This morning as I eat my standard two eggs, two pieces of toast, a bunch of veggies, and a double shot coffee (yeah I know I eat a lot! but haven't you heard breakfast is the most important meal of the day?) …
what was I saying? Oh yeah so as I was chowing down I was listening to my daily Bible reading (I had to listen rather then read it, because my hands were busy eating!), and I thought to myself "what does it mean to be a Christian?"
Not only was this question unrelated to the Bible reading, its one I probably should have figured out by now, after being born and raised in a Christian family, attending a Christian school, being part of one church or another my entire life, going to countless youth groups and Christian Summer camps, being a Christian for ten years now, having done a DTS with YWAM, being a leader in a number of Christian ministries, and having just finished a four year degree in theology at Regent College!
Come now Maria get it together! You should have this one in the bag! And I do, I could give you an answer or two, I could write a paper, give a sermon, and even draw a picture explaining to you that it means to be a Christian.
But for whatever reason this morning the question came to my mind, and so instead of ignoring the question or quickly answering it away, I let it tumble around in my head as I continued to listen to Psalm 2 being read to me by a man with a very pleasant voice (I was also thinking to myself "I wonder how one gets into that line of work, and I wonder if he is happy doing it, and I wonder if he’s a Christian, and I wonder if he become a Christian after he got this gig and spent hours upon hours reading the Bible out loud?").
At the end of Psalm 2 in the Message version (I know I know some of you out there really don’t like the Message, but I do! It breaths fresh insight into passages that have become tired and familiar to me) it says “But if you make a run for God—you won’t regret it!”
That stuck with me even as the pleasant sounding man launched into the second reading of the day: Proverbs 2, so much so that I had to stop the man and go back to Psalm 2.
I read it over a several times “if you make a run for God—you won’t regret it!” … “if you make a run for God—you won’t regret it!” … “if you make a run for God—you won’t regret it!” …
then I looked it up in the ESV “Blessed are all who take refuge in him.”
"Hum?" I thought to myself, "that’s what being a Christian means, one who makes a run for God! Who takes refuge in Him."
And right away the thought came to me “that’s to simplified …” but I said “shhhh” to that thought, and instead ran with the thought that being a Christian is one who runs towards God (not that I don’t think that maybe it is a little over simplified, but because I wanted to explore what it means to be a Christian from a different angle then I often do).
As chewed on “being a Christian means running for God, taking refuge in Him” (and the last of my breakfast), I wondered what the context of Psalm 2 was (because I went to Regent and I after four years it is second nature to ask question like what is the context). So after a quick Google search (because I am not still at Regent and I don’t have to create a Bibliography, PTL!) I discovered explanation (from bible.org) That I found rather helpful:
The Psalm is a dramatic presentation in three acts: 1. the nations have rebelled against God (2:1-3), 2. God is sovereign (2:4-9), 3. We must submit to God and His Anointed while there is time (2:10-12).
As the verse I was reflecting on is found in act 3, I zoomed in on that one (but if you feel so inclined please check out the whole thing at https://bible.org/seriespage/psalm-2-world-out-control).
So what does Psalm 2 (more specifically Psalm 2:12, the phrase “But if you make a run for God—you won’t regret it!”) teach us about what it means to be a Christian? For one thing “Jesus didn’t come to save us so that we could get a free ticket to heaven and then go our own way. The issue is one of lordship.”
To be a Christian means to submit to Jesus Christ as Lord over all! That means our entire lives, every little bit, every crock and cranny! And everything else, from the dirt under our feet to the farest most distant planet, and everything in-between!
In the conclusion bible.org says “You can’t find peace and safety anywhere in the world, but only in Christ.” And I thought yup, that’s what it means to be a Christian!
How does this all plays out in real time? Here I sit, graduated from Regent collage after four long changeling years, ten years of post-secondary education in total, single as single gets, 30 years of age, jobs less, and wondering “what the F is going on!? or rather not going on!" I have been feeling disappointed and frustrated with how my life has turned out at 30, and after struggling through Regent for four years, I had thought I would have changed the world by now! (but that’s a topic for another blog).
So again here I sit—a Christian—someone who is running towards God, who finds her refuge in Him, who is submitting to Jesus’ Lordship in every crock and cranny of her life (even the disappointment or maybe especially the disappointment and frustration) banking on the truth that I can’t find peace and safety anywhere in the world, but only in Christ—well at least I am today, yesterday it was a little more touch and go and tomorrow I might crumble once again and try to gain control of my life—but today I am submitting to Christ, trusting in Him, running towards Him and taking refuge in Him—because I am a Christian.