What is it about modern pop Christianity that makes it so ineffective? How is it that even those who regularly attend at some of the biggest, most “successful” churches walk out the door and show no change in their lives? How can some attend a “sound congregation” every time the doors are open and then go home and watch all manner of garbage on TV or post hateful things online? In a word…
It’s the practice of having a religious, “churchy,” part of your life as just one of many parts rather than as the principle that governs all the rest. Unlike putting your phone in one pocket and your keys in another, we can’t have God in one part of our lives and the rest of our lives in other pockets. He owns all of the pockets.
As Hudson Taylor said, “Christ is either Lord of all or not Lord at all.” There are Scriptures all over the New Testament which could sufficiently make this point, but we’ll go with Galatians 2:20 here. “I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me” (NKJV).
I don’t have parts of my life that remain separate from Christ’s Lordship. I’m dead, and He lives within me. Every pocket is His. To put this in practical terms, just think about what you might have on your person right now.
Your watch belongs to Christ.
We’re all given 24 hours in a day. That time belongs to Him, though. As James 4:13-16 tells us, our lives are a vapor and we aren’t guaranteed tomorrow. We should commit all of our plans to God’s Will. And we should make time in our lives for assembling with the saints, for our personal walk with Him, and for the good works He has prepared for us.
Your wedding ring belongs to Christ.
Our culture believes marriage can look like whatever we want it to look like. “Do whatever works for you.” But before anything else Christ has first say, and He has given commands on the roles and duties of husbands and wives (Ephesians 5, 1 Peter 3) and also for parents.
Your keys belong to Christ.
Keys, of course, represent where you go (or where you don’t go). There are people and places we should avoid (Psalm 1, 1 Corinthians 15:33). However, we can’t serve one another or reach the lost if we cloister ourselves away. It’s easy to sit home and do nothing, especially after the last 2 years, but “going” is an essential part of the Christian life.
Your phone belongs to Christ.
With so many functions this could be a metaphor for many areas in life, but we’ll limit ourselves to two here. First, Christ is Lord of the way we communicate. James 3 highlights all of the problems mankind has with bridling the tongue. The fingers may be even worse, as we can hide behind a keyboard and post or text comments we might never be bold enough to say out loud. But we are to let no unwholesome word come out of our mouths (or fingers), and consider our words for how they will give grace to and meet the needs of those listening (Ephesians 4:29). Secondly, Christ is Lord of the places you visit on your phone. Pornography, slanderous commentary, godless indoctrination, and more are all a click or two away at any given moment. We cannot afford to keep our phone in a separate pocket from our religion.
Your money belongs to Christ, your business card belongs to Christ, your clothing belongs to Christ… and the list could go on.
We’ll leave it at there for this article, but the list could continue to stretch on. Think about what you could add. What do you have on your person, and how does it belong to Christ? As you look around your home, how do the things you see belong to Christ?
Don’t believe the lie that compartmentalization is a valid practice in the Christian life. Christ is Lord over everything we are. And though this can sound burdensome, the more you live under His rule the more you realize that this is where true joy is found.