How do you like your Jesus?
Do you prefer Him in a church with your favorite worship songs and the typical liturgy you would find in any given church on any given Sunday?
Is He easier to encounter in an “Americanized” setting with all the trappings of our culture’s religious tradition?
Perhaps we feel most comfortable with Jesus when He makes an appearance on Christmas or Easter.
Regardless of how your culture encounters God or worships Him, nearly every Christian culture feels as though they have the edge on what Biblical Christianity is supposed to look like, the style of preaching that pleases God and even the worship music that God likes. I mean, if God had an iPod we would swear that we know what was on His playlist.
So, I pose to you this question: What would your relationship with God look like in the wild?
Before you dismiss the question as an attempt to call people to some bohemian-style of Christianity, please allow me to paint a picture of what I mean.
Say you were born on a desert island, away from world and Christian culture. You have never heard of God or of Jesus Christ. Then suddenly, one day, Jesus reveals Himself to you in person, hands you a Bible and says, “Follow me.” How then would you go about worshiping Him, or praying to Him or even singing songs of praise to Him? Furthermore, what steps would you take to ensure that your relationship with Him grew on a daily basis? There would be no precedent that tells you how to pursue God, no liturgy and no culture based on Christian tradition.
How would you know God in the wild?
For many of us, this is a scary thought. It’s scary because the majority of Christians are more in love with a Christian culture as opposed to the Christ of their culture. If many believers were on that desert island left only with the Word of God and the clothes on their back, they wouldn’t know how to encounter their Creator without a preacher or a Christian radio station telling them how to do so.
I’m not saying that you need to leave your churches, sew together fig leaves for your clothes and live in the woods behind your house. Not at all. On the contrary, I’m challenging us as followers of Jesus Christ to get to know our God on a relational level before we get to know Him on a religious level. If this can occur personally, then I believe we would corporately see our churches transformed into a hospital for sinners as opposed to a nursing home for saints.
In short, Christianity in our community would become contagious and not commonplace.
This may seem radical, and even risky, for many of us, but as Judah Smith, pastor of The City Church in Seattle says, “A man with a Savior does not play it safe.”
God is waiting for you in the wild. Get to know Him.