Sunday, April 24, 2011

Happy Easter

I heard something this summer that profoundly changed my walk with God.  I have always striven to know God and to allow Him to make me more like Christ.  However, while I knew I had not yet achieved perfection, I felt like I didn't know what was next, that I had kind of stagnated.  Sermons were good, but nothing new.  There wasn't a book in the Bible I hadn't read and I had even done an extensive Bible study on most of them.  I knew there was more to learn, but what?

Then I saw a video and it talked about how we are all on a spectrum of where our walk with God is--the beginning being long before we chose Christ progressing through seeking, accepting, loving, learning about, and then serving God and Jesus.  But then it went one more step--loving others as Christ loves (which was different than serving in a ministry).  Now there is no simple way to describe everyone's walk with God and we don't stop learning about God just because we have now added serving to our relationship.  

But it was profound to me.  

I had all the other components, but I had never spent concentrated effort on becoming more loving, seeking to love like Christ loves us.  I changed my focus and now 9 months later--Wow!  God has revealed so much more of Himself to me.  I'm not actually that much better at loving yet, but I know so much more of God's heart and feel like the last nine months have been a period of great growth and learning for me.  
Oh, I wish I could explain this better.  It is more than just learning to be more compassionate or less judgmental.  It is more than being a better listener or serving others more purposely.  These are all areas I have grown in and still need to grow in.  It is that my whole heart has softened, even some of my long held beliefs have changed (not heretical doctrine, but certain accepted assumptions);  it is like everything has spun and I'm looking towards the same thing but from the other side of it.  

Here are some ways everything is now backwards to me.  I talk about being less judgmental, but it means God wants me to show more grace.  I pray about being less hateful, but God sees it as being more loving.   I used to think the important point of the Gospel message is that we are all sinners and God died for our sins.  This is important, but after studying Acts (for the 3rd time) I see that the early church concentrated their emphasis on Christ's resurrection from the dead--the hope! 

I am not claiming God has changed me from a negative person to a positive person over night.  It is possible I haven't changed much at all--in fact, my actions are not significantly more loving than before (and they should be).  But I have no doubt that I know God better and that I am in the process of getting out of the way so others can see Christ more clearly--not the Christ whose dislikes and frequent impatience look an awful lot like mine--but the Christ who, while we were yet sinners, died for us all.

Oh, and rose again so we can hope in the resurrection and have new life in Him.

The Tomb is Empty!
Christ is Risen!
He is Risen Indeed!


Number 6 and no more counting! said...

Happy Easter


Nancy said...

Wonderful lovely reflections. The older I get, the more I know I don't know. Happy blessed Easter to your family. Keep growing in your faith.