Several years ago, I laid across my living room floor and asked God to lead my family to a church. I couldn’t even articulate what I needed in a church. I still can’t, really. I just knew my heart was starving for a steady diet of truth. Truth combined with humility. And completely free of legalism.
Not a church that found its identity in all the reasons “we are right” and “they are wrong.” Not a church that encouraged me to seek material wealth, worldly success or physical healing as evidence of my spirituality. But a church that would lead me to the foot of the cross and then teach me how to live there. A church that would constantly challenge me to strip off more of my selfishness and pride, clothe myself with Jesus Christ and serve others in ways that are unfamiliar and uncomfortable.
Oh, and, if it isn’t too much trouble, God, I would prefer all of that to be packaged and presented to me in a way I could receive it, digest it and then apply it. Not just me, but my husband and children also. Even my yet-to-be born children, K?
Though I loved the people in my church dearly and served alongside them joyfully, I longed for something…else. I didn’t even know if the church I prayed for existed. I had never seen the church I prayed for. I just knew I was not in it.
Unbeknownst to me, I was praying for a move across the country to a city in Kentucky (Kentucky? Seriously!?!) where I had neither family nor friends (yet). And the church I prayed for didn’t look at all like I thought it would. It didn’t have all the bells and whistles of the church down the street. It didn’t have X-Box in the youth center or stadium seating in the sanctuary. But when I found it, I knew I found it. Something in me whispered, “This is it. You are home.”
I say all of that to tell you, six years later, and God is still blowing my mind at church. I am seriously waiting for my pastor to preach a sermon that fails to apply to me, exactly where I am at that moment. And not only that, but skillfully craft illustrations from 19th century church history, quotes from A.W Tozer scenes from Happy Days in the same sermon.
It’s sheer brilliance, I tell you.
Six years of on-the-spot teaching and preaching. I’m speechless.
My pastor preached a masterpiece yesterday that sliced right through my heart. (Click HERE and choose “Little Book Big Impact”) Seriously, Dude, I will be chewing on, dissecting, and meditating upon this sermon all week long. And I’m just giddy because it’s the beginning of a series, which means there will be more. MORE!
I feel like someone just led me to a table of the sweetest, juiciest, most colorful fresh fruits and veggies and told me to eat all I want.
I realize I lost most of you with that analogy. Sorry. Substitute that with steak or cake or chocolate covered French fries or whatever excites you in the way of food. For me, it’s fresh, sweet, juicy produce, grown in season, okay?
Thanks to God speaking through my pastor, here is where I am in the Word:
“For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you and asking God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all spiritual wisdom and understanding.
And we pray this in order that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, and joyfully giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in the kingdom of light.
For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, in whom we have redemption the forgiveness of sins.
He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation.
For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him.
He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.
And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy.
And here is what God is telling me today:
There is absolutely nothing in this world, or more specifically, in my life, over which He does not have supremacy. Complete and total authority. It’s all made by Him and for Him. And God alone is holding it together. Without my help, believe it or not. It’s all Him.
For a girl who often carries the weight of the world on her shoulders, who spends a lot of time in the “what ifs,” and who exerts too much energy trying to control things and people around her…this is really good news.
What is God saying to YOU today? It’s time to link up or comment and tell the world about it!