Wednesday, June 16, 2010
Better Felt than Telt
Earlier today my hubby got cut off by someone in traffic. He was about 25 feet from an intersection when a guy to his right turned right and whipped in front of him. My honey had to slam on his brakes to avoid crashing into him. The guy, who was driving a van, went merrily on his way.
There was a fish symbol, as well as a bumper sticker on the back of his van.
It read, "My boss is a Jewish carpenter." Oh great - he was a Christian.
Now I know that sometimes there are reasons we don't understand behind someone's rude behavior on the streets no matter if that person is a Christian or not. Probably the guy had long forgotten that he even had the bumper sticker, for one thing. At least he didn't have that "Christians aren't perfect, just forgiven" sticker I've seen - that one annoys me a lot. Like a spiritualized cop-out for behaving badly.
Jesus said that the world would know we were His by our love for one another. Hm. Reasons aside, when was the last time you heard, "You know those Christians at that church? Wow, they really care about each other, so supportive, so loving. It's amazing! If that's what Christianity is, I want to know more."
That's what's supposed to happen, but often I hear the opposite. "Bunch of hypocrites, fighting all the time over nothing, holding grudges, playing politics. If that's all there is to this Jesus thing, count me out."
The problem of lovelessness seems endemic to the Western church - I'm talking in general terms here. Somehow, either from the society we live in, the false teaching that's seeped into the church, or from the lack of persecution that we experience, we've developed a spirit of "entitlement" that is dangerous to our relationship with the Lord. And right along with it is what some have called the "Jezebel spirit" - the idea that we can do something to make God love us more, that if we don't do certain things a certain way, He won't have time for us, or we've missed the mark somehow. Religion, in other words. Legalism. Judgment. Condemnation. All in the name of "sanctification."
The Biblical model is one of individuals in intimate relationship with the Lord, living in gratitude for His grace, listening to His voice and walking in fellowship with Him, enjoying each other's company and caring for each other just because He is so precious and we love to worship Him alone OR together.
Grunting, groaning and straining won't do it. Human effort can't produce the kind of love that puts the other person first. What's required is fresh fire from God Himself, pressing in to Him no matter what the cost. The Holy Spirit getting more and more of us. Relationship, moment-by-moment.
I recommend a read - or a re-read - of the book The God Chasers by Tommy Tenney. He paints a picture of what can happen when Jesus is King of every moment. And he gives hope that it is very possible. I challenge you to read his book.