How Can You?

There is this line that I walk a lot where I try to figure out whether speaking on issues is important or not. How do we know whether it is Holy Spirit prompting us or just our own efforts? Does it even matter? Meaning, is there benefit to be gained either way?

In the past, I was a little more hot-headed. But then you live a little. You realize you’ve done or are as prone to doing the same errors that you observe everyone else making. It’s humbling.

People are in different places in their lives. Someone with a lot of wisdom told me, “Eat the meat, spit out the bones”.

I am learning to separate the position from the person. It’s not my job to change anyone’s mind. I write more for those who read something that resonates.

This season in my life I’ve been struggling with surrendering the need to know. Learning to go with the flow. Every day a new adventure. Living in the present. Hopeful for tomorrow. But not as married to a particular outcome as I was in the past.

I truly believe we shouldn’t guilt or scare people into choosing to follow God. The analogy that came to mind this morning was that of a child that has been taken away from an abusive home and put into foster care. It is my opinion that it would be very wrong of the foster parents to tell the abused child, “You better love us because we saved you from bad treatment. If you don’t love us, we will send you away.” What?!?! The absurdity!

We wouldn’t do that as humans. (Or at least, I hope we wouldn’t.) Why would we then ascribe that attitude to the God who Created us? Who said He so LOVED the world that He sent His Son to prove it to our blind minds. That’s why it is so offensive to me when people think they are speaking for Jesus when they are guilting or scaring people into making forced confessions of faith.

What would Jesus do? Maybe Jesus who said to run to Him as a child, and maybe Jesus who said He longs to gather us as a mother hen gathers her chicks, and maybe Jesus who said a millstone should be hung around the neck of those who hurt children (in the faith or otherwise), maybe that Jesus would take the abused child and care for the child without demanding anything in return. Knowing that the child cannot love what the child doesn’t know. Cannot trust without experiencing trustworthiness.

How can a person love a God that they don’t yet know? Especially coming from a place where they need healing first. They need an example of what love is.

I wish speakers would stop preaching behavioral modification and instead preach Jesus. I wish I could go to a meeting house on a Sunday or any other given day of the week and learn more about this God we say we believe is only LOVE.

I wish you would tell me more abput this God. How great He is. How you experienced Him this week. Not years ago, although I want to hear that also. But today! Tell me so I can know. So I can believe. So I want a relationship with God for myself.

Not religion. We have had more than enough religion.

We need a God that is bigger than us. Bigger than our resistance. Bigger than our hurt and pain. Bigger than our doubts. Tell me about that God! And I guarantee I’ll love Him more and more.

For all of you that don’t have anyone speaking life to you. For all you seekers. Ask. Seek. Knock. With all that you are now. As you are. Just put it out there from your heart. Even your anger. Even your rage. Even your cursing and your doubts. Take a risk. If you don’t believe anyway, what do you have to lose? Ask God to help you see Him as He really is.

I have experienced things that make me pretty confident in saying it will be worth it.

Heartbreak

I don’t believe the heart of The God I’ve experienced is to shame seekers. Guilting them into relationship with Him. Maybe that is the heart of men posturing the authority of God for personal gain, whether material or immaterial. But that isn’t my beautiful Jesus. That isn’t The God I experience day to day.

Guilting, shaming, and striking fear in the hearts of seekers alienates them from corporate church gatherings. I can’t stand it. I don’t believe my God keeps score like that.

The Truth sets us free. I believe ALL were born again when we killed Jesus and He conquered death for us and was resurrected. I believe ALL will ascend just as He ascended.

The details of how all of that works? The likelihood is slim that I will ever fully understand in this lifetime. However, God could surprise me; He specializes in what seems impossible to us. But I have heard enough to feel convinced myself.

And so I share the hope that I believe has been given to me. Trusting all the rest to Holy Spirit. I think God is that big and that good. That I don’t have to shame or harass or guilt people into making a profession of faith out of a sense of obligation.

Maybe the insecure demand forced professions of faith motivated by fear or guilt. But I wager that kind of profession breaks the heart of God and His passion is aroused against the words being spoken by those that reduce His great love down so much.

What person really wants someone to profess love out of fear versus natural affections? Maybe those with an ego problem. But that is NOT our God!!! He specifically came down to earth and allowed us to treat Him in such a way as to prove the exact opposite; to prove how much He loves us.

Perfect love casts out fear.

I hear so much pain in the words of those that find it so outrageous to believe that God could be even bigger and better than they ever imagined. I hear people who are tired and angry. Very tired and very angry. Caged birds. Hope deferred. Longing to sing.

So I pray. I give my heartache for those I love to God. And I pray. I want freedom for them. For us all. I want us all to really understand God’s love and rest like children. Loved children. Not slaves. That is my heart cry.