Saturday, February 4, 2017

DOING Christianity is Complicated; BEING a Christian is NOT

This sweet time of solitude for the last 3+ weeks has given me great insight on “doing Christianity versus being a Christian”. I really needed this time of focus for wisdom and direction – not to mention, clear out some of the cobwebs in my thinking.

I’ve been a gal who has relentlessly pursued God most all of my life. I think my thinking became somewhat skewed because I thought that the more I did for God, the more I read His Word, the more times I attended church, the more I gave and volunteered, the more I knocked on His door for answers to my prayers and needs -- the more I would receive His favor. My daily walk seemed to be more about striving -- to do more and be more. But God wasn’t asking me to do, do, do. He was offering me a life of abundance for simply BEING His girl.

I think about a marriage/love relationship. Out of the love we have for each other, it’s just natural to be loving, caring and considerate of each other. The more we love….the more we aim to please – not out of necessity, but out of the sheer enjoyment of bringing pleasure to our loved one. We complicate it when we disconnect from each other and become careless and we get sidetracked on things that distract us from cultivating the love. That’s when our relationship gets complicated. It’s then about a score card – not about that mutual love and respect for each other.

I love Zig Ziglar’s quote: “We are human BEINGS, NOT human DOINGS.” And I’ve been one of those over-complicated responders to God. Don’t get me wrong. I love my Lord and I love the relationship I have with Him. Seriously, I thrive in the knowledge of knowing who I am and Whose I am. But rather than BEING with the One 24/7 Who loves me most and just living each moment of every day in the knowledge of my trust and complete devotion to Him, I complicated things by giving myself rules of engagement with Him. Look at His love words I read yesterday: John 15:4-5 4 “Abide in me, and I will abide in you. Just as the branch cannot produce fruit by itself unless it abides in the vine, neither can you unless you abide in me. I am the vine, you are the branches. The one who abides in me while I abide in him produces much fruit, because apart from me you can do nothing." I got it. The crux of my relationship with Him isn’t about do’s and don’ts, about have to’s and have not’s…’s about a lifestyle of BEING and ABIDING, being grafted into the vine. When we abide in Jesus, He becomes more than a Sunday God or when-in-trouble God or when-we-think-about- Him God. Abiding in Him means He's our Monday through Sunday -- our 24/7 Lord Who we are involved with every moment!

I recently read “The Magnolia Story” – it’s the sweet, often hilarious, and amazing story of Chip and Joanna Gaines from the show “Fixer-Upper”, their love story, taking daily steps of making a living, to wisdom and knowledge in business and how they made it to stardom. It’s a story of faith and just really “abiding in God” on a daily basis. It’s about hearts for family and humanity. It’s about REAL LIFE and real struggles and a REAL everyday walk with God….just BEING. I really didn’t want the book to end. You’ll laugh out loud at their mistakes that turned into “all things working together for good because they trusted God”. I also urge you to watch the show which is REAL LIFE of turning old homes into new…..just like in our lives when the old man gets destroyed and the new man awakens to “new life in Christ”. That, my friends, is the greatest FIXER-UPPER ever. Not complicated. Just sweet air….even on those days when the struggles of life can be quite stinky……but because we ABIDE IN HIM….He even makes the stinky turn into a sweet aroma when lifted to Him in trust that He will turn even the stinky into good in our lives.