I don’t want it, Part Three: Come and get it!
This is the last of a three part series. In Part One, we look in as a man named Bob shoots down a fellow from a local church who has knocked on his door to “witness” to him. We see a glimpse of the frustration that folks can have with the typical Churchianity sales pitch. In Part Two, Bob opens up to a co-worker, admitting that he’s at the end of his rope, and is desparately looking for a better life. In this conclusion, Bob’s co-worker responds to his heart-felt question.
Bob, I’m glad you asked. You know, my wife and I have been praying for you a long time now. And yet, I’ve had a peace about where God’s been taking you, and I’ve never felt prompted to talk to you about this stuff till now.
Yeah … I said God. As in God and Jesus. But I’m talking about them in a way that you clearly don’t know them, because if you did, you wouldn’t be in the bad place you are right now. Brother, I’m honored you’ve asked me to help you, and I do believe I can. You’re right, by God’s grace, I have found IT, and I can show you where to find IT, too! And IT really is as good as you’ve hoped for … even better!
You’re looking for what everyone in the history of the world has ever looked for. True love and deep joy. The secret to being content in all situations. Peace that surpasses understanding. The good thing is you’ve realized you’ve been looking in all the wrong places. The better news is that it’s God’s heart’s desire for you to find them – in the here and now, not just after you’re dead and in “heaven.”
These are the underlying goals behind all human pursuits, passions and endeavors. People sing about them, write about them, and long for them from the depths of their hearts. They are the hidden promise behind every sales pitch, and the lure behind every addiction. And while many claim to hold the key, the fact is there’s only one place you can find them for real – and that is in an authentic relationship with the Father through Jesus Christ.
Bob, it’s true. The Creator of the universe — who holds the stars in his hands and knows each hair on your head – His deepest desire is to have a personal relationship with you. And when I say personal relationship, that’s exactly what I mean. He wants to listen to you and talk to you. He wants you to jump in His lap and call Him Daddy! He has high hopes and great plans for you, and He is eager to guide you down the path towards a glorious destiny, and provide everything you need along the way.
All the things you and I crave most in this life, when you delight yourself in Him, He will freely give them to you. He promises to! They are found in the middle of His path, in the center of His will. I know because I’ve found them.
All the junk and pain you’ve experienced, that’s not punishment. God’s not about that. Instead, it’s pushed you towards Him, hasn’t it? It’s like He’s lovingly planted cactus everywhere but on His path, so the further away you get, the more desperate you are to find IT. That’s not punishment, it’s love! And what’s so cool is that, no matter how far or long you’ve been off His path, it’s only one step away!
I know what you must be feeling, almost a hesitation to approach God, because of all the things you’ve done that you feel bad about. I felt the same way. The fact is, God is perfect, and you have to be, too, to be joined with Him in fellowship. But you can’t let that frighten you! You see, that’s the amazing grace of Jesus! When you enter through Him, He will guide you into the Father’s presence, and take away all the stuff you’ve ever done – or will ever do! – that could keep you away from that relationship with God. The price has been paid in full, and when you’re in Christ, God sees you as His perfect child. He holds nothing against you! The freedom you find in Christ truly is amazing.
Brother, I hope you can put your so-called “church” experience behind you, because I sure have! I don’t know why it is that folks feel they haven’t done “church” unless they sit down, face forward, sing along to some music, and listen to some “holy man” talk a while. That has absolutely nothing to do with church the way God intends it. You can do that seven days a week, and still not “do” church in God’s eyes. Or … you can never do that one time in your life and be very much a part of the body of Jesus Christ!
Now don’t get me wrong. There are many, many good people who spend their Sunday mornings in pews and pulpits. However, if someone is in that setting out of tradition or ignorance – and thinks the organization, or the ceremonies, or the buildings are in any way related to God’s idea of church – then they’re supremely misguided, and they’ll never find what they’re looking for that way. It didn’t work for you or me, and it’s not working for them either.
The saddest thing is that they may even burn out and walk away from God altogether, because they can’t separate in their minds the reality of God from all things people do in His name! That why they run the other direction when they see a Christian coming – because they’ve been there, done that, got the t-shirt, and it didn’t fit them one lick! They need our prayers, not our scorn. The only person in this world who is harder to reach than someone caught in churchianity, is someone who’s burned out of it and gone the other direction.
I wish there was another word we could use do differentiate between real Christians and those who simply follow the “Christian” religion. Because it’s two different things entirely… But anyway, we can get into all that down the road. We need to put first things first.
Here’s the deal, Bob. The Bible says that faith is a gift, and we receive it when we listen to God speak to us personally. God also calls us to “Be still and know that I am God.” You want to find IT? Here’s what you need to do. There are no magic words or prayers to recite. That’s stilly. You don’t have to walk to the front of the “church” or fill out a response card or take a class. Just take the afternoon off. Go drive out to the country somewhere, maybe a park or just a back road. Find a quiet place, turn off your phone, and just open your heart to God. Accept the gift of grace that Jesus paid for, and approach God like you’re His long lost son coming home. Tell Him your issues. Ask Him your questions. And then be quiet and wait for Him to answer. It may not come in a form you expect, but God is not The Riddler. He wants to connect with you, personally. And you’ll know it when He does. He’s been knocking, and eagerly waiting for you to open the door. Draw near to Him, and He will draw near to you – He promises to do that! Just take that first step, and let Him do the rest!
Brother, I’ll be praying for you and your family, and I’ll be here for you when you get back.There’s a lot more we’ll talk about as we go down this road together… but let’s just let today be what it is. I’m so excited for you! You will remember today for the rest of your life.
– You are the salt of the world. Stay salty, my friends!
Posted on February 13, 2012, in Churchianity, evangelism, Life lessons, The Living God, Victory and tagged church, churchianity, encouragement, ministry, religion, rhema, victory. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.