Tuesday, January 19, 2010

freedom part1

Unless you are a newcomer to my blog, it is no surprise to anyone that I'm a big fan of taking God out of the box; of making Him more than just a sermon and a few hymns, more than just a list of to-do's and not-to-do's.

I try to live me life with that truth in everything that I do. I feel that a lot of my passion for this 'subject' can be blamed on the enormous amount of freedom I received when I finally became aware of this truth. I was able to worship freely. Love freely. Pray freely. Abide freely. And by "freely," I don't mean without Him. I mean entirely with Him. Freedom in worshiping without the guilt of doing it incorrectly. Freedom in loving without fear of doing it the wrong way, etc. etc. etc. For 'some reason', my heart has really been burdened with the desire to just teach people about this freedom. I want so badly for people to experience that freedom. The freedom to abide in Him the way He designed. Accepting our faults and finding the freedom in Jesus to move on and try again. I want people to understand that and live that, because the day I accepted that truth into my life and lived in It, I changed.

I've been thinking a LOT lately on what it means to abide, and trying to get people to understand that it's an every day..all day process. I've spent a lot of time trying to figure out the root of the problem. At what point in life did God get squeezed into that box? Why do I feel that prayer is only conveyed through pretty words in the morning during my "quiet time"? Why did the church think that God wanted us in fancy attire on Sunday mornings? When did we take Jesus's life and turn it into an excuse for us to talk down to people in an attempt to scare them into a relationship with Him? Who made up the accepting Jesus into your heart prayer? Who termed the phrase "accepting Jesus into your heart?" Why? How? When? Who? So many questions.

I think (key word: I) it started out with good intentions. I think in our design, we humans are so simple minded and cannot understand God's ways entirely. And in an effort to teach people His ways, we made poor decisions out of the flesh (again, with good intentions) and muddied His life with poor human theology. And the cycle just continued. We searched for answers from people and human theology, and not His Word. In an effort to learn Him, love Him, know Him, worship Him,...we removed HIM from the process and just simply.. screwed up. And kept screwing up, and kept screwing up, and kept screwing up. We were first taught wrong, and because in those teachings were taught to understand Him a certain way, never looked to Him truly for the answers because we simply just didn't know to.
That might have been a hard read, but let me try another route. That was me trying to explain my comprehension of the "why". So now here's my shot at the other..well I don't know just what yet. I'll see when I get there.

I LOVE that God is a God to me and me alone. God is a God to you and you alone. The God that lives in my life is so special and unique to me & so special and unique to you. Do you get what I'm saying? We spoke tonight in community group (and I'm not sure how we got there) about church attire. I know I mentioned it up there, but when did we start thinking that God wanted us to be in suites and high heels on Sunday morning? My mind instantly went to respect. From what I understand, that concept came from an act of trying to show God respect. Totally understandable, but understandable in my human thoughts. The Spirit that lives in me pokes me with the question, "Do I disrespect God in every other outfit not consisting of a dress & heels?" And my only answer I could come up with does a complete 360 and brings me back to the same place, God is a God to me and God is a God to you. If the Spirit that lives in me (and after abiding day after day & understanding when His will is His and when my thoughts are mine) is pushing me to worship God in the way that I dress one Sunday, well then that's the Sunday I break out the pantyhose. If the Spirit that lives in me (and after abiding day after day & understanding when His will is His and when my thoughts are mine) is pushing me to worship Him in my blue jeans, well then I'll make sure to grab my Sketchers on the way out. And my point is that when you look at our church on Sunday night, we should have so many different outfits, so many different personalities, so many different lives. Just because we meet in a room we rent and don't have a huge cathedral, doesn't mean that we should all dress the same. If we are all truly abiding and living in the Spirit the way we are designed to, then God directs each of us differently and uniquely to where we all are just a huge melting point of lives living according to His guidance. And since we all understand how creative God is, Him living in my life shouldn't look anything like Him living in yours. Now is it weird to think about what I wear being a form of worship to Him? A decision that requires prayer and thought? Of course it is. BUT it shouldn't. If we are abiding, by design we should involve His existence in all parts of our life. ...ALL parts.

I want to go a little further on God being creative and not inside the box. Take a look at the ocean. Hundreds of thousands of different kinds of FISH. Take a look at rain forests. How many different plants are there? We humans are really good at seeing and acknowledging His creativeness, bigness, artistry in nature, something alive and tangible we can see with our own eyes. We can acknowledge how unique He is by just looking at our peers and the different people on Earth. HOW can we all (however many billions there are of us) be created SOOOO uniquely without the work of a God that is all powerful? We can understand that because we can visibly see the extraordinary. So why when it comes to the way we pray, the way we worship, the way we abide...do we want it to be like every other Christian? Why do we want step by step instructions and big to do lists on how to pray? We spent a night on prayer in community group tonight and most of the questions and problems people are burdened with concerning prayer is that they just don't know how to pray. Luke said this tonight and I think it is so awesome, "I wonder what my prayers would be like if I had never heard anyone pray before." You know what they would look like? They would look like your heart. They would just be an overflow of your heart. I bet we wouldn't even use words, especially pretty ones. I bet for the most part...they would just be thoughts. I bet even meditation. God knows my heart and wants me to reveal His existence in it. We've put so much human theology on prayer and what prayer should be, when it should be done, how it should be done, to the point where we don't know how anymore. Because we were told that if we weren't in this Christianity Box, we were sinners and doing it wrong. We abiding in Him, and understanding His uniqueness in each of us, shouldn't get discouraged when we hear someone pray out loud differently than us. That's God living through that person. God living through me and this moment is just simply...different. And tomorrow, I might just be awholenother' kind of different. And that is just God being God, unique and creative and special... in my life.

So if you're reading this, I just want to encourage you that God knows YOUR heart. He created it. He created your personality, your desires, your thoughts. Please don't be discouraged when your life in Christ looks different than the next person's. I challenge you to celebrate the difference, and praise God for the intimacy of just you and Him.

Walk in that. Abide in that. Love in that.

That's all I have for now.

1 comment:

Dillon said...

i enjoyed this one, Mattie.