As I am on my journey of self discovery (finally at lmost 50) I am learning how much I base my value on what I do. It is hard for me to comprehend someone loving me just for me. I feel like I have to do something to earn love and when I translate that to my Christian faith I always feel like a failure. I am coming to understand more and more that God’s love is UNCONDITIONAL. That means I do not earn it. My head has always known this but I have not really lived that way. Devotions, prayer, church, good deed all seemed, in my mind, to be ways of making myself worthy in God’s eyes.
What is coming to light this year is that devotions, prayer, attending church and good deeds are ways that I connect with God. I am still unworthy except for the advocate Jesus that washes away my sin and makes a way for me to approach the throne of grace. Jesus makes me worthy and all the other stuff I DO should be out of love and relationship.
I think the church has taught me that being a good Christians means to follow all the rules and do the right things. Instead I think it should be teaching all the sources of connection available to us.
I was taught that devotions were what good Christians did. I think a better wording would be that as a Child of God he wants to talk to me everyday through His word. It is not because I am good that I read the Bible, it is because God wants to connect with me and that one way He provided for that is through His word.
As I have struggled to have a concentrated one hour prayer time each week, I have learned that prayer is not what I do because I am a good Christian. Prayer is talking out my struggles, my questions, my unbelief with the God of the Universe who cares about those things in my life. He wants me to cry, to yell, to be quiet, to feel the need to let it all hang out. He knows it all any way and we try, instead, to be dignified in prayer. If we follow Jesus’ example, he did not pray dignified prayers. He weep, he fasted, he sweat. Do we put that much energy into the things we are asking God for? Are we asking things so big that they make us sweat? Are we asking for things that are so close to our emotions that we weep? I hope the answer is yes, but I hear far to many Christians say their prayer time is in the car, or random prayers throughout the day. There is a place for quick, anytime praying but there should be a place for those heart wrenching prayers when we get to the real heart of the matter.
For many has become a social club mindset. We go there to catch up with friends, to sing, and to hear what the pastor has to say but most of us do this out of obligation or duty. When I hear people say they didn’t like this or that about a service, I wonder if they came for the right reason. Did you come to connect with God and with other believers? If so, unless the pastor and worship was not biblical, you should be able to connect. It is not about making you happy. It is about connection.
Ask yourself if you are trying to find the love of God by doing something or by really knowing the He loves you and then just connect with Him in different ways to see how that love can change your life.