How close to the Father we are!
I was reading this morning in Malachi, I believe. The Lord was speaking about the dishonorable sacrifices that His people were bringing to Him. Injured and decrepit animals, blind even; when there were perfectly healthy, fat and ready animals to be given. Although this book refers to old testament teachings and things of the law, it can be very reflective of how we behave in our current society as Christians.
Do we not?
We are constantly shorting God on what it is He deserves. The sacrifices we could give him compare so little to those we actually do. 10 minutes of prayer rather than 30. A couple of verses read rather than a chapter. These are minimal in comparison to some of the bigger things that the spirit of God calls us to do, yet how often do we close our ears, turn our backs, or walk away. This is just like spitting in the face of our maker, and yet we do it.
We all do it.
I am absolutely in a new place spiritually, even in the last few days. For the first time in a long time I feel God moving in me, rather than an emotional service, a powerful worship song, or someone speaking into my life. I have prayed and prayed almost constantly that God himself would come in and change me. And He is. He is changing my thinking. I despise (maybe too strong of a word) the political and legalistic thinking that we are so accustomed to have in the Christian view of things. I am so tired of being in a place and knowing that the Lord I serve is in a box. A tight, unopened box. He deserves more. I am frustrated at Christians who are using their actions to lead people astray. [and justifying it]
I know that we live under Grace. Thank Jesus for his sacrifice! But we do feel like it is acceptable to exercise in that knowledge? "Well I know I'll be forgiven so I'll use this language or I'll go out and do this inappropriate thing..." Is it because we are human? I believe not. I believe it is because we are lazy and we want something to excuse our actions. And it sickens me. I know that we are not going to be perfect but why then is it acceptable for us to not even TRY to live up to that which we are striving for? Are we not supposed to live striving to be more like Jesus?
Our heavenly Father sacrificed his only son on the cross for us. He was beaten, tortured and killed for us. And yet we cannot give a greater sacrifice? We are so completely unworthy of this love from our God. And yet...He continues to give it to us. He speaks to us, works through us, strengthens us, teaches us, protects us, heals us, loves us and most of all...forgives us. He is an awesome God. My desire is not for this post to be condemning or frustrating. It is, rather, to encourage us--all of us--to live up to that which we are called for; which I believe is holiness.
There are no laws, rules, or regulations that give us boundaries as to how to be the perfect follower of Christ. However, there is a spirit of our Lord that is alive and real in us. He gives us conviction and purpose. Live up to that in your own life and you will be doing that which you are called for! I have been asked a number of times in my walk why I do the things I do (pray, fast, worship, speak the word of God, be honest, forgiving, etc) and why I do not do specific things in my life (drink, cuss, lust, watch certain movies, dress a certain way, etc). I wish it was more clear than this, or that there were specific guidelines so that we would all have a perfect outline of how to be a great Christian...but there just simply is not. I do the things I do, or choose not to do certain things because of the convictions that I feel in my own heart. The Bible is clear in many areas regarding our relationship with Jesus, and one of the most significant, I believe, is that we are not to be a stumbling block to anyone else. Rather that be a believer or unbeliever, I will choose to live holy as to not cause confusion, frustration or a backslide in someone else's life.
I realize that this post is kind of everywhere today and I apologize. I have so much going on in my heart and mind that I'm finding it difficult to make it all as clear as I had hoped. However, the Lord is doing a work in me once again! I love this new thing that my spirit is receiving and I hope that you all can continue reading as I embark on this awesome journey! Being a follower of our God is so rewarding and life changing every.single.day.
Won't you join me?