The spiritual life cannot be made suburban.
It is always frontier and we who live in it
must accept and even rejoice that it remained untamed.
The greatest obstacle to realizing our dreams
is the false self's hatred of mystery.
I believe we Christians may have subtly grown stagnant because we don't like mystery. The subtlety is that we have been so busy serving-in-safety while growing numb. I don't speak disparagingly. Quite the opposite; I feel most enthusiastic about the fact that we might want to know this. I will always need this reminder; else I will grow irritated with new ideas that don't fit my fussy parameters.
Our tendency toward redundancy can lead our causes to be thin while our arguments grow thinner. Traditions, even the good ones, have a way of rocking us to sleep. We have been baptized and habitized to lead lives of rhythmic repetition. Our crowds have grown dull and less crowded. The different, the diverse, and the dangerous have been declawed leaving many congregations with tired assemblies and lackluster ministries.
We must not despair. We must not surrender. We will not give up. Through the resurrected Jesus, ours is the role to face the impossible and then move into it. How wild is that?
The cleansing of our hearts begins with recognizing our Christian walk might be stuck. Think about it. What generation has come up through the church ranks that hasn't had to do battle with the upper-crust of the way we do things? It isn't necessarily a matter of new is better. We must consider that new in the church isn't referencing gadgetry or model; but is all about freshness of the new life of which scriptures speak.
Even these young who clamor for refreshment will eventually face the identical and serious dilemma. Will they adjust to the next version of new thinking or will these who once wanted new stand in the way as some of their foreparents did? Each generation sinks toward the option of good enough when a cleansing of the hearts may be in desperate need.
Often such words are countered with there are some things in the Word that don't need to be changed. I would counter that counter with there are no things in the Word that need to be changed. We have struggled to realize that even our most recent ancestors did not have a grasp on the entirety of Revelation. It isn't that we are that dumb; but rather, that God is that deep.
Jesus has the perfect grasp. We must know him that we obtain his righteousness. Being right with God has become our fallen god. We have entered a dead-end alley of manipulating Bible knowledge when it does not lead us to Jesus but leads us to feel-good exercises of church management.
One of the things that I find rare among elders (and yet thoroughly enjoy among mine) is the ability to think purely upon God's desire for our hearts without being arrested by assumed positions of both church history as well as neighboring leadership. This doesn't make us better or even as good. It does keep the church refreshed, agile, and productive.
To work by, with, and for the Holy Spirit is to function in that one zone contrary to hardening of the arteries in the church....remaining flexible. All churches are set up for possible failure; not because we are stubborn but because we are simply lazy. It takes work to believe past what was gained in church history and noticed in neighboring churches.
It takes brave exercise to be more honest with the Bible than we are fearful of what others will think about what we think. We must eat of the power that God has prepared for exciting faith industry.
In this age, especially in American church freedom, we are in great need of cleansing of the hearts. May He give us the grace and mercy adequate for such a rich blessing. May we live wound up for God reflective of the days we were newly reborn and converted.
Keep the heart refreshed. Live brand new....again today.