Friday, November 2, 2007

Thought Provoking...

I was talking to my SIL today about the process of bridging our theology to our reality. The process of integrating everything we believe into our everyday existence by where the Spirit is truly demonstrated in and through us and our only desire is to be in Him. And by where we fully trust Him to do in us and to us whatever it is He sees fit because we know that His will for us is always better than our will for ourselves because HE IS TRUSTWORTHY.

At some point everyone is faced with the reality of God. Whether or not they believe in Him, what He has done for them and that they have life available in Him for all eternity. Whether a person never knew of God before that moment, or grew up in a family founded in Him makes no difference- we are still brought to a place of choice.

Salvation seems easy to me. The facts are laid out and seem fairly simple to comprehend. We are sinners. Separated from God. But God loved us so much He provided a way to reconcile us unto Himself. A sacrifice. He sent His son to "take away the sin of the world" (John 1:29) and "He that believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life" (John 3:16).

When we are confronted with those facts, with what God did for us, it seems easy to CHOOSE Him. And initially it may seem as though there are equal parts of faith and emotion present. We are on cloud nine knowing what the Lord did for us, who we are in Him, and we want to tell the world. But what are we once that emotion fades. Where are we when God withdrawls His conscious blessings and asks us to "walk by faith" (2 Cor. 5.7) Do we then wonder if what we knew to be true in God was real? If the emotion fades... do we wonder if the choice we made with it faded too? I know there are many out there in this position- knowing they trusted God and received Him by faith but don't know what to do much past that. And months even years go by with the best of intentions but the reality remains- they remain babes in Christ... unaware of how to grow and mature.

This is the very question I raised to my SIL. It seems so many are interested in the wooing of the unsaved into a right relationship with the Lord...but then what? Once they have accepted the Lord. Once they are "saved." Then what? It seems we give them a bible, tell them what time church starts on Sunday and wish them well.

What do we say to them about their daily walk with the Lord? How do we instruct them in the process of Abiding? (John 15) What do we tell them about how to approach the 66 books of that Bible we handed them? And what about the person of Christ? Practical application? Theology? Intimacy? Relationship? Prayer? Scripture memory? WHAT DO WE TELL THEM?????

For that matter. What do our personal times with the Lord look like? Can we make disciples of others if we are not disciples ourselves? I ask this because until 2 years ago I can honestly admit that I didn't know how to read my bible. REALLY. I didn't understand Hebrews 4:12 at all... "For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart." That didn't mean anything to me. Which is why it was such a struggle for me to have "quiet time". It was more like homework than the restoration of my soul.

I understood salvation- yes. But much past that had no opportunity for growth or maturation in the things of the Lord. I didn't know where to go or what to do. And that can be very defeating.

So- I find myself wondering what is being told to those who come to the Lord. What does my pastor say every Sunday when someone accepts the Lord and goes to Him for a Bible? Where does he then direct them. Is there a devotional or Bible reading tool that is recommended? Are there certain scriptures one should begin with? Oh say- like the gospels? Is a mentoring relationship established? Because isn't one necessary?

PLEASE post some thoughts here. I want so much for us to be a people wholly devoted to the Lord- loving, serving, demonstrating out of our overflow. But what are we to do when someone wants this and doesn't know how to achieve it? What advice do we give them... how do we help them bridge what they know about Him to what they experience in Him daily?

I am going to email my pastors, ask my good friends, and maybe some of you will post here. I'm not looking to spark a dispute here. I am sincere in my concern. I would venture a guess that there are more out there than we care to admit that feel stuck in their walks with the Lord and I wonder if we know how to help. How to point them practically to Jesus. I know it isn't always about doing but at some point doesn't there have to be a step on our parts?

1 comment:

Joanne said...

Wow, great post Chelle'. I wish I could be a fly on the wall for ALL of your spiritual talks with your SIL...thought provoking is right!

My two cents is this..I think for a new believer and baby Christian it is so important to be plugged into a small group or Bible study. God is faithful to find a Paul for a Timothy if they truly seek it. Discipleship is SOOOO important and a lifelong process.

I recently prayed for a Titus 2 woman to come into my life. I think I may have found her in my Bible study. She doesn't know it yet, but I plan on asking her for some godly counsel.

Seek and we shall find!

p.s. I LOVE your music choices!