Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Right vs Right?

I'm a Christian. I believe Christ died for my sins, and that because of that I may, and do, have eternal life assured to me by God the Father. I believe that God the Father, granted us the gift of the Holy Spirit Himself, to live and work amongst us, and in us.

I believe.

And daily, I covet to live, and grow in knowledge and grace, in holiness and righteousness and love. I want to plumb the depths of the riches of God Himself.

So I want to know. I want to know. I want to know more about holiness and righteousness. I want you, and everything around me to speak to the fact that I'm only scratching the surface of riches that are available to me. I want to know that God sees my sins, and really and truly wants every single one banished from my life.

I want to know that God isn't as halfhearted about my life as I sometimes am and as the world is constantly telling me He is.

I want to understand.

It seems I've been a Christian forever, but I sincerely am confused by the things I see in churches. And please keep in mind as I write this that this is certainly a generalization, and I'm not pointing any fingers at all lest I have to point at myself as well.

But in the church world I see young, "hip" churches, that seem to have so much passion and hunger on the inside, but absolutely nothing on the outside. They sing and hunger, and worship, but it seems as though absolutely nothing is sacred, or holy, or... it's as though they've taken the "all things are lawful" as Paul said, and forgotten that just because it's lawful doesn't mean it's good for you to do.

Then I see the churches of people (generally the ones I've been raised in my entire life) that have everything holy and sacred on the outside, and nothing on the inside. I was considering the people I've met in those churches through the years and discovered that mixed into them are those that want to be hungry, but are not or they gave up, and those that don't seem to even want to be hungry. They seem to be profoundly "content".

It seems as though I need to choose, outward appearance, or inward, and I don't seem to fit in with either crowd. It's beyond frustrating.

I've read of stores in England that had dress shops, to which there was always a key to shopping in them. The stores displayed their merchandise, but a discerning shopper could go into certain stores, and simply walk around the store making comments about the lack of quality in the clothes. The ladies would turn their noses up at the merchandise, and after a fair amount of effort the manager of the store would show the lady to a "special selection" of merchandise. This was the storeroom of the most valuable, the highest quality of fabric, the most famous of designers.

And I believe that God has always been like those stores. You get saved and you automatically are ushered into a room full of merchandise for God. You have bibles, you have prayer, you have joyful fellowship with your new family. What could be more wonderful than this?


That's what I want to hear. I want to hear Christians all over the world yell out "BUT!" there is so much more. I don't want the general store God. I want the secret hiding place God, that has wealth of treasures my mind can't conceive. Like Edmund in "The Lion the Witch, and the Wardrobe" I want to find that my God is as addictive as turkish delight. That I'd sell out anything for another taste. And I want to find that addiction to the point that when I speak to you of my turkish delight God, your mouth will water as well.

I want more. And I want you, whoever you are, to want more too. There's more out there than what we're seeing. And there's more out there that are hungry for it than what we're observing in our churches. I've seen some truly hungry folks in my church. And I've a renewed focus in the last few weeks to see them taste of the fruit of my Savior.

For anyone reading this, I'd ask that you pray I act wisely. As I've said, I feel like a misfit between the two different styles of believers that I see lately and just don't feel as though I fit. While others sit enjoying their reservoirs of faith that they've built up over the years I'm always kicking and stretching and being too loud. I don't want to alienate those people.
I also don't want to alienate those that seem to be hungering and seeking God, by showing up looking legalistic in my "church clothes" and frowning at the fact that they're updating their myspace page during church.

Is it possible to have depth and joy that over flows?

*I feel I need a disclaimer on this post more than usual. I want to say that I haven't gotten to know these people as well as I should have. There could be so much more to the picture that I'm not seeing. But what I am seeing, are absolutely wonderful traits. I see self-control, holy reverence, respect for self and others, depths that only comes from trusting and waiting for our God in the hardest of times. And in others I see that longing, and hunger, a willingness to become undignified in the presence of God, I see zeal.

Both sides seem so wonderful that I can't choose.*

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