Friday, May 6, 2011
Familiarity to Passion
Going to church comes as easy to me as breathing, walking, or sleeping.
The number of worship services I have attended in 28 years of life are far too numerous to count.
I know when to stand.
I know when to sit.
I know the lyrics to hymns and praise music.
I can sing to my heart's content and I can pray outloud without trepidation.
I feel comfortable in Sunday School classes or business meetings.
Church is just a part of what makes me, me.
And that's the problem.
Church for me lately has become more about obligation than adoration.
Church for me lately has become more about tradition than genuine motivation.
Church for me lately has been tired, worn out, and lazy.
Some people in my position might blame it on the people around them.
But I know better that that.
No person is responsible for my own apathy, no person but me.
Where does that kind of apathy come from?
We think that because we have done it before that we don't need to learn anymore, grow anymore, or try anymore. But that is a great lie, a lie that the Devil has been telling believers for thousands of years.
This week at our church we had revival services. The very notion that we try to "schedule" revival reveals how busy our lives truly are and to some extent how scheduled our relationship with God has become over time. The amazing thing is that God took our "scheduled" week and He showed up in spite of ourselves. I attended each night, laughing, clapping, and singing. I enjoyed the speaker, the music, and the fellowship.
And then Thursday night happened.
From the moment I walked into the sanctuary I knew something was different. I was crying from the first song. I felt overwhelmed within the first ten minutes of the sermon. There was only one explanation, Thursday night was not about going through motions, it was about experiencing God's presence... a presence that doesn't fit inside any human tradition or expectation.
Thursday night had nothing to do with familiarity and everything to do with facing one truth... that I needed to set aside my apathy and my tired spirituality and be satisfied with the very Savior that I fell in love with so many years ago.
I have been actively pursuing ministry for over ten years. A decade later, I realize how tired my spiritual life had become. I realize how much I had begun to rely on my own experience and not at all on His presence. With my impending resignation date fastly approaching, I can't help but be ready for one thing... time to refuel and thankfully my restoration began last night.
Your Savior desires the same from you.
If you have already come to a saving knowledge of the love of Christ but somewhere along the way have grown lazy and tired in your relationship with Him.... then there is no time like the present to reignite the fire. I will be taking a ministry "sabbottical" and spending the next year allowing the scripture to speak to me without my own "experience" and familiarity trying to get in the way.
I challenge you to do the same.
You may not be able to leave your job or your life behind but we can journey together... desiring to revive our spiritual lives! It's time to exchange familiarity for passionate motivation. Thank God for revival!