You have not found me at all

There was a sentence that kept me awake last night: “But if you find me and are not changed – you have not found me at all.”

It’s the kind of stuff that is my “evidence” of a real and living God. Because that sentence comes from yesterday’s post in Church Set Free: “Unconditional Love – (never ends)”  And each time I re-read that – each time I ponder that – each time …

I never spoke that.

I “heard that” and I typed “that” – but I never “spoke that”.

Is THAT the difference between faith and “faith by sight” … ?  “When I can see how to do this then I will have faith”?  Is that why “the church” is so often accused of slumbering? That “congregations” so often become these “what can we do combos” – cosy and complacent, disillusioned and frustrated, resigned and trudging on, bound by habit and obligation, all that fleeting and fickle “me” stuff … ?

Meet God and be changed, or meet God and not be changed.  And as I lay there chewing the cud with God – this came to the forefront …

“Go and … “

When God (Old deconstructed Testament) had the Chosen People do stuff it was always with a “Go and …” do something. Like “build the biggest baddest bad-boy-temple” “wander the desert for forty years”“take on the biggest baddest bad-boy army and you will win”“be free to be who you never believe you can be”.  And Jesus (New deconstructed Testament) met crowds or individuals it was always “Go and … “ do something. Like “sin no more”“do not tell them all about this”“tell them all about this”“be free to be who you never believed you can be”.

And nowadays it is still the same.  We meet God – He meets us – and we hear Him say “Go and … “ and we thank Him.  And we say amen.  And then we step away and speak to others: “God says “Go and  …”  And we who hear default to our preferred way of communication with God.  We hear God  saying Go … but …”

That old “faith by sight” thing again: Can we do this, we tried this before and it failed … I have heard so many people tell me we should do this – when will they understand I don’t do things this way … The congregation are all old – we don’t have enough (tick the relevant boxes) … We don’t have the money for that … When we get time we will …

The old “gatekeeper for God” routine. The old “when it feels right it to me then I will support this”. The old “taught” testament. The new “taught” testament. The eternal Christian “taught” tradition.

The taught faith: “We can’t do this God. Sorry. If we could we would – You know we live only to serve You. But this thing … ? Well we just can’t see how that will work.”

The only time I ever see God saying “Go but … “ is when “we” tell God what “we” can and can’t do. When “we” tell God to go and swivel. That for me IS the bible. Example after example of people MEETING God Soft Hands Jesus and hearing Him say: “Go and …”  And the response is always “But … ”  From the beginning of God to now. Always.

(maybe all the learned theologians out there might like a challenge: Does the “deconstructed bible” say anything much different to that?)

“Go and … “

But …

“But if you find me and are not changed – you have not found me at all.”

Gatekeepers like certainty. Gatekeepers like to know. Gatekeepers like to tick people in and tick people out. Gatekeepers need. Conditional Love needs.

Unconditional Love never “needs”.

“Go and make disciples. Go and be free. Go and be different. Go and step out of your comfort zones. Go and be not gatekeepers. Go and be not the elite. Go and be kind. Go and be daring. Go and walk on water. Go in faith that I your God am not shafting you, nor will I ever shaft you. I will never ask of you what you cannot do, nor will I screw you over. Ever. Now go – and get off your “but”.

But …

We blame something – the church, religion, the old God, the new God, tradition, new age, change, no change, money, no money, lethargy, too much energy, time, no time …

We blame someone – they don’t understand how we do things around here (yet). Well if they have all these good ideas – where are their success stories – anyone can have “ideas”! We tried this before – it didn’t work – why will it be different this time? They always stir things up! The committee / elders / council / head office / seniority / hierarchy / process decides all that – just fill in this form and we will pass it on (maybe). We just do what we are told. Stop asking questions!

“But if you find me and are not changed – you have not found me at all.”

But we don’t like change!