Overcoming Disillusionment

“But I fear that somehow your pure and undivided devotion to Christ will be corrupted, just as Eve was deceived by the cunning ways of the serpent.” (2 Corinthians 11:3 NLT)

The “deceiver,” as satan is sometimes referred in the Bible, is no respecter of persons and, like David Copperfield (see yesterday’s post), will create illusions believable by anyone, given the right circumstance. Remember, every illusion is based on false belief, causing us to believe something that seems true or, in our minds, should be true, but isn’t. There are many “illusions” related to the church.

The devil would have us believe the Church is only interested in money; that Christians are exclusive and love to judge others; that everyone who attends church is kind, nice, thoughtful, caring, loving, on the one hand, or hateful, hypocritical, uncaring, prejudiced, ______________ (you can fill in the blank) on the other. I wrongly assumed church leaders always put Christ first, that for them His will was supreme. I didn’t understand that church leaders, like everyone else, are human first, then Christian. I didn’t realize, though I should have, if I’d only taken a closer look at my own heart, that church leaders, like every other Christ-follower, struggle with issues of self-worth, value and independence (tempted to follow our sinful nature rather than the will of God).

Photo by Erik Mclean on Pexels.com

May I let you in on a secret? There are people who love church and are faithfully devoted to the church, who haven’t yet met Jesus. There “religion” is church, not Christianity, not following Jesus. There are those who have “prayed the prayer” and “received Christ,” but they don’t have a clue as to what that really means. They don’t understand discipleship and devotion to Christ alone. They haven’t come to grips with what it means to love Jesus more than they love their own life. So, what’s the point? No one has arrived. Everyone is on a journey. Make sure Jesus is your focus, not just your involvement in church.

So, what’s the answer? Be cautious, but don’t quit. The Lord has made it clear to me that another person’s life choices are not to be my focus, that’s His department. My mission isn’t to judge another person’s decisions, only to love them as Christ has loved me. How does that translate? If you’ve been hurt by someone who professes to know Jesus, but doesn’t always live like Him, shift your focus. What does that mean? It simply means, focus on Jesus. How do you do that?

Read the Bible regularly, especially in the New Testament, beginning with the Book of John. Become a student of Jesus. Learn how HE lived, what HE taught, what HE expects of you, then follow HIM, one step at a time. But perhaps equally important, find someone you can trust who truly loves Jesus, and ask them to help you understand what it means to follow Jesus. Learn together. Walk with Jesus together. Life in Christ was never meant to be lived alone, but in community. That’s why He gave us the Church.

After my heart had been shattered, I wasn’t sure I ever wanted to serve in a church setting again. My temptation was to so focus on the ones who hurt me (deceived me), that I missed the many others who had loved me, prayed for me, sacrificed for me and cared deeply about me and my family. In short, those who genuinely loved Jesus and, though not perfect, sincerely made an effort daily to live as Jesus lived. Finally, by God’s grace and with His help, I was able to forgive those who hurt me and realign my focus on Jesus. Where did that lead me?

Ultimately, the Lord led me to Hope Church here in Las Vegas. My wife and I have been attending Hope Church for 10+ months now and we love it. Is Hope Church perfect? Of course not. As long as I’m attending, it will never be perfect, because, like every other person who attends, serves or leads, we’re all in the same boat – we’re all flawed by sin; we’re all in need of a Savior – EVERY DAY! Will you meet someone at Hope who may hurt you in some way? Possibly. I haven’t meet one yet, but I’m assuming they exist.

What I’ve found are loving, caring, considerate people who love Jesus and are laying their lives on the line every day to serve others. The deeper I look into the “inner workings” of the church, the more there is to appreciate and admire. The structure of the church, the church’s stewardship of money, people and other resources is as Biblical and as functionally correct as any church of which I’ve ever been a part.

Wherever you are on your faith journey – from no faith to a lot of faith – you are welcome at Hope Church. Our mission is: “We exist to connect people to live the life of a Jesus follower.” I’m learning every day, through every message delivered by the Spirit-led, Bible-centered and skilled teaching staff at Hope, through every Small Group meeting and through my daily investment in time alone with my Savior, that there’s only One who is perfect, and it ain’t me!

If you’re not sure you’ve received the gift of eternal life, please check out this brief video of Ron Hutchcraft’s  https://hutchcraft.com/the-bridge-to-god.

Blessings, Ed 😊       

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: