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There is a church in Nashville that I have not attended but do have a friend that attends frequently. He seems to really like the atmosphere, the worship, and the talks. I decided to check them out online and this got me thinking…..

Mission statement of The Belonging ( Who we are)….

We desire encounter over entertainment, intimacy over industry, presence over presentation, people over positions and most of all Jesus over everything.

This statement stopped me in my tracks. I was immediately intrigued because I don’t know about you but there are some holier than thou christians who quite frankly think they are better than others and don’t hesitate to let it be known. They judge others and even themselves. Read the above again… Intimacy over industry! People over positions! Jesus over everything! YES! Now, this is a church I want to visit.

So with that being said, I want to talk about why the spirit of religion/judgement happens to people with the absolute best intentions. Why, this has and still from time to time rears its ugly head in my own life? “Yep, I have been known to judge others for not loving God the way that I do.” “Seriously, I feel yucky even typing those words but unfortunately it is true.”

Don’t you long to walk into a sanctuary and actually witness “people over position” “intimacy over industry?” Jesus over everything? They are out there. God is still in charge.

Man has tried to enforce all of these “man made” rules” about what the bible says and what it doesn’t say. Since, we are all completely unique in terms of our earthly roots, there is a disparaging gap of how we interpret scripture. We have once again made it much more complicated than it truly is.

Can we agree as Christians that there is one and only one God?

Can we agree as Christians that God is love?

Can we agree that Jesus died for our sins and came to rescue us and forgive us for ALL of our sins?

Can we agree that through Salvation we are born again and saved?

Can we agree that God loves all His children equally?

So, then the rest is what?

A relationship with your creator! Aw, a relationship. “I don’t know about you but I love a good relationship.” One that is full of love, loyalty, and laughter. Who doesn’t desire that? It feeds the core of who we are and how we are made.

When I first started to gobble up the bible and everything Jesus, It was literally like a out of body experience for me. I was walking on a cloud as I began a real relationship with my Father.  Things that never made sense, somehow made sense. I felt loved. I was being told the truth, not some version of  the”truth.” I can say, that God means so much to me; there is not a day that I am not in awe of Him and His creation.

Nevertheless, when I started digesting truth, sin looked up close and personal if you know what I mean. Your heart is slowly being purified and your desires are changing but the dark seems pitch black. You realize that sin is just ugly, period. You want everyone to experience what you are beginning to experience- GOD IS GOOD!

But,unfortunately not everyone else is where you are nor should be. For me, I thought it was my job to defend Jesus. I wanted everyone to know how important it was to be in a relationship with Him. I knew if he was changing my heart and helping me to see where I was deceived, He would surely do that for others. I wanted to scream in people’s faces- WAKE UP, you fool! Your time here is coming to an end. Have you even given God a mere thought? I was ready for battle but I was battling flesh and blood, my own sisters and brothers not battling in the spirit for their precious souls.

Where I lacked in wisdom, I thought I made up for in my love for Him. I was a baby christian, not yet matured. I wanted to run when I couldn’t even walk yet.

One of many brilliant things about God is that He is gentle with you as He takes you deeper into His ways. The undoing of the blind fold goes on for the rest of this life. The process is bittersweet but something inside of you just knows you were made by God and you were also made for God. God is molding and shaping you because He is the potter.

No eye has seen, nor ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love Him but God has revealed it to us by His Spirit.

We, humans are foolish because we have this point A to point B mentality. Sowing good crops goes on for the rest of your life. It has to be monitored so weeds don’t sprout through and destroy your good soil. Monitoring your crops is simply communing with God and allowing Him to be your guide through prayer, His word, and fellowship. We truly are fools to think we can live this life without Christ but if His approach is gentle, shouldn’t mine also be gentle with others? Presence over presentation, yes?

I know as I run ahead of God and fall on my face, He is right there to pick me up. ” Not yet, my child.” I can hear those words ringing in my ear. I have tasted his goodness. I have drank from His cup but I am not done on my journey. I want to have loved others well. I do not want to judge others even though I still do at times. I want to listen, I want to empathize. I want to be patient while I am slow to anger. AM I there? Somedays

I know if I want those fruits then I must fill myself up with Him not just somedays, but everyday.  I must soak in His presence. I must talk to Him about everything, not just some things.

Listen to His words… MADE IN MY IMAGE.

Am I connecting? Am I leaving a better mark on someone’s heart that when I left? Am I listening? AM I helping or hurting? I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Forgive me, Lord as I start over tomorrow.  We are so loved!

Encounter

Intimacy

Presence

People

Jesus

xo

IG @armedforgood.

 

 

 

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