Can I just talk about God for a minute? Well I am going to do it regardless to your response. To be honest, I really feel like there isn’t anything or anyone more important to write about….like, ever.
I have learned so much from Him lately that I almost feel like I am in seminary. Except there’s no school, lecturers, loans, structure; you get the idea. It’s just me, my Bible, and that still small voice speaking inside of me every single moment of every single day. The thing of it is, I’m actually diligently listening to that voice and wouldn’t you know it – I’m learning! What a concept. Now that I am home from Korea I have a lot of time to spend in the Word and that has been phenomenal. However recently I have tried this new thing of being quiet and just listening. Have you tried it? Just listened to Him? I’m reminded of a song by Addison Road that says, “I made you promises a thousand times. I tried to hear from Heaven, but I talked the whole time. I think I made you too small, I never feared you at all. If you touched my face would I know You? Looked into my eyes, could I behold You?” Maybe you’ll relate to those song lyrics, maybe you won’t – but for me it rang true with conviction. How will I ever be able to hear from Him if I am always talking? It rang true now more than normal because the last few days I have closed my mouth and opened my ears and received tremendous blessing. Francis Chan writes in the first chapter of his epic book Crazy Love, “The wise man comes to God without saying a word and stands in awe of Him”.
So you might be thinking: Well you keep talking about all you’ve learned, so let’s hear it. Ok I’ll tell you one thing that has been proclaimed to me with a rather resounding voice from Him. Boldness. Christ has spoken ridiculously clear to me that He is calling His Church to be bold. Be bold enough to stand for Him and be distinctly different; set apart. There is such a push to be relevant and edgy and willing to ‘take risks’ in the Church these days. Sometimes that push is so heavy that you can go into a modern Church and never hear the Word preached or true God filled worship come from the speakers. Now let me add a footnote here that I love contemporary worship and the Church releasing some of the traditional rope that sometimes stunts growth and holds back blessings God intends to pour out; I live and breathe change, so get my meaning. Sometimes we can find ourselves working towards being accepted by the world [even compromising] in our services and daily lives, because we think we’ll be able to bring unbelievers to Christ if we make them feel comfortable. Did Jesus try to make people feel comfortable? I know that so much of the world rejects the idea of ‘organized religion’ and ‘churchy people’ but Christ was rejected, His approach didn’t always suit those around Him-still He boldly continued on; uncompromising. I believe God is breathing new life and change into the Church in a dynamic way, but if we aren’t careful we can step out of God breathed and into ‘man contrived’ to so-called “reach people.”
“Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” – Romans 12:2
I desperately want the discernment the book of Romans was just describing. Shouldn’t it be all of our desire’s to do what is good, acceptable and perfect in the eyes of the One True God? Christ has layed this truth so heavy on my heart this week, that it had to be shared. Boldness my friends; uncompromising boldness. If we keep saying that we are modeling our ministries and our lives by the life of Christ, we actually have to follow through. We should stand tall, keeping His house holy and taking up our cross daily no matter how uncomfortable it might make those we are trying to reach. Stop worrying about acceptance and comfort and simply allow yourself to be the conduit through which God is proclaimed daily. If we just open ourselves up to Him as a vessel He will handle the rest. Are you with me? Christ brought the world up to His level. Christ was unbelievably bold. Oh, the greatness of our God.
I want to leave you with two sobering and powerful verses from scripture. I hope they prick your heart, or at the very least get our attention:
“If any man defiles the temple of God, God will destroy him. For the temple of God is holy, which temple you are.” -1 Corinthians 3:17
“Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience. Therefore do not be partakers with them. For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light (for the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth), finding out what is acceptable to the Lord. And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them. For it is shameful even to speak of the things which are done by them in secret. But all things become visible when they are exposed by the light, for everything that becomes visible is light. Therefore He says: “Awake, you who sleep, Arise from the dead, And Christ will give you light”. – Ephesians 5:6-14
He is always speaking and He is always teaching. [[Are we listening?]]