When you encounter and surrender to the living Christ, it is like you’re waking up, as if you’re coming alive for the first time. The grass is greener, the air is cleaner, and you become fascinated by the reality, the actuality, of God. You pursue Him, though you don’t know how. You search around every corner. You dive in headfirst, full of zeal, longing for the next embrace.
Then, you become hungry for the Word of God and His Kingdom come. You set out on a journey of discovery; searching, digging, learning, growing. Then, in typical American christian culture and fashion, you learn to be always learning but never doing—always preparing but never making moves.
At this point, some of us learn to focus on studying doctrines and theological positions. Some of us learn to have nice services and traditions and be good culturally acceptable christians. Some of us start chasing the next popular worship band or minister. And we think we are on to something because we simply watch and hear, see and attend.
Before long, many of us find ourselves embracing some sort of professional christianity. We begin to live as if the purpose of our salvation is to defend those things that we have come to believe represent the height of our own maturity and the foundation of our own stability.
Return To Christ Himself
The more I grow, the more I come back to the simplicity of Christ. Popular worship teams are great. Nice services are wonderful. Theology is fantastic. But I love the way Bill Johnson so concisely states, “Jesus Christ is perfect theology.”
We so easily forget to follow the example and teaching of Christ Himself. We become laser focused on what we want Jesus to do or on what the devil can or is doing that we lose our focus on Christ Himself. We model our lives after ideals or fears that are not even modeled by Christ Himself.
Somehow, we have a way of making christianity about everything except Christ Himself. We tend to complicate things until we miss the point entirely. We become so distracted by what is at our feet that we forget to look at where we are going.
In practice, we compartmentalize Christ, making Him the exception instead of the rule for life, love, truth… and even morality. We create a view of Jesus that supports what we want to believe or what we are afraid of. We form an image of God that we want to serve or that we feel we can surrender to. We fashion an idol out of Christ after our own image and our own likeness.
Like the disciples navigating a storm on the sea, we see Him as He is and we are terrified. We cry out in fear, “It is a ghost!” But Jesus always replies, “Take heart; this is who I am. Do not be afraid.” (Matt. 14:26-27) 
I challenge you to make Christ the center again, to return to a christianity that is built upon Christ Himself.
I challenge you to read Christ in the gospels as much as you read anything else, to study Him with the intent of remodeling your life.
I challenge you pause when you find yourself promoting anything and reevaluate it through the lens of the life of Christ Himself.
I challenge you to hit refresh/reload on whatever you believe is the pinnacle of your maturity, to reconnect, and return to Christ Himself.
Footnotes [ + ]
|1.||»||Pastor Brian Zahnd, https://www.facebook.com/BrianZahnd/posts/488389057903971|
Jeremy Caris is the founder and president of Caris Ministries. Since he is called as a prophet and gifted as a teacher, much of his focus involves equipping believers to hear, know, and follow God in their own daily experience. He teaches the foundational truth of the Word with simple clarity, while revealing deep things of the spirit in practical ways. He has the unique ability to demystify the supernatural side of real relationship with a living God and make it an embraceable and accessible reality for all believers. Jeremy has been married to his best friend, Mandy Caris, for seventeen years, and is the proud father of two boys.