Monday, October 06, 2008

What's this Christianity thing about, anyway?

One can sometimes get the wrong impression from how Christianity is often practiced as to what God's priorities are for his people. On that note, a word from our enviably named brother, William Law, from A Serious Call to a Devout and Holy Life (does this guy know how to name a book or what?):

[T]hat religion or devotion which is to govern the ordinary actions of our life is to be found in almost every verse of Scripture. Our blessed Saviour and His Apostles are wholly taken up in doctrines that relate to common life. They call us to renounce the world, and differ in every temper and way of life, from the spirit and the way of the world: to renounce all its goods, to fear none of its evils, to reject its joys, and have no value for its happiness: to be as new-born babes, that are born into a new state of things: to live as pilgrims in spiritual watching, in holy fear, and heavenly aspiring after another life: to take up our daily cross, to deny ourselves, to profess the blessedness of mourning, to seek the blessedness of poverty of spirit: to forsake the pride and vanity of riches, to take no thought for the morrow, to live in the profoundest state of humility, to rejoice in worldly sufferings: to reject the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life: to bear injuries, to forgive and bless our enemies, and to love mankind as God loveth them: to give up our whole hearts and affections to God, and strive to enter through the strait gate into a life of eternal glory.

This is the common devotion which our blessed Saviour taught, in order to make it the common life of all Christians. Is it not therefore exceeding strange that people should place so much piety in the attendance upon public worship, concerning which there is not one precept of our Lord's to be found, and yet neglect these common duties of our ordinary life, which are commanded in every page of the Gospel?

Sound daunting? It is!! (even if our brother Law slightly overstated the call) In fact, without the help of God, the Way of Christ is impossible. But Christianity is about coming to do our actual life with and through Christ and his power, in the way he knows it should be done for the good of all. It's about learning how to let God, through his annointed leader, actually run things. The time has come. The government of God (through it's King) is near. Change your plans, your direction, and trust this good news. Receive the governing of God through Christ. Enter it. Follow Christ. Learn to live in this Way. These are the invitations of the New Testament. If you want to say "Yes" to this, and you want a prayer to pray, pray the Lord's prayer, then follow it through with something like the steps: Learn to stop letting sin reign in your body; instead, learn to let Christ heal and reign through every part of you. How can we do this without honestly taking an inventory of ourselves and our patterns of action, and then seeking the help of God and other followers? I love the steps because they are about actually identifying where sin has reigned in us and seeking God's help for that to stop (and they've helped me see that come to pass in my life).

Lord, let your government come; let your will be done on earth, just like it is in heaven.

2 comments:

Jim said...

T,

Great stuff again. Glad to see it is working.

Two months ago I obeyed God and went back into vocational ministry and am a senior pastor of an amazing group in Powell, OH.

We are talking about these very issues, great to see your perspective.

I hope to dialogue some more with you about it, but wanted to just encourage you quickly.

"T" said...

Jim,

God bless you in your work and new family! Thanks for the quick word. I'd appreciate more dialogue with you as well.

I am really digging the steps as a way to implement all that I've been taught for years. The steps are about implementation; being a doer of the Word and not just a hearer. We're praying right now about whether the steps will be our "new member/new believer's" class/process.

Again, God bless you in your new relationships and work.