Tuesday, November 23, 2010

These Clouds Are Not God’s

For me, one of the best and easiest ways to sit back and worship God is to watch clouds. I am a bit of a daydreamer anyway, but when I look at the clouds, the horizon, the way the sun paints them, the way the sun shines its rays down through them. I just feel this sense of, “I am with you.” Wash over me. Maybe it sounds weird, maybe it is, but watching clouds often takes tension from my body, calms my heart, quiets my mind, and re-focuses me. I can’t tell you how often I am running late, or headed to a meeting, or fretting over time constraints of some sort (some self imposed) and I look up and feel the presence of God with me, and bringing me back down from the mess I love to consistently throw myself into.

I sat back yesterday and began to think about various things, as my random mind does. I was thinking about the freedom I have recently felt. I have felt release from numerous religious rituals, non-biblical rules, and guilt induced and ruled religion that others, and by proxy, myself have placed on me. How to dress while at church, you must act a certain way, you must live up to expectations, you must, you must, and you must. If I didn’t do any of these things up to expectation, I felt an overwhelming sense of guilt. So much so that it crippled and disabled me and stunted my spiritual growth for years. A person has a beer; they must be bad, because beer is bad. I don’t know where that comes from, but it is an unspoken rule in so many churches, and many others like it.

I can’t tell you how many other things that I have been freed from in recent months. I can’t tell you the basis for some of the empty ritualistic rules that people are expected to live up to. I can’t tell you why we seem to emphasize living by these rules as opposed to listening to the Spirit of God and even God’s Word. I can’t tell you why we allow things that are taboo, such as gluttony, but we battle against silly things such as types of music, the requirement of a pastor wearing a suit and tie, keeping coffee in specific places in a church building, and many others. What I can tell you is this…

…God is not in these clouds.

These clouds are not God’s at all.

When I started down this pathway I began to wonder if I was just being rebellious, and I found out I was. Not against God, but against a tribe of the church that would love to see the church (as a whole) operate as a machine rather than an organism. Machine clouds vary from organism clouds. A machine likes straight lines, structure, and is a very linear thing. That isn’t always bad; there is a place for all of those things. However, an organism does have some structure, however, it allows for some flex and groove as God would allow.

To say that God in is like a machine is a very narrow focus.

We limit Him when we say it must be this way or else? Think of some of these stories we read in His Word. Abraham and Isaac, taking your son on top of a mountain to sacrifice him? Noah, building a boat that is about a third of a mile long? Gideon fighting an army of 250,000 with a mere 300 men. Any of these sound nice and clean and linear?

God loves to reveal Himself to us in various ways, for me I see it in the clouds (among other things). We must be careful to not operate in a guilt controlled, overly structured, narrowly focused, and impersonal way. That does not allow much room for a very large God to operate in all His fullness in your life.

Peace to you all.

Sometimes I might suggest some Scripture, please don’t think I am necessarily trying to lead a Bible study…rather, think of it as me suggesting a wine with your steak, having said that feel free to read over Hebrews 11


Anonymous said...

This is exactly right and SO many people don't get this. Thanks for sharing and keep searching. God will begin to reveal himself to you in ways unimaginable when you seek Him with ALL your heart. Remain connected to Him. Give God complete control, surrender, and he'll do the impossible. I'm not saying it's going to be easy; so in that, trust, pray, have faith and take heart. Paul, Peter, Jeremiah, all the great men of the Bible didn't have it easy... including Jesus. Be strong and courageous.

Adam said...

Thank you, that was VERY encouraging!