By Serena Woods
I spend a lot of time thinking about the countless numbers of people who want to know more about God and desire a relationship with Jesus, but won’t go to church because of the people in it.
The life of a believer is a process by which an individual of flesh and blood undergoes a life-changing event with a supernatural occurrence of the Spirit of the Almighty entering the defiled shell of man, bringing his spirit to life. The old man is still there and has urges, twitches, questions and niches. In the life process, the old man is continually brought to a face-to-face confrontation with the new man and is repeatedly submitted and acquitted. Grace is set up to redeem the individual self to a position of upright standing even if the individual is a chronic head stander.
When you deal, on a day-to-day basis, with anybody in a flesh and blood condition, you are dealing with a half-baked product. He is mushy, ill formed and unfit for consumption. If you are looking for a finished product to set on display as your own trophy of disciple making accomplishment then you are setting yourself up for a monumental temple bruising. The pedestal that any man can elevate to is a mirage. As soon as you rely on him to perform he will fall from the height and bruise you on the way down.
If you are looking for a photo-op worthy performance then you will be inclined to discipline him severely and you may even remove your hand of friendship as a sign of dissociation for a badge earning display to your fellow achievement motivated bruisers. There is a thick blooded social club formed within the steeple topped walls and, little g’, god forbid the fellow who defies the temperamental windmill powered spirit that leads the sign seeking devotees to their patch of unattainable immortal morality.
What is wrong with an inquisitive mind that seeks the truth no matter what it may be? What if a person, heart after God, heads hell bent and long winded down the wrong path? Does your panic set in, or do you trust God to lead them down a path of personal discovery? Do you know that the most influential people on Earth are also the most unruly and somewhat scary in their wild ideas and unconventional formulas?
If you trust God to care for His own sheep, then you can gently culminate a herd of well-bred animals that, in the heartbreaking event they get lost, can rely on their unique and authentic Spiritual DNA to lead them back to the path that is illuminated in the light of unabashed grace.
Single-mindedness is not the same as narrow-mindedness. Having an open mind while maintaining the single focus of following Jesus and gathering Godly truth is what it’s all about. People learn more from their failures than they do by trying to avoid failing. You lose your need for Jesus when you spend all of your energy trying to cultivate a moral life.
I am someone who can provide bloody testimony supporting that fact. I have found Truth as a complete moral failure more so than as a rule following, formula abiding, peer pleasing marionette. I found authenticity in obscurity and Jesus in desolation. Death to self came in the experience of sin. Life and Truth came to replace reputation and self-seeking inspiration.
I, too, have been wrecked.
Serena lives in Springfield, Missouri. She is a wife to Justin, a mom to to Natalie, Kinsey, Livia and Stella and a Small Group Leader at New Life Church in Springfield. She wrote a book titled Grace is For Sinners and keeps a blog at www.graceisforsinners.com.