I can remember when I first truly started on my path of what it looks like to live for God. I begun carrying my bible everywhere, talking about God A LOT in general conversations and studying as much as I could.
Once, while talking to a friend about God and my new journey, she abruptly interrupted me and told me that, it was nice, ‘but just don’t become one of those Jesus Freaks’! At the time I was slightly taken a back because unfortunately, I had grown into a woman that thoroughly enjoyed people pleasing and shied away from rocking any boats. And if I were to look like a Jesus Freak that would be akin to capsizing the entire ship! Besides, who wanted to be seen as an odd ball? So, unless I encountered someone that had a passion for God, I stopped talking about Him as much with others in fact I usually didn’t even bring up my beliefs.
Fast forward to today when recently, for whatever reason I noticed that I have become increasingly bold in my expression for Jesus and my walk. I think that unabashadness comes with age, maturity and growing in relationship with Him. In His word we are called to speak of him boldly and without fear. In fact in Revelations cowards are grouped in with murderers, idolators and sexually immoral people who will be thrown into hell. Now, this girl loves hot weather, but spending an eternity swimming in a fiery lake of burning sulfur is in no way appealing to me.
In today’s society, it seems okay to be obsessed with fashion, fitness, and entertainers, but if you bring up God or Jesus too much you’re labeled a freak. Fortunately for growth, I have learned to embrace the fact that I don’t look like the world and am resembling it less and less everyday! There are life shifts and events that have occurred as I walk out this journey and these are three major ones that you may notice as well!
1. Success Shift: When we begin to dig into what God wants our lives to look like our entire view of successful living shifts. Success becomes increasingly God focused and less goal focused. God tells us that His followers are not to look like the world because friendship with the world is enmity with Him (James 4:4). Nor are we to be conformed to (Romans 12:2) or love the world and if we do, the love of the Father is not in us and 1 John 5:19 tells us why! If we are consistently consuming God’s word instead of things of this world (television, radio etc) we can begin to acquire a taste for the things God desires of our lives and less of what this world dangles in our faces as the carrot of success. We have the desire to stop running the rat race and run towards the things of our Father, to stop living for the lies of ‘success’ in this world and the success of eternal life with God.
2. Loneliness: As we grow closer to God we may find ourselves alone and slowly cut off from relationships that do not serve the purposes God has set forth for our lives. Although it can be a lonely space, it is a great one! As you begin to realize a couple of things and understand how fulfilling this space of solitude can be. You learn that you are not alone and that God is calling you into deeper fellowship with Him. In Psalm 4:3 we learn that The Lord sets apart the godly for himself and Deuteronomy 14:2 tells us that He set’s apart those that are Holy. As much as we would like to hurriedly get out of the situation of being alone it is often best to sit and spend that time with God. There is nothing wrong with asking Him for godly friendships or relationships at this time, but there is nothing like getting to know Him in this time of quiet and solitude.
3. Persecution: We are all aware that there are people dying for their beliefs everyday, but many of us are fortunate enough to have the ability to enter churches and bible studies without the fear of death. Our persecution may not inflict as much damage, but can come in the form of people criticizing you and your beliefs or ostracizing you because no one wants to hear about the God you serve. And guess what this is okay, Jesus was persecuted and tells us that all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted (2 Timothy 3:12). The bible tells us that the persecuted will be blessed and that we are to pray for our persecutors.
So, next time someone calls you a Jesus Freak simply say thank you and pray for them! You never know it may be just the thing that will bring them a little closer to God.