Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Chrisitanity… “Am I Ever Going to Get this Right?”

Umm…No. I guess not. It looks like we are never going to reach a place of complete understanding and victory on this earth! In Philippians 3:12 Paul is talking about his feelings on the matter. “Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me.”

Wow!  Not that I have already obtained it? Paul had an amazing supernatural experience with God! He heard the voice of Jesus! He was blinded then healed. He was personally taught by the Holy Spirit the mysteries of the age of grace. If he can not obtain perfection, who can? How did I ever get the idea that I would?

Oh yea, I know how, the well- meaning Christian community… Three points and a poem, Seven habits of highly effective people, Ten rules for Christian dating, Guidelines for Godly marriages, Pray one hour a day. Rules, rules, rules. Which bring condemnation, condemnation, condemnation. My grade, C+. Come on, self, be good! Do better! Or how about I just beat my head against the wall?

There is no condemnation in Christ Jesus. (Romans 8:1) He is not asking for us to achieve perfection. He is asking us to acknowledge Him as our Lord.

In fact the bible mentions something called “freedom in Christ”. I have to admit that in some churches I have felt anything but free. So is this the freedom to sin? Is that your desire?

IT IS THE FREEDOM TO BE REAL. Freedom to find truth. Freedom to rest in the fact that Jesus Christ is your covering as you ask your ugly questions. As you go boldly to God and ask things like “What the "Hell" is going on down here? The entire earth is a war zone full of self- righteousness, political failures, and hurting people.” (He didn’t break it, yet we blame Him for not fixing it.) “ We humans can make it better, but we can’t fix it. God, when are YOU going to fix it?”

Someday, but not yet.

OK, then fix me. Why is my heart in such a mess? What lies have I believed?
At this point in my experience the Holy Spirit very gently began to show me things. He is not in a hurry or panicked, even though I often am. He allows me to ask Him my ugly questions and He helps me find the answers. Then he uses the bible in amazing ways to confirm what I think I heard, observed, or realized. This could take a lifetime!

The more I learn about God the more I understand how much he loves me. The real me, not just the dress- up- for- church me. The more I know the truth of His unconditional love for me, the more I am set free to love Him back, and the desire to sin or offend Him becomes very rare in me. My “want to” has changed.

There was a time when God walked and talked with man, face to face and heart to heart. God wants that relationship with us again. That is why He sent Jesus. He has a plan to heal the world, but right now He is healing the hearts of those who seek to know Him.

I bow my knee to Jesus Christ not because I am forced to, but because I see no better answer. I have no confidence that man can achieve perfection or fix this world, although God is being patient while we try it our way. The only victory I see man achieving is when Godly principals are followed. Love one another was God’s idea. Share, forgive, be humble, these things are not natural to fallen man.

All points lead to the fact that God is God and we need His Spirit to be our inner guide- the guide to truth, healing, and freedom, through open and honest fellowship with Him. Not out of obligation to try (and fail) to live up to any list of rules or cultural standards. Newsflash…God is not mad at us.

Eventually every eye will see that Jesus is Lord. Dear God, by your life-giving Spirit, help us to see it now.

 Go to for the song that helped me deal with this.  Jimmy Needham - Forgiven and Loved

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Between Heaven and Hell

I used to think that being a Christian meant that nothing bad would ever happen in your life again. I heard that if you do and say all the right things then you would be lining up with God and you could have heaven on earth. And many times this was true, but not always. My grandma still got sick and died. Our dog died. Also we lost our business- a business that was dedicated to God.

We need to understand the times that we are living in. Adam and Eve had no death or loss. Then they chose to follow their own ideas instead of God’s and ate the fruit of disobedience making themselves their own Lords. From then on we all get to live a life where we experience good and evil. Earth became a place where we are exposed to things from both heaven and hell.

Someday Jesus will return to the earth and be King here. That is when there will be no more death and sickness here. For now we have the Holy Spirit in us to help us in difficult times. He is a powerful help and comfort. And yes, life is full of God’s blessings and sweet love. And many times people are spared, and healed. But, life on earth right now will not be without challenges.

You are in charge of your own life. You can help bring more of God’s goodness to the earth. Or you can try all kinds of evil activities and bring more sorrow into your life and pain to those who love you.

Many blessings are brought to us by following God’s guidelines. Yet many, many times we receive blessings in spite of our rebellion and failures. But nothing we do will cause God to disown us or kick us out of His family because Jesus already took any punishment we had coming to us.

Adam talked with God every day. They were good buddies, a close father and son. Likewise, God is waiting for us to chat with Him about our concerns, hopes, fears, and experiences. He cares about our details. His spirit is very gentle in the way he reveals truth throughout our life on earth.

The love of God is the most powerful force in the universe. I can not resist it.

And that love will never end. God will never stop wanting you to make your reservation for heaven. He will never stop wanting to teach you his heavenly secrets. He will love you from afar if that is the way you want it. How sad.

So when life gives you hell, run to Him -not from Him.