Monday, May 18, 2015

Religion to Relationship

Somewhere along the way, relationship shrunk into religion.  It became do's and don'ts instead of desire.  Where is the desire? Faded?

Do you know where I encounter God most often? Between the thin pages of this book. It's not about checking off a spiritual to-do. It's not about lightening the guilt for another day or two. Communication happens here. Relationship happens here. It is magnetic.

Never. Ever. Have I experienced God's presence more powerfully than when I am in consistent study of His word. I don't expect to flip open the bible at random, slap my finger on the page, and discover why my son is so strong willed or how to raise him.

But, when I intentionally set out on a course of study, the flood gates open and my feet are often knocked right out from under me.

When I set out to read and study the bible, I don't carry a mindset of what I will get out of my obedience. I come to be taught by God. Let me stop for a moment, because that very phrase paralyzes me. Taught by God.

Taught by God.

Taught by God.

I come to become better acquainted with who God is and how God is. I want to know his character from ingesting His ways with the Israelites. I want to know Jesus from soaking in the letters of the early fathers of the church. I want to catch glimpses of my eternal future by lathering up in scriptures describing the second coming.

And somewhere in the midst of me seeking Him, He meets me right where I am.

In my study of Gideon, I acquired the taste that God does give us more than we can handle, because it gives Him the opportunity to shine.

In my study of 1 and 2 Thessalonians, I connected with the madness and gladness of deep personal relationship with those you are leading and doing life with.

In my study of the ancient Israelites in general, I found relief in the truth that God has been unfathomably patient with His children from day one.

In my study of Mary and Martha, I found freedom from perfectionism and the fulfillment of right perspective.

I could write a whole book just on the sweet honey that has gushed at me out of Proverbs.

When I look at this priceless, precious book, my heart swells. So much love is contained within these tattered pages. Among the scribbled notes, the highlighted areas, a few tear stains, and one pressed flower (a gift from my son during a dark time), is the ultimate display of love.

I'm not crossing items off my religious check list here. I'm relating with my creator here.

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