“but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength;
they shall mount up with wings like eagles;
they shall run and not be weary;
they shall walk and not faint.”
I don’t know about you, dear friend, but this year has been pretty rough already. Sickness, death, sadness. You name it. There are days when I just don’t want to lift my head off the pillow. Yet somehow, each day, the lure of something new that God might be calling me to do gives me the energy to move forward. To put aside the pain, the heartache, the worry. He reminds me every day that He is enough.
We spent some time at house church the other night talking about the Lord’s Prayer. We are pausing in our study of Mark as our pastor takes us back to some spiritual disciplines. I think it is good sometimes to be reminded of the things that can become a “check the box” activity, especially in our spiritual lives. Kids, jobs, health can draw us away from those precious moments we need with Him. Moments that will “give us this day our daily bread”. Matt 6:9-13 The daily bread that is not just sustenance for our body but for our souls.
The world is so powerful these days. Calling us to spend hours on Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat. Every manner of mindless games that while away the hours, feeding our brains with endless nothingness. While right outside our doorstep are the truly lost and broken. The ones God has called us to seek out. The ones who are looking for a Savior, even though they don’t know what they are seeking. The ones who are weary. The ones who are faint. But they don’t know the Lord so they have no way of knowing that He can be their strength when they are not strong.
I just finished a book that has convicted me. Within the first few pages I was brought to a deeper understanding of just how easy it is to start putting everything ahead of God. My schoolwork. My book review work. My running time. My desire to get an A, write the perfect review, run just one more mile. None of which are bad things. As long as they are second to what I need to do for Him. What He has called me to do. What He has gifted me with. Living life with the people He has called me to be with. Col 2:2-3
The book is called Disappearing Church by Mark Sayers. Mark lives in Australia where he is a pastor. He has written this book as a call to the modern Church, to all Christ followers. It is a stark reminder of just how easy it is to fall prey to the siren call of the world. To live in this modern culture of self and grandiose visions of relevance. To try to make God fit into our vision of who we want Him to be.
In my studies I have read much about the early heresies. The worst of the heresies was Gnosticism, a belief in self fulfillment and the ability of each person to become their own version of god. Mark writes of a new, even more dangerous version of Gnosticism creeping into the lives of Christ followers. The theory put out, sadly, even by some of the largest churches in our world. It is the theory that life is all about you. About escaping the mundane and finding a rich, rewarding life. It is in our commercials, in our schools, in our technology. Find yourself. Find your perfect life. Don’t be mundane. Don’t be held back by tradition, religion, or barriers. You are in charge of your self.
But I am not in charge. It is not about me. Life might never be perfect. But He is. He doesn’t want to wait for me to find myself. He doesn’t want to wait for me to lose 20 pounds. He doesn’t want to wait for me to get a better job, buy a bigger house, finish that to do list. He wants me right here, right now, right in the middle of my brokenness. The Gospel’s message is that life is not about you. It’s about Him.
I encourage you, sweet friend, to remember that only in community can you help the gospel grow. Find a church family today that you can do life with. I love one of the lines in Mark’s book. “Instead of the choppy narrative of the single-person play, the gospel invites us into God’s great story, of which our singular part contributes to the great mosaic of salvation beauty, in which we are invited to partner with the Creator Himself in the redemption of the world and the marriage of heaven and earth.”
Disappearing Church is available on Amazon and other leading book retailers
Disappearing Church is published by Moody Publishing
©2017MichelleWelch, team member of Breath Of Life Women’s Ministries, all rights reserved