During the twelfth day of my foray into the church system (eleventh at this facility), I suffered through an incomplete sermon. An incomplete teaching is one when the main idea is totally missed and/or a soulish concept is used instead. This sermon highlighted the disciples’ predicted desertion of Jesus prior to His death, which was a great topic. Understandably tailored for baby believers, the sermon could have touched on God using their fear to protect them for their later work, since all but one had died from persecution eventually. It also could have mentioned they had not had the indwelling of the Holy Spirit yet. I overlooked those two because they are not essential to salvation.
The minister, after going over what happened at the last meal, the garden capture and their hiding in the upper room, expounded upon our sin putting Yeshua on the cross. No problems there, seeing as Yeshua was the Passover Lamb. He did a compare/contrast of our lives in relation to what Jesus suffered. Again, no problem with that. He then stressed looking at the cross, looking at what we did to Him.
My insides screamed, “Death to self! Tell them about death to self! Tell them they need to get on that cross with Him daily! Why aren’t you telling them this?”
The answer came shortly. This minister believes we can work our way to Him, that we can overcome sin ourselves. Therefore, his job is to gently guilt and shame us into changing our behavior. LOL! If that were the case, this existence would be much different, yes?
He brought up enduring the trial and troubles of life. That was fine… until he said he did not know why bad things happened to us. Oh, my God, please have mercy on this blind guide! Open his eyes! I had mentioned to the friend who had invited me there about refinement. She said they do teach about that. Evidentially, not thoroughly enough!
The relationship we have with Yeshua right now is the preparation of a permanent union. It is a love affair—He pursues us; we pursue Him. He flirts with us; we sing praises to Him. He gives us gifts; we receive them and tell Him how much we love and appreciate Him. He caresses us; we caress Him in return. He enters us; we receive Him in joy…
Yes, I am talking about making love on the spiritual tip. The sexual union between husband and wife symbolizes of how deep our relationship with Christ is supposed to be. If you are disturbed by this, you missed the reason why the Song of Solomon was included in Scripture. Everything in the Bible points to Christ and His mission on Earth. Consider this another stumbling block, soon to be a mile marker, on the way to maturity.
Our trials and troubles in life symbolize the struggle we have to maintain that intimate relationship. This is why death to self is vital—self invites sin, therefore we die daily to the influence of flesh/soul and this world so He can fill us full of Him. Like any relationship, we must apologize and seek forgiveness for any missteps—not dwell on errors, believing we will never be good enough. We live, we learn, we move on, becoming closer to Him. We maintain a faith like a child yet the maturity to exercise the gifts He has given us.
A Piece of Sliver
Towards the end of service, I saw why He kept me quiet: a young woman had made the decision to follow Christ. Didn’t want her scared off, eh, Father? The minister always offers up the sanctuary for prayer after service. I decided to take advance of it and started praying right where I sat. Desperate to rejoice in this assignment (keep visiting this assembly), I gave Him praise, thanksgivings, and sought to tap that river of living water because I was running out of words.
Permission granted. I lost control. My mouth whispered tongues, lips moving a mile a minute. I still praised and thanked Him in my mind. The world became background noise. Tears flowed. Nose wiped. Time gone…
A hand on my back pulled me out of my reverie. A nice, older gentleman noticed my actions and worried that I had been in distress. I assured him I was fine, just letting the silent tongues flow as to not disturb those unaccustomed to it. We had a discussion on family problems, the state of education and religious practices. His wife was sick, so I made a mental note to pray for her (and remembered, phew!) The woman who had been seated behind me had returned to retrieve her Bible and joined the conversation. Now that was a lovely bit of fellowship.
The idea that education is the key to the knowledge of Christ (intellectualism) misses the point Yeshua made when He said, “I never knew you. Depart from Me, you workers of lawlessness.” To know, in the Biblical sense, is the sexual union; the lawlessness of our intimate relationship with Him is not knowing (being penetrated by) His supernatural Will. If Yeshua is the Lord of the Sabbath, then He alone gets to dictate what our rest in Him is. This is why constant, active submission to Him is so critical. And, no, you do not get to lie on your back and think of England, either.