A Cheap Version of Jesus
When I think I've screwed it all up and there's no chance for redemption, I've bought a cheap version of Jesus.
When I think my weaknesses are too great to be overcome, then I've probably bought a cheap version of Jesus.
If I pray about something and it isn't answered the way I wanted and this causes me to throw away my faith, then I've most definitely bought a cheap version of Jesus.
Sometimes I will hear people say things like "my faith is broken" or "I've lost my faith" and I often wonder if it's because they were sold a cheap version of Jesus and they bought it, too.
This cheap version claims once I know the Way, trouble won't come my way. Because he is the comforter, I will never be uncomfortable. It claims that my happiness is what's most important to God and if things don't work out the way I want them to then there isn't a God after all.
This cheap version of Jesus is easy to put on and easy to lose.
It's easy to buy into.
Maybe we buy into the grace, but not the obedience. Maybe we bought into the part where Jesus died for our sins on the cross, but we didn't want to accept the part where we die to ourselves.
Maybe we bought the Jesus who rides shotgun rather than the one who gets behind the wheel. Maybe we thought we were going to be the ones telling him where to go rather than the other way around.
Maybe we purchased the Jesus ad-lib version where we fill in the blanks and the story ends up just as we planned it.
Maybe the "lean not on your own understanding" part was in fine print and we signed up without reading that part.
The cheap version will fail us every time. Because its foundation is based on circumstances and ourselves. Both are like the sand, shifting and every changing. Now a storm comes in and it feels like your faith is broken and you can't figure out why.
Perhaps you've bought a cheap version of Jesus.
Like one of those plastic airplanes you buy for your child at the dollar store that flies around the room twice before hitting the wall and knocking off a piece of the wing. Now it won't fly at all and so you throw it in the trash and you think I knew this was going to happen because it was only a dollar. It didn't cost you much and so it doesn't surprise you when it breaks. Or perhaps it does surprise you and you thought that a dollar should've bought you more than twice around the room.
But you can't buy a fake plastic Jesus that doesn't cost you much and then be surprised that it breaks.
Jesus will cost you. Following after him will strip you of yourself. It will require you to be out deeper than you wanted to go. Have you naked and exposed in humility without the comfort of pride. It will have you walking through valleys you didn't expect to be in. It will have you surrendered. Walking out his word on shaky legs denying your flesh. It will command that you believe without seeing. Hope while despairing. Rejoicing when all seems lost. Leaning and falling and crying out. Trusting and resting.
And this faith that costs you - this real faith - will reveal a very real Jesus. One that doesn't break against our circumstances - doesn't break when we do. One that lives up to his name The Rock of Ages.