One of Us

“What if God was one of us?

Just a slob like one of us?

Just a stranger on the bus

Trying to make His way home?”

“One of Us”- Joan Osbourne

So the four lines at the top of the blog are from a song called “One of Us” written by Eric Bazilian and released by an unknown singer named Joan Osbourne in 1995. I wrestled with the song for a whole, nearly sleepless night a few days ago, because it really is something that Christians take for granted. Yet, so much of the world struggles with this ideal of God being relatable to them, and whether or not they can have a personal relationship with God.

Personally, I heard the song because it was covered by Glee in an October 2010 episode. Now, stay with me here. While many of you may hate or be in support of Glee, what the show was known for was tackling the tough issues of society. In this episode, a Glee club member’s father has a heart attack, and the episode is about how the different members of the club try to help that character deal with the event based on their religious beliefs. Ryan Murphy (Glee creator) hoped to create a balanced view of religion that ensured that there was an equality between pro and anti-religious ideas presented. The episode received critical acclaim by achieving that. This song was the end of the episode.

Personally, I haven’t had many times that I pondered the question, “What if God was one of us?” I grew up in a Christian home and learned about God from an early age. I was blessed to have great parents who helped me mature in my faith. The Bible clearly explains that Jesus Christ came down to the earth and lived in the same world with the same temptations, successes, failures etc. that we have to go through. Yet, lately, I’ve been trying to understand how people who do not believe in God view him. I feel like this view is one that Christians often overlook. In order to reach those who do not have faith in Jesus Christ, we have to be able to connect with them where they are. Whether unbeliever or believer, I believe that this question of whether God was one of us is something really important when it comes to the faith known as Christianity. This song really gets down to the mark.

“What if God was… just a slob like one of us”. It truly recreates the deep yearning of the human condition that we all feel for a savior. The brokenness and emptiness of this world truly breaks my heart. No matter how much society and the world tries to bury it, people know deep inside that there is something more to this world than what is on the surface. Yet, to these people, God is a larger than legend myth legend. The mosaic that the human population have created of God is absolutely brilliant, but it makes Him seem inaccessible to the population. How many times in history have people sat crying in the alley, park, bedroom, back of the bus etc. and wondered if God hears them? How many times do these people just wish that God walked the earth and would walk up to them and solve all their problems? Is that you?

Now, for those who came from the same background that I have, here’s the question. Can you imagine being in this position? Left in a place where you are not sure if God can relate to you? Here’s the kicker… we all have. Whether Christian or non-Christian we have all at some point seen God as that huge holy figure that we can’t relate to. We all imagine, “What if God was… just a stranger on a bus”. Even though we’ve heard the stories, we still oftentimes wonder… was Jesus really like all of us?

Our culture attempts to answer this question with different pieces of literature and entertainment. One T.V. series that I watch is Supernatural, and the basic premise of the show is that there are two brothers (Sam and Dean Winchester) who understand the “supernatural” of the world. They interact with (and often kill) the things that human culture have put in this “supernatural” box. Ghosts, Vampires, Wendigos, Djinns, Demons and Angels. In later seasons (Season 11 starts soon, so excited!) they heavily deal with Demons and Angels. In this world, God has been “missing” for longer than almost anyone can remember. While many characters voice their beliefs about God (some believe him dead, uncaring, a simple story etc.) the most striking one is from an angel named Castiel.

Castiel is the main protagonist aside from the Winchester brothers (and my favorite character!). In earlier seasons Castiel is seen struggling with this idea of who God is and what he means to Castiel. He often calls out to God, begging him to return to the world and fix it. However, Castiel’s faith begins to disappear as God continues to “not show up” despite horrible tragedies rocking the world. He doesn’t understand why God isn’t, “Trying to make his way home.” Questions run through his mind constantly. Are the stories that Castiel heard really true? Did God just make this creation just to leave it in the dust? What if God is just another really powerful angel who decided to dump the world and go relax somewhere else in the universe? These are the powerful questions that Castiel ponders, yet, are a reflection on how many people who do not have a faith in Jesus Christ think about God and Christianity. Castiel is stuck between fully embracing free will, and believing that God will come back and control the heavenly realm. This depiction of Castiel fully describes so many people in the world. It is one of the underappreciated storylines in the Supernatural saga, but one that I very much appreciate for its honest portrayal of the human condition.

