I know I said I'd keep writing from the last post, but I really have something else on my mind. I still intend on continuing to write on that subject, but I've been thinking about what spiritual growth looks like more.
I often here people say, "I just wish I was more spiritual."
I know how that feels. I've often felt far from God, like He was some guy I used to know. The Bible is very exciting to me now, but it doesn't always feel that way. Sometimes I don't feel like reading it, and then I feel very unspiritual. In Russia there were times I looked at the Bible like homework, something I had to do but really was quite boring. But I hated that. I fought through that. That wasn't good, and I knew it. I did not stay there.
I think sometimes we're content with liking Jesus when we're called to love Him.
As long as I just like Him simply, this whole Christianity thing will be nothing more than a tedious chore I do to feel good. I must move on from just liking to a kind of love that's very emotional and real.
I want to be the kind of person who can talk about spiritual things freely. But at least right now, that's not always true. I tend to get distracted, sarcastic, and apathetic. If you know me you know that's true. I so badly want for Christ to be my actual Lord. I am not content with others thinking I am spiritual, I want to be fully transformed by Jesus.
I love the idea that the Kingdom of God is much like leaven that, when kneaded enough into the dough, will pierce it the whole way through. I want this to be true in my life. I wish that God wasn't something I keep in some corners of my life but there's still parts which are very much my own. I want it to all be God's. All my hobbies, tastes in music, humor, and all the other little idiosyncrasies that make up who I am... can those really be God's, too? Or is it just the "spiritual" aspects that I will give Him?
I'm afraid our religious world has become secularized. We tend to think there's parts of our lives that belong to God, but then there's parts that are our own. There's parts where God's Kingdom reigns (spiritual stuff), yet there's also these parts where I reign because it really doesn't matter (neutral stuff). But I don't see that in the Bible. God must be my life, or I am not really experiencing His Kingdom.
I think spiritual growth involves many things, but a great part of it must be that there's bits of me which are constantly changing shape to look less like me and more like Jesus.
But this makes us so uncomfortable, doesn't it?
I mentioned this idea once in the context of being willing to make new interests so we can relate the gospel to others, and it made some people very angry. "Those things make up who I am!" they exclaimed. We are so defensive about what we hold as our identity, and I might be so bold to say that may be because our identities are in us, not Christ. Any attack on our identities and we are up in arms. As I said, I'm afraid some parts we want to give to God but some parts we're content keeping to ourselves.
This is what allows some Christians to talk passionately about evangelizing a lost world, but laugh hysterically at the very sin which makes them lost.
I'm not trying to point fingers here, but something's wrong. Does Jesus exist in religious activities but goes on a break during ordinary life? This is not the Jesus I know. I remember trying to convince some people to have small groups during the week, and they freaked out. "Where would the control be? Would the elders be there to monitor it?" It was like we needed permission to talk about Jesus. We already hang out in homes, why can't we just keep doing that but talk about Jesus instead of watching movies? We need permission for that? How far have we gone? Something is wrong.
I want to be like Jesus, but I allow so much to get in the way. I desperately want to serve a God who gave it all up for me. He didn't command me to love Him, instead He earned it by paying the ultimate debt I didn't have the money for: His own life. Man, I love a God like that. How could I not? He deserves whatever emotion, energy, and actions I can muster.
My prayer is that we can give up the personal parts of our lives we prefer to keep... the secret parts, the fun parts, and even the ordinary parts.
What do you think?
Share your thoughts.
1 week ago