In the church we like to preach there's only one way. Yes, Jesus is THE WAY. And it is ONLY through Him that truth comes. Where things get a little confusing, and vision some what clouded, is when we begin to idolize one way the Lord speaks, or one way the Lord moves, or one way the Lord accomplishes something. We idolize an idea of God, rather than falling in love with Jesus Himself. When there is a move of the Holy Spirit, we leave changed. But when we try to replicate it just because that is how God moved before, it doesn't always produce the same fruit. He is always doing something new, in a new way. Getting comfortable in the works of God without life-giving relationship leads to religion. Religion without relationship leads to bondage. It's never one way with the Lord because the basis of all that He does is on ONE THING: intimacy with Him. RELATIONSHIP. So as much as our ideas about tithing, ideas about membership in our churches, ideas about how a worship service should be run, ideas about theology, ideas about what is right or what is wrong….comes this very dichotomy: NONE OF IT MATTERS OUTSIDE OF RELATIONSHIP. You see I’m the best pretender of them all. I’ve become great at pretending I’m an awesome spiritual person by proving I can live right. I can pretend to hear the voice of God by only regurgitating theological information that has been taught to me in the past. I can easily look like I have it all together when, spiritually, I may be falling apart. But am I falling more in love with an idea of God, more than I am falling madly in love with Jesus Himself? What leads me to do what I do? Did Jesus tell me to do, say, or live the way I have chosen to today? Do I worship Him because of duty? Do I worship Him out of discipline? Or do I worship Him out of delight? What is my driving force? Does loving Him bring me pleasure? I have come to conclude if love is not that driving force, everything else is meaningless.
Yesterday I watched a film that left me completely undone. "Compelled by Love" is a documentary based on the life of Heidi Baker and her impact on the world. Here you have a woman who puts Jesus in physical form. It's obvious she is living, breathing, tangibly loving like Jesus. It’s Him…..in Heidi’s body. I’ve personally never been able to see such a manifestation in a person. You look into her eyes filled with light and all you see is Jesus staring you in the face. I’m not idolizing her, but what I do acknowledge is that her life has been completely surrendered to the love of God. She has given herself over to Jesus 100%, and I can not deny it challenges me to most deepest and darkest parts of my heart. I. am. undone. A couple years ago I read her book, Compelled by Love, which was also a turning point in my walk with the Lord. It was through her life and the revelation of the Beatitudes I was left knowing my life was not my own. That I would “lose my life to find it” (Matthew 10:39). And again, today, all I could meditate on was how much I wanted Him. It’s a fascinating thing. I know the FULLNESS of God lives and moves and has His being in me. I lack no good thing and He has given me all that I need. But somehow there is a paradigm between that Truth and the manifestation of that fullness being lived out. I must come in agreement with that truth, but I must also learn the sweet art of surrendering to the truth. It’s not enough to know. As Believers, we often feel like we know many biblical truths. But is that what leads us to knowing Him? I personally do not think so. It’s surrendering to Truth, to Him. It’s unadulterated, completely abandoned surrender to the journey of falling in love with Him through intimacy. It’s scary. But there is no safer place to be.
If you have some time to give God, may this be a gift to you. Even if you listen in a quiet place for 20 minutes, I am sure it will be a blessing. It was to me.