will be like Him (see 1 John 3:2). Just like the passing car, the thoughts we entertain, and the people we spend time with—if we look at Jesus and keep Him before us, we will go to Him. We will become like Him. The measure in which we’re able to see Him continually in all our circumstances is the same measure we will experience Him and His life through us.
Look for Him in Every Situation
In my own life, there was a particular time when I was going through great difficulty. In the midst of that season, the Lord asked me the question: “Are you willing to give up your reputation?”
I said to myself, Oh my goodness! He is the One who didn’t care what people thought about Him. He didn’t defend Himself when people said all kinds of evil about Him. He’s asking me if I’m willing to identify with Him and have His nature in me.
“Lord, I didn’t see this before,” I said to Him. “I’m happy to do it.” I was able to find such peace and release from my personal anguish.
Look for Him in your own situations that you are facing right now. Listen to the things He speaks to your heart. Look at His life on earth and consider what it was like for Him. Look for Him in His Word. If we see Him in every part of our lives, we will become like Him.
We will have His attitude toward the Father that says, “I do nothing of Myself” (John 8:28) and “I say whatever the Father tells me to say” (John 12:50, NLT). We will walk in the humility that yields our rights for others and is respectful toward those He created. We’ll have His mind to suffer and not be fearful of it. We will manifest His passion to seek and save the lost.
This is the kind of life Christ wants for us. It is a journey. Each day, as we see Him, we will become more like Him.
Will you seek Him today? He promises that you will find Him.
Dr. K.P. Yohannan
Founder & Director of Gospel for Asia
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About 5 Minutes with K.P.
5 minutes with K.P. is a short devotional that first appeared in our ministry magazine, GFA World and is written by Gospel for Asia's Founder and Director, Dr. K.P. Yohannan.