As you read this take in mind that I have been apart of churches since birth. I grew up Lutheran, then for a while I had no church, I have been to several non-denomination churches, I have gone to baptist churches, and the last several years at a Evangelical Free church. I also want to say that even though I often feel lost within the body of Christ or the different beliefs, I do still love the body. I do still love my brothers and sisters in Christ and while this struggle has been on going through my life, I do still firmly believe the body of Christ is still very important. This has more to do with finding my place within the body of Christ.
Ever since I can remember I have never felt as if I belonged in a church. For some reason the walls get confining and their rules and beliefs often leave me feeling as if there is something more. The five million branches of “the church” say to do this, do that, don’t do that, don’t do this, it’s all so…so…much. Go to church on Sunday, go to church on Saturday, make sure you go on Sunday and Wednesday, and yet others say, but really it doesn’t matter. The old testament is the way to go, no the new testament is definitely the way to go. Baptist, Messianic Jew, Catholic, Presbyterian, Lutheran, and I’m sure there are others that I haven’t thought to name. We all agree that Jesus is the way, we all agree he died upon a tree, we all agree that he rose three days later and in so doing he saved a wretch like me. But what we don’t seem to agree on is the works, the fruit in how to live our lives and how to share the gospel. What God has revealed to me does not mean he has revealed it to you. In fact he may not ever reveal to you what he has revealed to me and perhaps, I think, that is exactly the way he wants it. If it is exactly the way He wants it, is that not up to him to want? Now here’s a tricky concept, free will, we all have it, so do we have free will to be Baptist, Catholic, Evangelical, or something else. Does God use different means to minister to those around us? Are we free indeed to allow others to be free indeed. Do we need listen more and speak less? Do we need to error on the side of caution in making sure it is God who is wanting to say something through me? Am I seeking my own or God’s own and I know from experience that God can hold his own. Jesus spoke the truth to those around him, it seems he spoke it matter of factly, neither condemning or overreaching, he graciously let it do it’s work. The persons spirit rejected or received, he left it up to them, he left it up to the heavenly father to do his work in their heart. So can we all please live the life God has called us to live and allow each other grace, God seems big enough to allow this to happen, then I should think we could ask God’s grace for the same.
I don’t know what I look like in the church, I am in the process of finding out. Will my family celebrate Passover, Unleavened bread, and resurrection Sunday. Will we celebrate Christmas or throw it completely out the window? I don’t know what the Lord will do, but I know that he is faithful, and I know I will not be ok with man’s answers, I will only settle for the guidance and direction of my Abba, the creator of the world. He is after all the one who set it all into motion. He knew how fast to spin the earth, he knew how close we needed to be to the sun to keep warm, but far enough away to not burn up. If he can do all that, then by all means he can show my family what really is important. Lord send me on a path, the right path, the straight path to truth. Show me your words, show me your word, teach me, show me, I only want to please you. I often think we make it all way to complicated. I don’t want to jump through hoops, I don’t want a set of rules, I want to just be loved, not judged. I want my heart to count, I want my offering to be enough, through Jesus Christ, I am enough. Father show me, I only want to live for you. Let my road become uncomplicated! Show me the path you have for me and I will walk it all my days!
Today I heard something pivotal that I think will help lead me on my journey of what my place looks like within the denominations and different ways of how to live my life and what my works need to look like. Someone asked the question of what are the boundaries to look like in regards to living in the world, but not being of the world. The key word to me was boundaries, because that is exactly what I have been feeling. That I have felt that if I am baptist I am limited to being baptist and their beliefs, if I am messianic I am limited to celebrating only the feasts and celebrations of the old testament, if I am Luther or Catholic that I will be limited to what they do in their celebrations. When in all honesty there are parts of all of them that I identify with and agree to, but for some reason I do not agree with it is the only way to worship, glorify, and honor God my Father. I don’t want to feel the boundaries or limitations put on me by man, I want God to set my boundaries and limitations. I have to be honest and say I do not yet know what that looks like. He may ask me to wash my hair every day on Tuesday, He may ask me to Sabbath on Sunday or Saturday or both, he may ask me to move into a mobile home and sell all my possesses. He may ask me to live in the crazy hot south (I say this because any type of heat over 70 degrees makes me melt like a snowman) or he may ask me to live in my neighborhood and love those around me. I don’t know what my Abba will tell me I am to look like, but whatever it looks like, I want it to look like God loving others. After all isn’t it all about loving and glorifying God! I am not saved by tradition, I am not saved by practicing Passover, I am not saved by practicing Sabbath, they are things I do, because they are the fruit, the evidence of my love and passion for God the Father and Jesus Christ my Saviour.
I do know that I love my Abba Father more than anything else on this earth or in heaven. I know that I would walk through fire for him. I know my God is faithful, I know he loves me, and cares for me. Honestly, I don’t want tradition, I want Jesus, I want God. Like I said I don’t know what that looks like for me yet, but God has been faithful to show me the answers to my questions before and he will be faithful this time!
Note: After hearing from some of my readers I want you to know I am not calling anyone on the carpet or anything like that. I am working through some of my own issues out loud. This is specifically to myself and working out loud (because I am an outward processer) all that is going on inside of me. I pray this has not offended anyone, because that was certainly not my intent. Many Blessings, Robin