By LINZY LAIRD
Editor's note: To celebrate the season of Christmas, we vaguely planned months ago to "feature perspectives on faith," reached out to some people and then were blown away by their stories. Each is a unique, extraordinary reminder of how faith transforms everyday life.
For far too long, I was a "Sunday Christian." It's not really that the life I led the other days of the week was a bad one, but Jesus just didn't make much of a difference. He wasn't who I talked about, He wasn't who I spent time with, and He wasn't who I sought to please. I had gotten sucked into the southern culture of Christianity that says, "As long as you prayed that prayer, you're good to go!"
When I went away to college at a small Christian school, my faith was challenged for the first time. All of a sudden, theology was the main topic of conversation in the cafeteria, and my homework consisted of studying Scripture. I say that my faith was challenged because up until that point, I don’t think that I really knew what I believed beyond Jesus’ death and resurrection.
But then, intellectual debates grabbed at my attention and I began to pursue knowledge … not Christ, but the knowledge of Him. And I was hooked. I got some sort of high from researching and reading about doctrinal differences and how to prove all sorts of aspects of my “faith” that it really became more of a cerebral thing for me. My heart was no longer involved with Jesus at all. And actually, most of my studying of Scripture wasn’t even fueled by a desire to know and love God more, but to pridefully criticize other people for not knowing what I knew. The arrogance that I boasted was the most disgusting trait that I have ever possessed.
But then, Abba, in His incredible grace and mercy showed me the areas in my life that the Gospel did not have traction in. Much like with the church in Ephesus, Jesus began to tell me how He knew of the good deeds that I did, how I endured through trials and how I was committed to the study of sound theology … but the problem was that I “did” to be known. I “endured” to brag about it later. I “studied” to boast in my own intelligence. Oh, my heart was so broken before my King when He showed me just how much my eyes had been focused on myself instead of Him!
I am so thankful that He chose to humble me. His Spirit in me moved me to remember who I was and who I would still be apart from the blood of Christ; to repent of my selfish, prideful attempts at gaining fame and affection; and to repeat all of the passionate works that He placed in my heart to begin with and the desire to study His Word, but this time to bring Him glory.
This beautiful act of the Spirit was a pivotal moment in my relationship with Jesus, because then my faith took on a whole new aspect. My faith wasn’t just a decision, and it wasn’t just an intellectual concept that I could prove through exegesis [interpretation of Scripture] ... it was the blessed assurance that Jesus is MINE and I am HIS and that He will never stop wooing me to Himself!
To be romanced by the King of the universe … what a pleasure! There is no end to that lavishing love from my Warrior,
Who has fought for me and won.
Who delights in me.
Who dances and sings over me.
Who carries my burdens.
Who comforts me.
Who leads me.
Who changes me to be more like Him.
My desire is to be so much more than a church-going, Bible-reading "Christian" who is a prototype of what the world has deemed as the "religious" kind. I want to be a disciple. I want to quake at the very mentioning of the name of my God; be consumed with a desire for walking hand-in-hand with my Jesus; let the Holy Spirit fill me up with a light that in no way can be my own, but only that of the great I AM.
That is what faith is to me.
Linzy Laird is a full-time nanny and owner of Etsy shop “Works of Willing Hands.” She is an active member at North Hills Community Church and a public speaker on behalf of the unborn. You can find her on Twitter under @linzy_laird.