My Heart: “Erm, Sorry. Did I Say That Aloud?”

I think, the title says it all. Doesn’t it? I often say things without thinking. It’s not intentional, but tonight was one of those nights – where “it slipped”.

When you stand up and state “I haven’t been to service in roughly a year,” how many folks will take notice of such a statement and reach out to you? This is a question I am asking myself tonight, mostly because this is what I did tonight. Not only did I attend our Monday Night Women’s Bible Study, I chuckled at a comment made and then made such a declaration.

Now if I were one in the crowd, I imagine I would have assumptions and questions. A handful of assumptions and yes even more questions. I don’t know why I told the entire Bible study group that I wasn’t coming to service – even though I am at church “most Sundays” (except for my mom’s recuperation from surgery). What kinds of questions would I have?

  1. Do you still believe in God?
  2. Do you still choose to believe that Jesus Christ died on the cross for your sins and rose on the third day to give you brand new life?
  3. Do you still follow Jesus Christ on a daily basis?
  4. Do you still wholeheartedly believe in the purpose and ministry of the local church?
  5. How are you choosing to meet with our beloved Savior and Lord Jesus Christ?
  6. How are you allowing others to be voices of His biblical truths? (Community and Accountability)

I want to be more understand than judgmental in terms of how I respond (or react) to hearing someone else’s story or struggle. But if I were on the other side, how would I respond? I hope I would respond by trying to understand my sister in Christ’s struggle and seek ways to minister to her with grace rather than judgment. I hope, I would seek to help and serve her, in the midst of her hard time. Maybe even, meet up to study the Bible together.

I wish I could go back and hit the pause button on “I am seldomly in service” announcement. But, I cannot. What I can do is choose to learn through the questions I can ask myself about my relationship with my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. I can choose to love myself right where I am and seek Jesus Christ in every circumstance.

4 thoughts on “My Heart: “Erm, Sorry. Did I Say That Aloud?”

  1. Interesting perspective. Our family left organized religion in 2003 and have never looked back. Our walk with Jesus has intensified and grown in maturity and intimacy in ways that never could have happened within the confinement of religion. We find as God calls His children to mature that He often leads them out of church so they can learn to lean their entire being on Him in complete dependence. This builds faith and maturity. I can only surmise that He values both those that gather in one place and those He draws out. There is definitely a purpose and place for both.

    • Thank you for sharing Homer. I appreciate your perspective. Would you consider your a follower of Jesus Christ – our Savior and Lord? I too think He leads us different ways to be a part of His church. I am just working through a lot of thoughts I have been having, as of lately.

      • You are very welcome. I’ll say we are followers of Jesus. :) He first came to me on June 21, 1985. My wife and I met at Bible college and were married in ’88. After a stint at pastoring and being in religion our faith was the sub-standard fair most believers have for a long time. In ’96/’97 God rocked our world and we recommitted our walk with Him. By 2003 we could see that there was little left for us in the stale church system and so we left. He then began teaching us in other ways. By 2007 we left our home and business to follow Him in faith. We moved across the country to what we though would be a new life. We didn’t realize that God takes Luke 14:33 very seriously and He wanted us to become not just believers, but disciples. We ended up losing everything and wound up homeless for 40 months. He taught us through the worst of that to trust Jesus for our everything. It was very hard but we learned how to lean on our Beloved in faith. What we discovered in our wilderness was a faith and maturity that is not taught in church. We also realized just how dangerous the ‘self’ nature is and how it is not properly addressed in religion. This is something of a message He has given us to give to all who will listen.

        Through all of this we have seen His hand of provision guide us and more intimacy with Jesus has come forth. All of this is good. What our family has found is that there are basically 3 stages of Christian growth. The first stage is basically childhood stage. This is very much where we need church. Absolutely critical for us to grow there. Although organized churches have many flaws just being together with other believers is essential for our early spiritual development. This is why we see He has a place for those that come to HIm and need to start learning the basics of faith.

        As we mature, however, the very good things of church actually become restrictive. As we hit teenage years in the spirit these differences cause many to walk away. This is not a bad thing if we continue to press through to God. Many don’t and so end up losing what they had. A few, like us, find Jesus maturing them through the hardship of the wilderness. This is what we affectionately call Stage 2. Ours is finally coming to an end.

        The final stage is stage 3 where we function as adult sons and daughters in the kingdom. Very, very few people make it this far. I know our family is on the edge of this but have not yet entered in. This is the Father’s decision so we have to wait for Him to allow this to happen but we are greatly looking forward to what is coming. As I have said, it has been a long hard journey but very much worth the sacrifice. It is only fitting that we give back to Jesus the same sacrificial love He has given to us.

        Blessings,
        Homer Les

      • Homer, I cannot thank you enough for taking the time and writing me. I am going through my own wilderness, and quite honestly I go to serve and that’s the extent of it. I went to seminary, and so technically I know “the local church… the local church… the local church”, but I am just curious and exploring where everything is taking me. I much prefer house churches, but I just don’t belong to one (it’s hard to make it to any Bible study with my health). Just been thinking and exploring lately. Trusting it is the deepening of my faith and deepening His lordship in my life… and nothing else. Again, I cannot thank you enough to take the time and share your family’s story. You guys have been through sooo much, but makes your testimony just explode for His Kingdom. Thank you for sharing.

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