I read a post *it's in my shared items on the right also* that talked about preaching want-to as opposed to have-to. And it gave me a lot to think about.
The heart of legalism is in the have-to's, but as I considered the very idea of the difference between have-to and want-to I realized how truly inspirational the want-to's are. They make you want to be a better person, better Christian, better spiritually.
Whereas the have-to's weigh you down so much that you start ignoring all of musts, because there are just too many that you can't live up to it.
I wonder if that's part of what Christ traded for us at the Cross? He exchanged the 'have-to' of sacrifice and symbolism that really only gets you by, to the 'want-to' of living a life of sacrifice because of love and devotion that offers you so much more than you can imagine.
So today, instead of saying I wish people would say it, I'm going to say it.
Life with Christ isn't about following a list of have-to's. It's about a relationship, personal knowledge of Christ as your Lord and Savior. A friend that sticks closer than a brother. A God and King that states that He has loved us with an everlasting love. The things He asks of us are only for our own good, not to burden us, but because He knows that following what He asks leaves us with less burden than if we didn't.
He offers us His Holy Spirit and offers us power living within us if we'll only seek Him.
It's an open candy store of pleasure and goodness if we'll only take the time to visit.
Talking to someone yesterday, they were going to walk a block down the road for food. They said "I'm just going to walk it because I'm too lazy to get in the car."
It's a statement that makes sense, yet doesn't make sense all at the same time.
And it's exactly what we do with the Holy Spirit. We'll walk, and sweat down the road on our own because it's easier than getting into the Holy Spirit (or getting the Holy Spirit into us as the case may be) and really going somewhere.
Maybe the tricky catch to the whole thing was that he was willing to walk because he knew he wasn't going very far. It could just be that we've never really planned the trip in our heads, but maybe that's the point. When is the last time you really thought about your growth and progress - yes that's right, I said progress as a Christian? If we stopped and looked, it's quite possible that we could look into the future and see something that we want to get to. And we'd realize that it's not a place we can get to on our own.
Are you planning on going beyond the general christendom visible in our churches?
Do you want to?
What do you want to do - that you're not doing now - to get there?
Where there is no vision, the people perish the Bible says. I want to look, with new eyes, into my spiritual life and envision how much more I could grow in the Holy Spirit, and then I want to do whatever it takes to grow.