Saturday, January 2, 2010
There's the screaming preacher, the cooky jig from the old lady up front, that one line of the song being sung over and over, some man slappin' people across the forehead, people falling down on the ground like limp ragdolls, others shaking and bawling their eyes out, that wild group of youth shouting in what they call "tongues" at the mans crippled legs while he sits there in his wheelchair silently with the palms of his hands turned up to "receive" and some of those ones screaming, you know they were just at that party last week; then there is you- sitting, watching, trying to figure out if any of this has any semblance of reality.
You've grown up around church, its never been quite like this. Sure there has been moments of this over the years, but this so-called "pentecostal power," is becoming more and more frequent when you brave going around it Yet as much as you sort of want to distance yourself from it, it somehow intrigues you. Typically you sit and watch and decide that this is fine for them, but its just not you. Yet lately, theres been a just a twinge of curiosity. Not to the extent that you want to involve yourself necessarily, but just a new curiousity. There was that time a long, long time ago where you had a moment where you yourself acted kinda weird, but definitely not that weird... In that moment, what you felt was awesome, kind of strange, and it faded fast.
Well if this is you at all, let me pose a few things to you.
1. There's more.
There is so much more to the whole Christianity thing than just going to church and the list of things you are and are not supposed to do. There is beauty to this. I'm not talking about big gaudy buildings and big-haired ladies. No. True beauty. Something that draws you in, gives you peace, gives you everything real-- all the ways you have wanted to feel, but never known how to get there. If you truly taste a real encounter with God, you can actually experience for yourself that He is good. Everything about Him is good. When you really allow yourself to dismiss the initial weirdness of "passionate people," and avoid putting up the walls that you are often so quick to build, you can actually get to experience something beautiful. I'll explain, read on.
2. God is far beyond what you've seen.
When you sit in a service with all the weird stuff going on, some of it is simply just people being cooky. Some of it though is completely, and entirely legitimate. Don't get me wrong, some of it is just flat out weird, but God is mysterious. Some people "fall out" or have weird things happen to them because they are simply overwhelmed. Some of it, well I don't know why it happens. God really can meet you in a tangible way. You may not shake or cry or fall down or any of that. But don't immediately write it off. I've seem some people who would never in anyones mind be the one to do all that, be the very ones who experience God in the oddest ways. Then there is some people who just get hooked to the moments of encounter. Truest encounter is when people take experiences and then translate that into their lives- living for something worth dying for, not just feel-good encounters then living how they want the rest of the time.
3. God is good and God is fun.
Everything that is lined out in the Bible is not just a great suggestion of how to make people live "right." I could sit here for hours and type story after story about how in my own life and the lives of many others who have tasted of the "more" of God. These stories are full of incredible, odd and just fun happenings. When you choose more of Him, every day can be filled with truly awesome experiences and its all for deep, deep, awesome purpose. How much better would it be to live with hope and purpose and in the midst have a blast instead of simply seeking fun and then often be left with tons of questions of what your purpose really is.
Not everyone gets to go to Dollar General and watch a girl slam her finger in the car door so hard that the top part of her finger falls off and then get to just pick it up and put it back on for her like nothin happened. Not everyone gets to sit and hear the life dreams of someone they just met 5 minutes before and then realize they are saying the exact things you've dreamed of for years then recognize that the God of the universe allowed you two to meet. Not everyone gets to look at a stranger and be able to tell them what they've been struggling with and then see absolute true freedom come to them as they weep before our compassionate God. Not everyone gets to work hard for something and then see the results of it be absolutely life changing for tons of people instead of just resulting in a few dollars for themselves. Not everyone runs in to financial problems and then because of the their faithfulness to the Lord, somehow be completely provided for and never really figure out where that money came from. Not everyone can talk to their friends about how they feel like they are in the same moment in their life as a guy from way-back-when and then hours later hear the same exact thing mentioned in the same context from someone else. Not everyone gets to spend time talking with God and hear something really kinda odd then tell a friend and them look at you with wide eyes, saying "shut up! no way! how did you know that?" Not everyone runs into struggle and finds hope when others are freaking out. Not everyone gets to "see" lots of stuff happen before it actually does. Not everyone gets to be around someone who is truly considering suicide and have the exact thing to say that they need to hear that sets them free and allows them to live a life of complete joy. Not everyone gets to experience the deepest love you could ever feel and it only get deeper and deeper. I could go on and on and on... All of this can and does happen to people who choose to dive into the deeper things of God. In fact every one of these things have happened to my friends and/or myself. I get to have the time of my life, all the time. I can have such similar experiences as someone hours away and then get to talk to them about it later, all because we seek God together. God and His Kingdom is way fun and so worth giving my entire life to. There is always more. The experiences only get greater. The love only gets deeper.
All this to say, I want to invite you to come and taste the deeper, the more, of God. Once you have settled within yourself that He is more than what you see from other people and then choose to try this whole "more" out for yourself, you will discover He is so worth it. And even in the midst of people who are sometimes weird about all this, He is there. All of it begins to come into perspective and you learn to love some of it and get awesome strategy to see change come to the parts that frustrate you and don't reflect your God. Settle for yourself that you want Him and you want to journey with others who just want Him, despite all the wrong thinking about God that has consumed much of the American church. Don't let other people's wrong thinking cause you to miss out on so much. Its the journey of a lifetime and it can be your life. Come along?
If you would like to have people to run with towards the deeper things of God, or if you want to talk about any of this, feel free to shoot me an email. email@example.com
Posted by Fisher at 1:35 PM