When trying to live as a Christian, it’s easy to only obey and listen to the parts of the Bible that seem best to us. We like to feel good about the fact that God forgives and loves us without us having to put any work into it ourselves. But when we don’t examine our hearts and lives, we can’t find or be found by God. We are lost.
Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has ascended into heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin.
Hebrews 4:14-15 (NIV)
Jesus came to the world to help the lost be found. He knows our daily struggles to find our way through the temptations and stresses of life because he’s been through them too. As Christians, we are meant to live as Jesus did. The moment we lose the same empathy and concern he had for the lost, we become lost ourselves.
What Lostness Looks Like
Growing up in church, I can easily have the misconception that lostness is always outward: drinking, smoking, immorality, etc. But while these may be true, lostness is a very inward, heart-focused state of being.
Yesterday, I learned that being lost shows itself in five different areas:
1) Feeling Alone (Ephesians 2:12-13)
Have you ever felt like you were in a crowd of people who are supposed to be your closest friends, but you feel like none of them know who you really are?
This Scripture talks about how when we are alone, we are “without hope and without God in the world”
When we are alone, there is an absence of love because there is an absence of God
2) Obsessed (Galatians 1:13-14)
When we are lost, there is an emptiness we feel inside that we desperately try to fill
Like Paul in this Scripture, we become obsessed with increasing our status or reputation to look important in the eyes of others; we think that this will fill the emptiness.
3) Detached (Philippians 3:4-8)
When we stop examining our hearts and only try to do “the right thing,” we become detached.
God doesn’t want our morality, but our heart.
4) Superficial (Ephesians 4:18-19)
When we are superficial, we become willfully ignorant and hardened, with the mentality that says: “I’m not going to tell you about my life, and I don’t want to know about yours.”
We know and are known by no one.
5) Afraid (Matthew 6:28-34)
Our fear causes us to run, to avoid questioning our lives.
We busy ourselves with little things that don’t matter so that we don’t have to look at our hearts.
We Can Be Found
We all relate to at least one of these areas at some point in our lives, and it’s important to recognize at that point that we are lost. But the hope that God gives is that we can be found.
How do we know we are found/saved? In Acts 17:16-17, Paul was distressed by the lost people he saw around him. He was afflicted by their inability to find or be found by God. He cared.
Once we are found by God, we have a responsibility and a purpose to help save those who are lost. This purpose motivates us to learn more about God, to examine our hearts, and to deal with the lostness in our lives so that we can help others. We become soul conscious.