Pressing on? or Deluded Hypocrite!

“Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own.  Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” Php 3:12 -14

Our safety is seen in the words “because Christ Jesus has made me his own.” In other words, our security is not based finally on our grip on Christ, but his grip on us. The crucial thing to see is that the firmness of Christ’s grip on us produces our pursuit of him.”I press on . . . because Christ Jesus has made me his own.” John Piper

Worldly indifference and spiritual disinterest are not the results of Christ “making me His own” … and yet what exactly do I value in the day to day busyness of my life? Is it Christ?

I think if I am to be truthful to myself and to Him, I value my work, the money (even if it is used in part for the advancement the kingdom), my rest, my health, my family….my comforts. Not that my Lord does not want me to have these thing, but do I value them more then Him? Does He get first place in just fleeting moments of my week?

So I ask myself and I ask God…”How do I pursue you, Lord when I am neck deep in the busyness of this world? ”

Piper asks a better question and isn’t that why I read Piper… “What does the eternally secure saint do that confirms he is a secure saint and not a deluded hypocrite?”

The apostle Paul tells us point blank…

But whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ. Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ Php 3:7-8

Ouch! Am I a secure saint pressing on?

Or a deluded hypocrite who shows up at church every week, makes it for prayer time, prepares the PowerPoint for worship time, adds to biblical and theological discussions, attends the weekly Bible study and gives the Lord a few moments each day in the Word and prayer….because that is who I am and I am supposed to do these things. But after this I pursue my job, the money, my rest….

Am I a secure saint, pursuing Christ? Or a deluded hypocrite?

The answer to that questions has eternal ramification…

It should shake me up. And it does.

In some way or form I have been asking myself and Christ, that very question for some time. It has been easy to ignore any answer from Him or myself, because I have been so busy with all these things in the world that I am pursuing. I have been….well..deluded.

I have been waiting for Him to point me in the right direction…which tells me I am less of a deluded hypocrite then I might think because I am at least noticing my delusion. But how long do you NOT pursue Christ and get away with it… Is it possible that I just might be a full fledged deluded hypocrite?

Well, He is shaking me up and I do hope he keeps shaking me up and gets me back on the track soon. The comforts and ‘rewards’ of this world are very alluring. I have a lot of them and I like them, so being delusional is really attractive.

How about you? If you are not sure if you might be wavering into the realm of deluded hypocrite, then read John Pipers article here. All you secure saints need not bother with it.

After a little Piper conviction, let us  just keep running the race together shall we? With our eyes firmly on the prize – Jesus Christ. I’ll help you up and dust you off when you fall  and you can wait for me when I fall face first in the mud. It’s okay. The beauty of this race is that just being in it and moving forward secures the prize for us, no matter how many times we fall or how bad we fall.

Even if we stop running and stand at the side of the track for a while thinking we are actually running when we are not, the Holy Spirit, our Comforter and Encourager never leaves us there for too long. Someone comes along and says “Your not moving, you know. You had better get those legs going again or you won’t make it to the finish line” And we look down and realize we haven’t moved an inch. In our minds we were moving right along with all the others.  A little deluded? And we realize just how stupid and self centered we have been (read repentance because this is sin) and so we get back in to the race and adjust our muddy glasses and there He is!

Press on with me saints!

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5 thoughts on “Pressing on? or Deluded Hypocrite!

  1. It’s too bad, actually, that we have been so trained by the preachers that we can never arrive, that we can never be within God’s will with our lives.

    Every Sunday morning the gospel (one supposes) is preached but the notion is always left that we did not really get it and we better get back next week for more of the same.

    The preaching of sin conscientiousness, always the problem, never the solution as fact, is a serious issue in the Christian church today. The glass is never full … always just short of the mark.

    It is interesting to note that Jesus did not condemn anyone, except the religious leaders. He always encouraged and invited people simply draw closer to God. “The Kingdom of God is near. Grab it,” he would say to people over and over.

    Sometimes we have to get out of our comfort (group hug) zone to recognize the truth of God.

