There are times I am bowled over by my faith. Do you ever have those moments? Not the usual “I am not worthy I am a mere sinner I am washed by your blood thank God for there is nothing good in me” self-flagellation sessions.
Not those normal thoughts. I am talking about the odd times I sit and realise “God loves me and I love God – and that makes me pretty cool!” moments. The moments my internal mirror looks back at me and says “You are the fairest of them all, young man!”
“Who is you relationship with, Paul?”
And it is back to “choice” again. What, who, how do I choose when I chose to say “Okey-dokey God – thanks for the saving!”
“Make disciples of every cell of your own body, Paul.”
And that is where the internal chatter goers into turbo-flutter. My own body? Every cell of it? Isn’t that thinking “too small potatoes”? I have been saved, God – washed clean. Your work here is complete. I am good to go.
“Every cell, Paul”
And so the journey begins …
We seek others. We turn away from others. We seek like-minded others. We turn away from different others. We find reasons for “building ourselves up” whilst publicly chanting the creed of “I am not worthy”. We “fight the good fight” with the very church we say is God’s house (and the very “place of God” fights the “unfair fight” with us). So we look at our internal mirror less and less. We stand on our internal spiritual scales less and less. We begin “doing” more and more. Building “activity” as an alternative faith. The faith of bizziness that will get us to heaven – no matter what our spiritual scales and mirror may be saying (if we ever looked).
“When some were speaking about the temple, how it was adorned with beautiful stones and gifts dedicated to God, Jesus said, “As for these things that you see, the days will come when not one stone will be left upon another; all will be thrown down.”” Luke 21:5-11
“Make disciples of every cell of your own body, Paul.”
The more I walk with my God Soft Hands Jesus, and the more I walk with others walking with their Lord … the more and more I have to take my “God’s work diary” with me. That really bugs me! Because every time I sit with others and our Lord … and every time the diaries become the bibles … each and every time I feel more alone and less-connected.
(“Yours diary looks pretty empty – see mine – I can’t fit another thing in my diary!” And the “beautiful diary stones” are admired with the equally admired self-flagellation stones: “I have given my life to the Lord – see – my diary says so! It’s such a burden – such a sacrifice – but what else can I do – I am saved and doing Kingdom Work as we must!”)
The more I see these bulging diaries and this faith of bizziness – the more I see “beautiful stones and gifts”. And the more I hear this “creed of unworthiness” – the more I see a temple of our own making. And the more I see and hear corporate despondency about “why won’t they listen?”, the more I see “just another religion” of our own making.
And the more I hear Him whispering with an increasing urgency: “Hello … anyone there?”
I think we excuse ourselves by repeating that other creed: “God is bigger than all of this – praise be to God and let’s all say Hallelujah five times!” I find myself thinking more and more:
“All this “what”, exactly?”
I keep hearing that “The Holy Spirit is marvellous – so we just leave it all to Him – and it comes together perfectly!” And I find myself wondering – just where is “relationship” as we post our to-do-list and wait for Him to deliver so wonderfully?
Just where is “our relationship with each other”? What is our relationship with Him? What is our relationship with Him in every cell of our body? Is God big enough? Of course He is!
But big enough for what exactly … ?
Our own laziness, our own faith of bizziness, our own absence of relationship and the gut-wrenching vulnerability we avoid at all costs? Our own journey wherein embracing vulnerability – and getting beyond vulnerability – is the ONLY way to find “unconditional love”? Where – in unconditional love – we find the absolute power and strength of God. Where we find that God does not just “live there” – but we experience that “God is” – where we find “I Am” … “you Are” … “we Are” – and we Can as One in One together.
The days will come when not one stone will be left upon another
Just what is our response to His “response”? Do we prefer the “speaking about”? And are we prepared to take each of our carefully constructed stones away? Are we prepared to not have Him meet us where we are – but through becoming gut-wrenchingly vulnerable – to meet our Loving Father where He is and what He is?
If I could make a disciple of every cell of my own body – if you could of yours … would we not each meet our One Loving God where He is each and every time we gathered together?
Would others yet to know the “is” of God not absorb a fragrance of something beyond our own control? Would we not be “filled up and outflowing” without even trying? And might we find He works through “our diaries” as we allow Him to work through our hearts?
Go and make disciples – I am with you always.
So this morning I sit here pondering – as I allow more and more cells to know Him, to be Him, to flow in and through Him … How will that change me? What will that change in me?
If I lose my ego, my creeds, my “religion of beautiful stones and bulging diaries” – if I let Him into every cell in my own body … do I truly become “the Body of Christ” … and would you … and you … and … WOW!
Where NOW is there space for despondency? Where NOW is there space for division? Where NOW is there room for getting in His way? Where NOW is there any desire to “leave it to the Holy Spirit – because it all comes together marvellously”?
We ARE the Holy Spirit! We DO meet God where He is. We are in Him as HE is in US!
Is God big enough?
For me that is becoming the wrong question. For me the question is more and more:
Have I made disciples of every cell of my own body?
Because – just maybe – that’s how God got “big enough”.