I was recently invited to speak to a men’s morning Bible study in Atlanta, GA. They were very friendly and very hungry for God’s truth. I began with a question which I will also pose to you.
“What if you spend your entire life making God apple pies because you believe that’s what He wants from you as a Christian?” Then, when you finally meet Him face to face in heaven, much to your surprise, He says, “I appreciate your hard work in making me ‘apple pies’ for all of those years, but I like ‘cherry pies.”’ Though He says this with love and no condemnation, you realize you completely missed the Christian life He had intended for you.
After I asked this question to these men, there was a deafening silence which I allowed to linger. I wanted the weight of what I had said to have its full effect. As I surveyed their faces, I could see many wondering if they’d been making the wrong pies for God, i.e., if they’d misunderstood what being a Christian is all about.
Many of the Christians we minister to at GLI are unwittingly making apples pies for God, instead of cherry pies. That is why they often struggle with a lack of peace with God, themselves and other people. We understand because that’s how all of us once lived.
There are two approaches to living life as a Christian:
The “apple pie” version is focused on obedience, sin management, and becoming a better Christian. This mind is full of thoughts such as, “If I’d just get more disciplined, I’d be a better Christian.” Yet, God is more interested in your dependence than your discipline. “I promise you, Lord, that I will try harder to be a better Christian.” God is more interested in your prayers which proclaim truth rather than your promises. These Christians may feel afraid of God’s punishment. They feel condemned, like a failure, or even stressed out by what they believe is Christianity. They often believe they need to pray to get God to come down to help them and fix their problems. The cooking here is done in a kitchen named, “I tried!” This kind of Christianity can lead to exhaustion because you work really hard through the flesh.
The “cherry pie” version of Christianity doesn’t cook in the same kitchen! This kitchen is named, “I trusted! Here the mind has a consistent awareness that you’re loved by God from the inside where He lives. You are confident that He is not only your holy God whom you worship but He’s also your caring “Daddy” to whom you can tell everything. You understand that obedience to God is simply living like who you are in Christ by depending on Christ in you. You pray, read your Bible, serve, give etc., because you know you are already loved and blessed by God. You don’t do this to get Him to love and bless you more. You are free to love people, especially those closest to you. This kind of Christianity leads to inner rest, although you work hard by His grace.
What joy we have at GLI sharing the truth of authentic Christianity, also known as the New Covenant. We see it lead many to relief and a release from feeling obligation to God. They are able to exchange this for overwhelming confidence in the love of Christ in them and the power of Christ through them.
Are you ready to stop making “apple pies” and start making “cherry pies”? You can at our upcoming Advanced Discipleship Training. You may attend by Zoom while sitting on your couch or by sitting in a chair in our conference room in Charlotte. The first four classes are just the intro but they will blow you away! Afterwards, you can decide if you’d like to continue. For more info and to register, Click Here
Live Free in Christ!