Wednesday, December 18, 2013

ATTACHMENTS

It is interesting what we humans get attached too. When I share the Good News with the simply seeking or the spiritually desperate, I want them not to believe in me, but in my God who gives us every good and perfect gift (James 1:17).  I want them to attach to the God of the message as well as the Good News itself. I desire those I'm speaking with to understand the reason for the hope that I have. Doing this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against my good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander. (1 Peter 3:15) You can believe in me for my expertise at something. For example, you can believe I can come through for you on the job. You can believe in me for my talent at something. For example, you can believe I can really communicate a feeling in song or score in a sport. However, as I share the Gospel, I don't want anyone to believe in me or attach to me to the point of distraction from God's message for them.

For many, it is easy to get enthralled or distracted in the persona of a speaker, teacher, or even a local pastor of many years. True, we need great effective speakers, teachers, and pastors to communicate the Word of God to us on a corporate scale. However, when it comes to either the unbeliever believing in the Salvation message for the first time OR the seasoned Christian receiving spiritual nourishment from a lesson at the pulpit - detachment from the speaker and attachment to God is paramount.

One of the ways Christians can attach to God more, meaning - receive a timely word from Him, enjoy His immediate presence, worship Him in spirit and in truth - is to take care of our spiritual relationship outside of Sunday Service. What we do as individuals during the week prepares our hearts, minds, and spirits for how we will experience God in the corporate setting - The Church.  Just like a singer needs to work on his/her part (bass, tenor, alto, soprano) for a song before joining the choir in rehearsal or performance. Just like a ball player needs to work on his body and individual skills before coming to "team practice" or the actual game. It would help the Christian tremendously if he/she would take care of the Temple of God (mind, body, and spirit-1 Corinthians 6:19) during the week and not wait around for Sunday Fuelings/Feedings.  For the unbeliever, it would be helpful to do research on Christ.  Throw out all rumors and hearsay and investigate Him yourself.  A good start is to read His book, The Bible, from cover to cover.

In the dealings with the Hebrew people, God revealed Himself in different ways but after each exposure the people would find some way to reject God and latch onto something else. It is perplexing...God revealed Himself through miraculous natural wonders (pillar of cloud/fire) only to see His people attach themselves to idols (Exodus 32:1-4). God revealed Himself through His heroes and servants the prophets only to see His people revert back to their old ways or the ways of the surrounding culture (Judges 8:33-35).  God revealed Himself through angelic ministries only to witness John fall at the feet of an angel and begin to worship it (Revelation 19:10). God would send His very Word in flesh, His only Son, Jesus, to show His people The Way but deathly rejection is what it cost Him.  God has reached to us throughout history in order to give us the most appropriate person to attach to - Himself - but we keep finding new attachments to satisfy what only He can.

It is not about me.  Life, faith, the journey, and meaning is not about me.  The Choice to make is to believe in, latch onto, or attach yourself to Jesus Christ and not His Christians.  For the unbeliever, I encourage you to become a new creature/creation in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17), filled with the Holy Spirit so that you will begin to know the mind of God (1 Corinthians 2:11-16). Don't become a believer in Jesus to join the Church Club that sadly many of our local expressions have become.  Come for Christ and not the Club and God will honor and bless you. For the Christian, I challenge you to (1) make everyday a personal Sunday between you and God, (2) sit under good teaching, (3) glorify God, The Holy Spirit, as the teacher, and (4) stay appropriately attached, testing the spirits as you listen (1 John 4:1).