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lighten up

October 18, 2008

That’s Unhindered. They’ve been the worship team at Teen Mania’s Acquire the Fire events for the past couple years.

We’re in the middle of a series, on Friday nights, called Party Like a Monk. We’re going through monastic vows and gleaning whatever wisdom we can from them. Last night we looked at the vow of stability, which basically says you stay in your monastery until death. None of this wishy-washy, monastery-hopping when something gets hard.

One monastery I found (online … which I thought was a little strange: a monastery with a website) explained that they do this, “to refuse all escapes from the rigorous work of conversion we have undertaken.”

In meditating on and preparing this message I planned to talk about our spiritual and emotional stability in Christ and, as usual, the topic always works its way back to Jesus. Because there is no stability outside of Him.

And that stability starts to manifest itself in our lives when we really live as though we’re in this world, but not (part) of this world. People notice that our lives are different, but then I started to wonder why. Why are our lives different?

If they’re different because we’re following a rigid set of rules to appease our omnipotent God, people don’t see Him in us. People see boredom, religion, hypocrisy, etc. Because despite what the mainstream media would have us think, people are not stupid. People recognize authenticity.

In working through this in prayer I started to get frustrated. Why is it that so often Christians live like we’re ashamed to be Christians? Like church and Jesus are embarrassing? Why is it a rare occasion that we’re excited; why is it only the new believers who seem to really get it? We can talk about new restaurants and movies and politics with all the passion known to man, but if faith comes up we shy away.

It’s easy to blame it on society. It’s easy to say that bad decisions and biased media have pushed Christians into a corner where we have to be careful about what we say and do. People are waiting to be offended and not like us, so we have to tread lightly.

There’s truth in that, but I think it’s more often the case that we don’t believe in the life we’re called to live. I love the lyrics to the second verse of that song:

“Where the Spirit of the Lord is, freedom reigns, so come on, come on throw off your prison chains. We’re liberated by a King, only freedom remains for the people of God, ya the people of God. And we’re living in a kingdom that will never end, living in the power that defeated sin. So come one everybody, let your praise begin, ’cause Jesus is alive and He’s coming again!”

I’m tired of being a bored Christian. I’m tired of looking at the unique aspects of a life of discipleship (prayer, Bible study, worship, fasting, etc.) as a burden, instead of an opportunity for me to connect with the Creator on this side of eternity. I’m tired of trying to work for my salvation. I’m tired of looking at the church as an institution that needs to get its numbers up, instead of a radical group of people who are out to bring the love of Christ – practically spiritually – to our neighbors no matter what the cost. I’m tired of being so uptight about my faith that I can’t enjoy Him in the everyday.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. KnowYourGod permalink
    October 21, 2008 11:56 am

    amen and amen, God has been dealing with me in this regard as well, we have people down here that smoke a cigar and enjoy a beer and even occasionally swear without embarassment. I hear them use this terminology, ” I’m free to drink and i’m free not to” i’m not convinced entirely of that philosophy but i think i understand it.

  2. Lex permalink
    October 22, 2008 4:03 pm

    I feel you. My issue’s been more with boredom. With things like you mention, I still believe in avoiding the appearance of evil and not being a stumbling block for others.

    For me, the Lord has put a finger recently on the ways I live like this life is boring and/or a chore. I’m a slave who has been freed. I’ve been adopted by the King of kings. Am I known for that, though, or am I known as a bore?

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