Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Connection or Collusion?

Have you ever been told that you have to try this restaurant, or go see a movie, or try some sort of product (shampoo, backscratcher, cell phone, etc)?  Have you ever tried that product?  Have you always enjoyed it as much as the person said you would?  Have you rarely enjoyed it as much?  Have you found out features about the product you are using that the person that suggested it to you didn’t even know about?  It is interesting for you to experience the product yourself. 
When I got my current phone I knew it had some cool features that I liked because I had read up on it, and a friend or two of mine had one as well and highly recommended it.  So I picked the one I have.  I have enjoyed it, but it is funny to me that there are so many features that are on there that I never knew about until I had the phone in my hands.  I also have had other people who have this same phone learn about features and explained them to me and then I learned by experiencing them myself. 
I learn well when I experience something.  I have gone to a play in Spain and explained everything that happened in that play and I don’t speak Spanish.  However, I experienced the play and took it all in.  I don’t learn well when someone explains something to me, but if I experience it I learn exponentially quicker and deeper.  I honestly think this may work to my advantage in spiritual matters.  I have had people explaining how God works to me for years, and those people did a great job and have helped me grow.  I have to say, though, in the past few years I have been on a search to experience God instead of just the information about Him and it has changed me a lot, and in a good way.
I believe this was the problem I faced throughout much of my journey with Christ, I loved God, but I never tried to experience Him.  I went to church, meaning I went to the building on Sunday’s and Wednesday’s never really experiencing the church because by my estimation the church hadn’t experienced God.  I read my Bible, meaning I looked at the words, took in what they meant, but never connected them to my life.  I never looked at what was going on in the Word and wanted or longed to feel the life from it.  I never opened myself up to let the Spirit of God breathe the life into my Spirit through His Word.  I prayed, meaning I had conversations towards God but never silenced myself to listen and be sensitive to His voice when He did speak.  I have been opened up in many other ways and His Spirit has broadened my horizons.
However, I have to wonder, how many others are in the same boat I was?
If there are many, what is the state of the church?
I believe the church has gotten very particular about how we do a lot of things that don’t matter.  I believe we have lost track of who Jesus really is and what he showed us about life while on this earth.  He was fully led by the Spirit, and in that was with the tax collectors (viewed as traitors), prostitutes, called a drunk and a glutton, frowned upon by the religious, hated by those who studied the very Scriptures that foretold of His coming, friend of sinners. 
The church’s relationship with Jesus the Christ should be that of complete connectedness and if we ever feel confused on a matter we should refer back to what He did and use that as our guide, letting His Spirit align us with the Word and the actions of Jesus. 
Having said that, I don’t know how to explain what I see of the American church.  I don’t know how to explain what we have on our hands, but I know that if His people will humble themselves, turn from our ways that we have created, and submit ourselves to Him; He will glorify Himself through us.  He will glorify Himself through His Bride.  He will bring honor, and rest His majesty upon Her and the gates of hell that have inundated her will not prevail but will be expunged from her and she will be beautiful.  “He loves us, oh, how He loves us” we, His church, must focus our eyes upon Christ, setting aside man made rules that are full of ritualism and religiosity. 
He is jealous for us, we are His, He is ours.  Let us experience Him intimately and not settle for a positional, pass along the information, knowledge of but not experiencing relationship I fear many of us have settled for (intentionally or not). 
Church, I believe it is time that we begin to look a lot more like Christ.


Em said...

Great thoughts! I also went to church every week and did all the appropriate church activities but was missing out on experiencing Christ. I've recently started a new journey experiencing Christ. Discovering truths new and old in Him has been incredible and has opened my eyes to a whole new faith and relationship with Christ.

Anonymous said...