The beautiful thing is that God truly was one of us. He lived with people, ate with sinners, healed people, and died as a common criminal. He felt all the same feelings that we do. The surrounding environment is obviously different because as pictures clearly show us Jesus was the only white man in an early A.D. Jerusalem (catch the humor?), and we live in the 2000s. For real though, he had the same human experience that we do, and can relate to us through our troubles. Honestly, even as a long-time Christian, it is still hard to grasp how the Almighty God understands the way I feel. It’s absolutely breathtaking, but impossible to fully grasp.

There is so much heartbreak in the world, and so many people that need to hear about God. Not the religion called Christianity. They need to hear about the God that can fill that large hole in their heart. They need to hear about the Father that is always there and listening to their every single word. They need to hear about the Jesus Christ who walked this earth, and can relate to their struggles. This is the true goal of those who call themselves Christians. Not to build churches. Not to isolate themselves from the world. Not to go to church once a week and to forget about it. This is the real purpose of Christianity. To bring people closer to the living God who is the only thing that can fill that void in the hearts of billions of people who cry out for help in this world.

P.S. Can’t believe I’m already over 1/4 through my last semester of college! Life is really busy but I’m able to hang out with old friends, make new ones, and also still finish my schoolwork in between. Life is awesome!

Battle Cry

A lot of times Christians take a lackadaisical approach to the real spiritual war we are in. Our own salvation is in Jesus Christ but there’s so much in this than just us. There are other people’s lives at stake… we just don’t think about the fate of non-Christians we love. I hate to break it to you… but they’re going to hell. Good people go to hell. What I mean by that is if somebody lives a good life and never accepts Jesus… they’re hosed. I like to use the analogy of a boomerang. Somebody will reach out and do as much good as they do to save their own life but no matter how much they do the boomerang will always come back to them. You can’t do it on your own… you need God. But that’s not what this is about. This about witnessing to those who haven’t heard this news and I will use the chorus from the song “Battle Cry” by Skillet to expound on this topic.

I believe we can’t lose

This is a huge part of the witnessing process… realize that God has already won the war. Satan cannot reverse that however much he tries and his fight is doomed. That doesn’t mean that we can relax because the individual battles are still in our hands. Satan tries to get into our heads and puts fear into our hearts. Don’t listen to him… whatever he says we can’t lose!!!

Even mountains will move

When God leads us to do something and we think that all the odds are stacked against us… there is still a way to achieve the goal he has put in our hearts. If we follow God with all of our heart mountains will move. Whatever God wants to be done will be done… we just need to believe that he will move those mountains for us.

It’s our faith, it’s our life

A huge part of witnessing isn’t reaching out to the lost; it’s building your own faith. Thankfully, I’ve had people in my life that do that for me on a constant basis. From my best friends, to my mentors, to the people at my private Christian university right now… my faith has been built up. Especially at this university, I love how my faith is challenged and I want to know more about God. Additionally, this is your life. Don’t waste the time that God has given you to save the lost. He has given you everything you need… you just need to take the initiative and incorporate him into your life. Then you can reach out to the lost and help bring them to God 🙂

   
This is our battle cry

Witnessing to non-believers is a huge call for us as Christians. It’s honestly a battle cry because when we are witnessing we are grappling with demonic forces… it’s not something to be taken lightly. We are living for God and in carrying out his will he is helping us fight against Satan. This is a battle; therefore, it needs a battle cry that comes from us and that encourages us as we fight the enemy.

They can’t take us down

That’s the point… no matter what happens we can’t be stopped. I’ve honestly come to this conclusion… dying for Jesus is an absolute honor. If I was killed because I was spreading my Christian beliefs I would win. It’s something that I’ve struggled with but now I can say it with absolute truth… I am NOT afraid to die for my faith. Nobody can take me down.

 
If we stand our ground

We have everything… we just need to have the guts to stand our ground and not budge a single inch. God calls us to be warriors for him and that means to stand our ground for him.

If we live, if we die

You see; if we live and continue to preach about Christianity we win. If we are killed because of our refusal to stop spreading God’s word we win. Why? Because we are finally rid of this fallen world where sin abounds and we decay every day. Then we get to see God face-to-face. Either option sounds wonderful to me!

