This topic is adapted from the Desiring God YouTube channel.
Do you ever take an honest self-assessment of yourself as a Christian and wonder if you are really walking in and living for Jesus Christ? If you have been a believer for any number of years, this has probably crossed your mind. Walking with Jesus is often likened to climbing the hills and traversing the valleys of faith.
There are good times and bad times and days when we feel like Jesus is so far away it’s hard to see or even hear him. Those times often trigger that internal voice asking us, “Are you in Jesus?” How can you tell if you are or aren’t in Jesus?
Evidence of Not Being in Jesus
Christians fall away from Jesus for a number of reasons, often due to the individual wanting to engage in sin. If you feel like you are not in Jesus, chances are you have blocked him out because of something you want to do that he doesn’t want for you. When Christ is blocked out of a Christian’s life, it creates a massive void, one that gets filled with healthy and unhealthy habits alike.
Examine your activities and try to identity the places in your life where you spend the most time and energy. Are you filling the void with hobbies, games, or friends? Could you be supplementing drugs, alcohol, or sexual sin for the hole that Jesus left? Not only will Christians try and fill the void, they will also become unstable and erratic in many ways.
They may go through several jobs in a short amount of time, ditch friends they have had forever, or begin a lifestyle involving rotating sexual partners in rapid succession. The key to finding out if you are in Christ lies in your identity. Either you are finding it in Jesus or you are looking for it everywhere else.
Getting Back to Jesus
Realizing where you are in your spiritual life is the first step toward improvement. Once you determine that you have distanced yourself from Jesus and you would like to move back in step with him, what do you do?
Getting back to a life lived for Jesus Christ takes some serious self-reflection and a deep look at where you find your identity. Christians need to find who they are and why they do things in their relationship with Christ. When a person makes decisions about day-to-day life through a “Would this please my Lord?” lens, an identity is created that repels sin.
The Christian life can look boring sometimes. It can feel like a set of shackles or a burden to try and live up to, but nothing could be further from the truth. A life lived with Jesus offers a stable identity of contentment. This sense of self isn’t static or boring, it’s alive with possibilities and freedom from the real shackles…sin. When Christians drift away from Jesus, they move constantly and erratically, always trying to fill that void left by the absence of their creator. Only with Jesus Christ will true contentment and stability be found. This identity and lifestyle not only keeps people out of trouble, it supplies a constant well of living water that satisfies like nothing else.
John 4:10 Jesus replied, “If you only knew the gift God has for you and who you are speaking to, you would ask me, and I would give you living water.”
- Watch the video together or invite someone to summarize the topic.
- What is your initial reaction to this video? Do you disagree with any of it? What jumped out at you?
- Who’s an example of a person you’ve known who walks closely with Jesus Christ? What sort of characteristics did this person show?
- Have you seen signs of distance between you and Jesus? Give one example.
- Do you feel close to Jesus? How can you tell?
- When you feel distant or disconnected from Christ what do you do? Give one example.
- How does living in close connection with Jesus make life better? Explain.
- Read John 4:10. What are steps you can start take to find your true satisfaction in Jesus?
- Write a personal action step based on this conversation.