    The way I see it, anyway …

  2. Julie,
    I can certainly understand where you’re going here. And I get the whole distracted by the world scenario..even without many creature comforts we can be distracted.
    Because of Christs blood shed on the cross we weaklings WILL continue to run the race and we WILL persevere to the end. It may not always be pretty and we may not always shine that light from the rooftops but the light is always there – burning inside causing us to love Him deeper and more fully.
    One example of this in my life are 2 extremes:
    My Grandmother has been a believer since she was a child and is now in her 80’s. She has always been a faithful church goer. (She’s done all those things you mentioned in your post e.g. prayer meetings.) She raised 4 kids and has lots of grandkids. She was married for 50 years. Her life has been normal (blah even.) She would humbly tell you she’s never done anything great for the Lord.
    But I would say that her perseverance as a saint is a HUGE testimony to God’s power. And since it’s not about her at all anyway, she doesn’t need to do “great” things..it’s the simple faith over a lifetime that makes her stand out.
    The Paasch’s are a couple who came to Christ as adults. Their faith is so vibrant! Their extended family came to faith. Their daughters came to faith. They are missionaries to North Africa. They have been missionaries to Mexico. And it seems every move they make…every thing they say…is all for Jesus and they do it with gusto! She and her daughters are singers and they sing in concerts all the time…I could go on..you’ve probably seen them on facebook. Anyway, it’s very evident that they love the Lord, in fact, so evident that you could hardly imagine them ever being distracted. Yet, it is the same God who gives the Paasch’s their ministry and my grandmother her simple faith.
    I guess where I’m going with this is that God knows our weaknesses and though He expects us to do the works He prepared in advance for us to do He knows my works/faith are only as good as what He gives me. I am simply powerless to do good without the Holy Spirit and the others (like you) God has put in my life to spur me on.
    I am thankful that when I get distracted by the worlds enticements or even my responsibilities I can look to the cross and remember Christ’s blood shed so that I don’t have to feel guilty over my hypocritical delusions. I can cry out ABBA FATHER! And start again as if I’d never sinned! Thank you Jesus!
    What a friend we have in Jesus. Thanks for sharing this Julie. It really caused me to think. I will pray for you.
    “Lord, I ask that you would help Julie and I keep our focus on you and your work. But when we fail would you remind us of the gospel? Remind us that you love us and that we are safe in your arms. Please rekindle our love and devotion to you. Amen.”

  3. Yeah, thanks … I think we’re on the same page. The important thing is that we are aware of and follow the ‘call’ that God places on our lives.

    Remember the story Jesus told about the employer who went away for a time and gave three of his employees some money to go to work with? Two of them used the money to gain more and one buried it so that he would be sure to still have it when the employer came back.

    The two who advanced were rewarded and the one who did nothing but return what had been given to him was rebuked.

    That pretty well sums up what our attitude should be concerning the ‘will of God’ for our lives.

    God blesses us as we simply keep looking to Him and in faith follow His lead, wherever that may take us.

    Grace and peace to you and yours!

  4. Thanks for your replies Laurie and wellwateredgarden
    I guess what I am getting at here is, am I ultimately pursuing Christ? And how do I measure that in my life?

    I think this is an area all believers struggle with and it is why we need one another. And the apostle Paul answers it in his letter to the Philippians chapter three specifically and the whole book generally.

    Pursue Christ! In whatever you are called to do, parenthood or missions, pursue Christ. ALL other pursuits are rubbish.

    I may not do this well, find myself pursuing the things of this world and then being a deluded hypocrite of sorts, but ultimately my struggles are confirmation that I am not deluded, but that yes indeed I have attained salvation and it is glorious!! The glass is not only full, it is overflowing abundantly and He is handing it to me! Even when I mess up terribly! Praise the Lord for what He has done for me!!

    Now…how do I rejoice in that EVERY day, without getting legalistic on one hand or complacent on the other. Therein lies the dilemma. I have been complacent, but He has not left me there. And He has used my fellow saints to call me back. And that is the church – HIS church.

    Glad to know you are running this race along side of me!

  5. Hey, this post came up as a “related link” to my site, and I checked it out. I didn’t expect to see another in the faith, and it’s refreshing to see “family”, pondering questions of faith rather than the next big thing on TV or meaningless gossip. I read through this, and it did make me think about what I am doing, and how close I really am to God. I enjoyed your entry, just thought I’d let you know that. God Bless!

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