I have always been told that the definition of insanity is "doing the exact same thing over and over and expecting a different result."
Sometimes I think church folks apply that principle to their walk with the Lord. They expect their church attendance or baptism 20 years ago to be enough to sustain their walk with God. They often find themselves working through the same issues time after time and wonder if church is really doing any good.
It's important to be a part of the body of Christ and involved in a local church, but being a Christian is so much more than a once-a-week trip to the local church. Becoming what God intended involves a daily walk with him. It involves a daily relationship and not just a casual practicing religion.
"Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves," reads James 1:22-25. "Do what it says. Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom and continues in it - not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it -they will be blessed in what they do."
Being a cowboy preacher is one of the biggest blessings I have ever had in my life. One thing I have realized over the last few years is that I can't fake it around these folks. Just because I own a saddle and a horse and maybe a cow or two, it doesn't make me a true cowboy.
The same applies to being a Christian. Just because someone might own a Bible and occasionally go to church on Sunday, it doesn't make someone a Christian. As a matter of fact, Matthew Chapter 7 notes that not everyone who says "Lord, Lord" will enter the kingdom of heaven. Some might fool others but not God.
Real cowboys have dedicated their entire lives to being the "real deal." That kind of dedication and commitment is what it takes to become what Jesus intended the "real believer in him" to be. There just isn't any "faking it till you make it."
(To contact Keck, email firstname.lastname@example.org.)