It may be the greatest of tragedies when we who have Life live as though we don’t. When we who know the freedom and power that come from the Living God filling up our tiny bones and brittle hearts live like death and powerlessness.
Woe to you, because you are like unmarked graves, which people walk over without knowing it. Luke 11:44
Jesus calls the Pharisees unmarked graves. Dead inside—that’s what Jesus sees when he looks at them. They have relationship with God, access to his presence, the words he preserved for them; they have it all at their fingertips, and still they live dead.
Not only are they dead, but they have become irrelevant. They go unnoticed. They have removed themselves from all things practical in the real world. Jesus says they are unmarked graves which people walk over without knowing it.
Sound familiar? It does to me. How long has it been since followers of Jesus were seen as being relevant? When was it that we impacted culture rather than chasing after it and just trying to blend in?
In Acts 17:6 the Christians are being described as those who have caused trouble all over the world. I really like the way the New King James puts it. It says that they have “turned the world upside down.” That should be us. Not the dead men walking that the Pharisees were. I’m talking about being living souls with dynamic lives of the Spirit. But it’s up to us. We must choose.
Do we continue to live settling for going through the motions? Do we continue down a path where our faith is just religion and our “power” just positive thinking? Or will we open ourselves to the presence of the Spirit? Will we invite him to make us new and alive?
Our faith is not faith if it is merely an attending of services and meetings. Our hope is no hope if all we have is to try to survive until we die and then we can be in heaven. These were never meant to be the whole gospel, but only small parts of it. Following Jesus is about following Life. It is about living in dynamic relationship with God and others. It is about being alive and having others take notice, not of us, but of what it is that is living in us.
Will we settle for being the walking dead simply because we can fool a few into thinking otherwise? Or will we take the challenge, receive the rebuke, and embrace life?