Sunday I shared a true story to our Confirmation Class and to our youth group that happened to me a couple weeks ago...
A few weeks ago on a Tuesday I was finished with my work around the office but it was too early to pick my daughter from day care, so I decided to take a field trip. I went to the "Proving Grounds" where the University of South Carolina Gamecocks Football team was having spring practice. It was the first time I had ever been to practice. I saw on the website that it was open to the public, but it had no instructions or directions on where to go. I drove down there and I parked right next to the field. I saw several people and players entering a gate, so I just followed. I just happened to have on a Carolina Under Armor coaches shirt and a grabbed a Gamecock visor and put it on. I walked in and walked right past security and was just standing around trying to figure out where to go to watch practice. I soon noticed that I was standing with several of the coaches...Ellis Johnson, Spurrier Jr. to name a few...then another security office came up and asked if I was one of the new coaches. I thought about it for a second and then said no I'm just here to watch practice and he then showed me where to stand.
I later thought, what would have happened if I would said "Yeah I'm helping with the receivers or special teams."
But my point to this and my lessons on Sunday is that we are called to Holy Living. But over the years we have learned to dress the part and we have become really good at pretending to be Christians. We can come in on Sundays and Wednesdays, and dress the right way and act the right way. But in the end, we really are just pretending. I could have told the security officer that I was a coach, but soon enough I might have been caught...maybe not.
As a youth pastor of going on 14 years...its has been easy at times over the years to pretend. There has been times when I have not stopped and taken care of myself and was not right with God. But I pretended. I was really good at...I was so good at it that I was still on the outside a "great" youth pastor. I knew the lingo, I could still put on a great lesson, a great youth program, and teach a great bible study! But inside I was so far from God. And until I finally took a step back and stopped.
And when I stopped and I was real with myself and real with God...things changed. I went from pretending to be with God to running with God! It is very tough at times for us to do that, but once we do that God will work and He will work in amazing ways.
We have all been guilty at times of playing church and pretending to be a Christian for a couple hours a few times a week. But that's not what God wants of us. He wants us to stop pretending. He wants us to live an abundant life!
We need to show our transformation that God has done in us all the days of our lives and not try to just show it for a few hours a week.
Romans 12:2 Don't copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God's will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.
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