So then, my beloved, even as you have always obeyed, not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. For it is God who works in you both to will and to work, for his good pleasure.--Philippians 2:12-13 WEB
Christianity is a religion based on who God is. Everything is centered around God as it should be. God also does not want you to stagnate.
He wants to draw you in closer and closer. Like the military He wants to start with a commitment you cannot back out of. Just like in other relationships you cannot go backwards or get less serious about God.
Being a Christian is like being mentally ill in that you are pulled in 2 directions at the same time. The world tries to pull you towards itself and God wants you to draw close to Him. You continue to expand your mind spiritually and begin to realize how many of your choices you once took for granted are actually really important.
Being Christian means being more spiritually aware and in a constant struggle. You cannot just put your faith on hold when you find it inconvenient. God is not embarrassed by anything we do but He also doesn’t want you to be embarrassed about anything about who He is.
Like in the military you are supposed to change as you get closer to God. You realize that even your minor role in the world is of utmost importance. We are working against the clock as we have so little time to give before we go one of 2 places.
Being Christian is that you identify with Jesus Christ and take on His values and His purpose in the world. People will likely respond to you as they did to Jesus Christ as they do not want to be reminded about their mortality.
Everything that tries to compete with Christ will ask for the same level of commitment. Drugs, sexual immorality, and money will all lead you to the same place in terms of embarrassment and suffering. The difference is that you get nothing of lasting value from any of these things.
Just like a televangelist is not the same as a local Church, money will not be there for you when you need help. You cannot buy friendships or buy off disease. The reason why we learn soon in life to be self sufficient in many ways is because we cannot depend on other people. As we get more spiritually mature we realize we cannot fully trust ourselves as well.
God is not like a person in that He has no limits on His time or place. He also genuinely cares or else He would not have created us in the first place and certainly wouldn’t go to all the trouble keeping people from destroying each other. In fact God actually invested in us with His death and resurrection at eternal cost to Himself. He also left us with His Spirit, the Church, the promise of Heaven and spiritual gifts.
God is not here to judge you. We already know we are bad and suffer because of it. Faith in God brings hope and peace in your life. God wants to be there for us directly and through other people and circumstances.
God will make you feel grief when you do immoral things. But even with this grief living with Holy Spirit is better than being without Him. God does things for a purpose and God is slow to anger and quick to forgive.
God wants us to do more than just recite a prayer one time. He wants to affect real change in our lives to bring peace with Himself and then the world. Following God is not easy and recovery from sin is not a linear thing. It is a journey and you will fail at times. But God is with you all the way.
We as Christians and the Church itself are far from perfect. We tend to be resistant to change, to conform too much to our culture, and come with baggage in terms of all kinds of bad living. But stubbornness has a flip side and that is commitment.
Most of the Church as defined by people who have committed themselves to following God daily in their lives is trying to make the world a better place. We agree on few things but we all agree that the way to fix the world is God’s way.
One of the things we learn as we live as Christians is to separate our culture, our education, our experiences, our preferences and learned biases from God's ways. It is not enough to do good. It must be done God’s way to be effective.