From the beginning of my church going history a “good” service was classified by what songs were sung and how many people “got saved, sanctified, and filled with the Holy Spirit.” Therefore, in my immature baby Christian mind, any service where those components didn’t take place was “bad” and I assumed “Jesus must not of shown up this time.” Haha, I’m sure you can imagine how hard this mentality was to overcome! Like seriously, the modern-day church classifies the move of God by what was felt and seen. Isn’t God so much bigger than that? If the vastness of His glory can be captured and seen in an hour and thirty minute service then why continue following Him??
Throughout my journey I’ve learned a lot about Jesus and His goodness and essentially the character of God. God is constant and He purses us in our brokenness despite how messy it looks (go back and re-read that sentence because seriously, how affirming is that?! we are pursued y’all!!) Jesus loves us so much that He doesn’t want us to remain the complacent beings we tend to be at times. So regardless of our sinful nature and what our “thing” is, whether it’s lying, gossiping, self-defeating thoughts, or I don’t know murder, sexual infidelity, He regards them the same- sin -the very thing that separates us from His goodness. My entire life I was coaxed into believing some sins were less fatal than others and I walked around believing my gossiping was less destructive than someone else’s affair. How wrong was I?! My “thing” though socially acceptable in our society had the same finishing line as another’s affair… and that finish line is death. Jesus was serious when He said we need to turn from our fleshly desires and pursue truth and remain on the narrow path that leads to our heavenly reward. Even today I struggle with not condemning others in my minds when I hear about what they did last weekend, it’s hard! People are awful and so completely unaware of the consequences their actions bring about to their spirit. But who am I?? I am fearful, I am judgmental, I am self defeating and gossipy when provoked. Look at me, my actions, the consequences they brought about to my spirit. Why wasn’t this engraved into my mind throughout childhood?? Why did the word sinful stick to other people and not myself? I am sinful and need Jesus. It’s so easy to blame the global church for America’s problems but WE are the church, the two or three million (trillion?) gathered in one mind and one accord, but we are actually the two or three million gathered in many minds and zero accords. When will we wake up and realize we are stressing the things Jesus told us to leave at the cross. We often forget how simple following Jesus truly is because we over complicate everything!
You can love Jesus and still be sinful. But as believers, to fully know and fully love Jesus, when we pursue Him our sinful nature begins to become too heavy for our own grasp. Our fleshly desires start to slip and in this moment we must make a decision: do we let go of the things this world provides so we can tighten our grasp on Jesus or let go of what was holding us together all along but we were too blind to see– Jesus. The decision is ours and cannot be made lightly. As I walk closer to God I want to want His way and not my own because I continually lead myself to destruction regardless of my intentional nature. I’m continually learning and being reminded of His grace and how His ways aren’t to hurt me but only to prosper and something that’s hard to hear. I am so prideful and I want to do life my own way (but we all know how it ends up). Spoiler alert: Jesus wins.
I am continually encouraged by this truth that though my perception of Him changes He always remains the same. He is good. He loves you & I too much to allow us to stay where we are right now. He is not destruction. He is not chaos. He only speaks peace because He is kind.
This love is good