We will shout out our battle cry

We don’t need to be quiet about our faith. Shout out to the whole world what God has done for you and do it all of your days. We won’t keep the life-changing effects of Jesus Christ to ourselves… we will spread it across the whole globe. Whether you’re a missionary, doctor, banker, athlete, student etc. there are chances in your life to witness about Jesus Christ. So let that battle cry shout out in everything you do and let it spread to others!!!

 

This is why I believe God calls us to battle. So men, don’t be boys. Be real warriors that are seeking God’s will and fighting for his kingdom. Women, don’t be girls, strive for God! We can’t lose so there is no reason to be tentative… God will move those mountains in your life. He will move in your life and do things you never could’ve imagined. So don’t be afraid… use that battle cry to bring glory to God and everything he has done!!!!!!!!!!!

 

P.S. 6 weeks of college are in the book. The workload is getting higher as I head toward mid-terms but I’ve had so much fun here. So many good times!!!!!

Equilibrium: We All Have a Purpose

So I watched this movie called Equilibrium and it made me think about a few things. Basically, this movie was about a group of people who controlled the population after a 3rd World War. The population was taught to have no feeling and took chemicals in order to help them not feel. This was so there was no war and that there was complete peace. Those who disobeyed and kept stuff that made them feel were dealt with by the police and Special Forces. One of special force men started to try to figure out how this feeling stuff worked (because he didn’t feel) and ended up getting pulled into it. All in all, it was a really good movie and I came away with some points. God didn’t make us to be robots but humans with a purpose, don’t let your emotion cloud your judgement and always find your calling in Christ.  

Firstly, thank God we aren’t robots and that we have a purpose!!! I saw the people who lived life with no feeling and I certainly would not want to live life like they were. It reminds me how lucky I am to be chosen and called by God for the tasks that he has pre-ordained for me. I think God has taught me not to be a passive participant in life but to embrace it fully. I want to live life with my heart open, a smile on my face and I want to be constantly striving to carry out God’s will. Yes, it is harder. Yes, with an open heart you can get hurt… but that’s the beauty of it all. You are holding nothing back and you won’t get cheated in life. I call it the miracle of the moment… you can’t change the past or the future… the only moment you can change is now. So you only have a short window… and I don’t know about you guys but I really want to make the most of it! With God’s help you will be able to withstand the heartache, the tough moments… he is always there. You can pray to him 24/7 and ask for guidance and comfort. He will deliver… he never fails… and with his help you will be able to rejoice in the high points. I guess what I’m trying to say is that living life wholly for God includes keeping your heart open and making the most of the moments that he gives you 🙂

However, there is a curse that comes along with making our own choices… it’s called sin. As the Bible says the heart is deceitfully wicked and that means our natural choice is to pick what is wrong. In the movie, the main character eventually becomes a person who can feel but the problem is that he lets his rage go OUT OF CONTROL. In the last twenty minutes of the movie he successfully kills a ton of soldiers and overthrows the government. Yes, it only takes him twenty minutes in movie time lol… he went REALLY pro!!! The action gets so intense and you can see in his eyes that his judgment is totally clouded. Was he doing the right thing? Debatable… yes he was taking down a horrible government that murdered so many civilians but at the same time he was murdering people to bring down the government. Anyways, my point is that we can let our emotion get in front of what God wants us to do and cause us to sin against him. When we sin; we are essentially turning away from God and that isn’t good. So always do your best to keep God in front of your heart’s feeling because he is always looking out for your good!

The movie also shows that we always be searching for our calling if we don’t trust God. The main character… who btw was played by Christian Bale who did an AMAZING job… was searching for what it meant to feel. He was attempting to figure out what was the point of existence. In the end, the movie kinda leaves you hanging in that perspective. Bale simply kills the top government officials, watches the freedom fighters finish the takeover, and that’s how the movie ends. It never showed that he found his purpose, he found who he really was… I would’ve liked to see a sequel just for that perspective specifically. The point is that he never truly found his calling and if there was a sequel we would have been watching him epicly struggle to figure out who he was. We don’t need to worry about that… our true identity IS in Christ and no other place. Whenever you are tempted to move away from God just remember that he is the one who is holding you together. He is your anchor… just always find your calling in Him 🙂

Hope this was good… love my readers! You guys da best yea yea!!!!!!!!