Thursday, March 19, 2009

Not just your Sunday book.

"If you don't live the Bible everyday, you become disqualified to use it for special purposes."

Quote taken from My Absurd Religion by Pastor Steve Gray.

Notice this doesn't say "read the Bible everyday"; we need to LIVE the Bible everyday and not just put on our "spiritual" hats on Sunday morning for an hour service (that most churches have) before we head to the buffet or home, to our slow-cooked roast. We need to wake up each morning and live out the word of God.

I remember when I was working at the hospital and in the process of getting accepted into school one of my supervisors told me that she was praying I didn't get in (not to be mean; she was saying it in a form of a compliment as she didn't want me to be leaving); I had to supress a laugh when she said that as the thought ran through my head, "I'm not too worried about that being answered." Now she is not a bad person and I am not judging her based on that as she does have a good heart but I have never seen any fruit to point that she lives the Bible at all.

The people I worked with never understood why I would ever "put myself" through church services that are as long as our services are. In no way do I intend to imply that sermons have to be long to be powerful but, they would sit in an hour long sermon in a church that is being suffocated by "religion/tradition" where the power of God is pretty well non-existent and be bored senseless. I have been there! I have been in those hour long services that leave you shifting left, right, left, right, until both butt cheeks are so asleep you feel like you are going to go insane!

Then I went to Kansas City for the first time ever to World Revival Church and sat in on my first 3 hour service and I wasn't bored once; in fact, I was on the edge of my seat and left wanting more. "You mean it's over? We have to leave now? Are you sure you didn't miss a page?"

Now I attend a church where I am there from 9:30 a.m. (due to sound check, pre-morning prayer and then service) until usually 3:30-4:00 and people give me that look that screams ARE YOU SERIOUS? ARE YOU MAD? SUNDAY IS 'ME' TIME! Does that make me better than you? Most certainly not. I am just wanting to share with you that I have been in several of those "hour long, out by noon, get you to the buffet in time" churches and left their feeling unfulfilled, restless, tired, glad it was over and yet proud that I had fulfilled my "moral goodness" by showing up and warming my seat. I have also been in 3 churches that have those "long services" (you know the ones most people think would be torturous) and have left them feeling connected, equipped, renewed and not wanting to leave just yet. Why? What was the difference? God showed up in one type of service and not the other. Not that it was the length that had anything to do with it but the pastor's passion to preach the word of God and not some humanistic drivel; it had to do with the pastor's heart to see God glorified and His power and presence be present.


Marc Vandersluys said...

Hmmmm...isn't it fair to say, though, that different people meet or connect with God in different ways.

After all, Jesus promised that when two or three gathered in his name, he would be present. Doesn't this mean that God's presence in church (or in any meeting in Christ's name) is a given--something to be assumed--rather than something to be achieved or asked-for?

*How* He shows up will differ, but *that* He shows up is promised.

Love Mom said...

I can kind of see what you are saying but, if the hunger isn't there or the right attitude He doesn't tangibly show up. There is a difference that I can not explain, Marc. There is the whole "Jesus is in us so He is always with us" presence and then there is when God shows up and you can tangibly feel Him there, a place where it seems like you are being electrocuted without it hurting, a place where you can see men, women, children changing before your very eyes.