Thursday, April 28, 2011

Decisions, Decisions

In everybodies lives there is always a choice which of these three roads we get to walk down. The first one is the road of Rebellion. Here its all about ourselves. We learn to ignore the leading of Jesus in our lives and are "satisfied" that we are in controll. We move ourselves far out of the reach of manipulating voices and relationships and supress a natural longing to have the very thing we have closed all the doors to..... and that is, to live in Rest from having to gain the approval of everybody else around us that we seek to impress. We stive for individuality and uniqness on this road, but only find that we match up to the millions of others traveling his same road. Just like sheep (albeit the proverbial "black sheep"), all responding exactly the same to the attempts of Love to capture our hearts. We kick away in fear because of a twisted perception of "true Love", and rush back to "the known" which is a place far from freedom, far from the exillerating embrace of God, far from the Joy He has for us to experience. The years may fly by and our world created out of fear only gets darker and more desparate - although we fight hard to never let it show. Never realizing that freedom from our prison cells has been closer than the air we breath all along. From the moment we chose never to trust or alow ourselves to be loved He has been with us.... never left us, never forsaken us.

The second road we may choose to travel down is the inviting road called Religion. This Road promises us security, fulfilment, and everything we ever dreamed of. It dresses up as "the answer to all of our problems". Only a short way down this highway we discover that much of what we had first hoped for seems a little off. There now seems to be a couple of conditions to be met. Slowly/Quickly, but certainly surely our Joy that we first encountered when meeting Jesus, and the promise in our hearts that we can live like this daily begin to crumble away to nothing. Our hopes of living in the freedom of the Cross and the Joy of our initial Salvation slowly get pushed to beyond the realms of death and we now get "set-in" for a life long struggle shrouded in relational superficiality and political pretenses. "Oh the Joy of the Cross!!" we pretend to portray when we are along-side fellow travellers on this the Relligious Road, but all the while not really getting it. Something just seems to be missing along this Road but we convince ourselves that it must be us, and we need to "press into God" a little more. Perhaps one day we will really find Him on this Road we think to ourselves. We attend all the promised "life changing" and "impartation" conferences that our money can buy, but still we hope for a "deeper touch" of God.... "perhaps next year, or when the next guy comes through town God will really meet with me" we think to our selves, all the while wondering what more we need to do, what more we need to learn, how much more we need to pray.... to get an encounter out of Him.
On this road, in order to "succeed" we have to invent and live in an identity that is different from the real "us" in order to speed ahead of other religionists. We have to live with a Hidious mask on 24/7 - shiney on the outside, cold and dead on the inside. "Keeping up apearances" is the call of the day. One slip-up (made public that is!) could spell the end for any ladder climbers. A false reality created by this Religious Road system numbs us to the freedom we lived in - even before we came to Christ!! This thought shocks us and we silence it by convincing ourselves that its all worth it - after all, didnt Jesus say we would suffer for him? We make up excuses when people mock our "lemon faced" Religion but all the while we wish it wasnt the truth. We have closed-door meetings as "leadership teams" to try to come up with stratergies to inject more "real life" into our religion, all the while perpetuating the problem.
On this road, Love is secondary to making sure that the system grinds on. At all costs, the system must grind on. After all, we convince ourselves, what would we do without church as we know it? This "church" system is were we gain our identity from, where we get our approval from. So rather we choose to put up with all the hurt of pretence, hidden agendas, cloak and dager manipulation stratergies, obligatory attendance, obligatory payments, the submission to others against the peace of Jesus inside us, all the covering up that happens so knowbody can find out who you Really are and what you really think, all this sure seems safer than leaving this road called Religion. Yet the "church" that is created here is not what Jesus had in mind for you. He loves you deeply and will CERTAINLY work things for your good with in it. Because That's who is.

There is a third road we could travel down called the road of Relationship. On this road, there is no need for a religious system to prop us. Here, its virtually imposible to gain our identity from the things we DO, but rather from Who we are in and Who is in us. There is no pressure to get things right to be approved of because here, you are already approved of. On this road, growing with Jesus through day to day life is what its about. Here, we get to be 100% real 24/7 - each individual walking this road is as uniquely different from his fellow travellers as his fingerprints are from their's. We have no need to copy the "next best thing". There are no "ideal" moulds to conform to, no hidden agendas and reasons for our relationship with Him. Its all because he LOVES us. Everyday on this road is a growing love relationship. He is perfectly patient towards our failings and distractions, He is not "raising you up" to "use you". He knows that you have been used enough on the Religious Road and His Love has no price tag attached to it. He is not interested in profiting from your skills, gifts or tallents but loves you for you. These things He placed inside you, He knows, will come out in your unique God given way as you blossom in His love.
On this road there are no Dead lines, Obligations to fullfill, plates to spin or people to satisfy, just a growing Love relationship. On this road you will discover who He made you to be and those around you in your everyday life will see Jesus' colour and flavor.
On this Road of Relationship it becomes (the more we detox from religion) about Love. We find that we become friends with people that our Religious system could never allow. We become friends with "sinners and tax collectors" on this road with NO hidden agenda to recruit them into a religious boot camp, but just because you are aware that Christ in you wants to release worth to them, love to them.... Himself to them. It's not to a bunch of rules ond principles we have the priveledge of introducing them to, but to Jesus, our lover and theirs.

"What would we ever do without our Religious systems that we have so painstakingly constructed and become reliant on?"
Perhaps we would turn the world up-side-down with a Love so deep and so amazing that we would never look back!

May Our Religious systems become a laughable memory in the light of His Glory and Grace.


No comments:

Post a Comment