As previously mentioned, I’ve been thinking a lot about church – what it is, what it isn’t, what it should be, what it shouldn’t be.
It’s an adventure full of risks.
It has something to do with my time in Asia, something to do with books and articles I’ve been reading… But mostly, I hope and pray, it has to do with the movement of the Spirit of God in my life as I read His Word and seek His direction. It has to do with the fact that I’m finally recognizing that over the years I’ve put, and accepted it when others put, Jesus and His Body (the church) into boxes that are too small to contain Him.
Honestly, I recognize that it’s easy to come back to America from a country that is very different and be disturbed and annoyed by our culture and even the culture of the American church. I do have my moments of that – and I’m trying to walk through them with grace and a humble spirit. Prayerfully, I’m choosing not to sit in those moments but to let God work through them – teaching me about myself, and about Jesus. I also recognize that I’m at the perfect place – having just come back – to walk a new road, if that’s what God wants to do with me.
I don’t want anything I do or don’t do on this journey to be a response to man, culture, or motivated by frustrations of any sort. I desire only to follow Jesus more closely and to know Jesus more fully and to go WHEREVER He chooses to take me.
You may have noticed over the course of the years you’ve known me (or just stalked my blog?) that I like to process things out in writing – and sharing. So little bits and pieces of this journey will be appearing here more consistently. Ready? I don’t know if I am. But I’m jumpin’ in anyway.
If you’re interested in this discussion, watch this and then we’ll talk:
RECAP: Avoiding risk is not an option. We have to set aside the values of safety, security, comfort, and convenience. That is SO counter cultural. People WILL think we are crazy – even some people at church. But Jesus is NOT joking when he calls us to die. We’re supposed to look crazy. Our way of life is not supposed to make sense. We have to reject all forms of civil religion, all of our country club mentalities… and DIE so we can LIVE. It’s a journey that may sometimes include failure, but that’s okay. It’s a road on which we will learn and find Jesus in new ways. We will learn to trust God in new ways.
I never would have said that I was accepting a country club, civil religion… But I see now how influenced I didn’t realize I was... I wonder now how much of Jesus’ call to follow Him I have NOT fully understood or accepted…
But that is the process of following Jesus. Years ago, I asked Him to help me live the rest of my life uncomfortably for Him. I had no idea what I was saying or the long list of places (physically and otherwise) He would take me – more and more “unsafe” and more and more beautiful.
How about you?
Where are you in this?
There’s always further to go, so where are you going next?
Are you seeking Him, or happy to accept the status quo?
More on the explorations of my journey later… :)