Saturday, July 27, 2013

He desires you... What's your answer?

This summer I have been spending a good bit of time in the book of Ephesians.
This letter written by Paul to the church at Ephesus isn't something that was just relevant for the
people in 62AD but it is just as important today...
we are still the body of Christ.

Growing up going to church was about doing the "right thing".
You wore your Sunday best and after Sunday School and the Sermon you went to lunch.
People talked a lot about denomination and which church you attended.
There were "in" churches and not so "in" churches.
The Methodists had their "ways" and the Catholics theirs and then there was the Baptists and don't forget the Church of Christ and so on and so forth... especially if you're from the south, you know what I am talking about. You have been witness to these conversations round a kitchen table.

Today I see such a shift in this body of young adult believers and it is blowing me away.
God is using this generation and there are people rising up all over this nation to lead, and serve and be His hands and feet. God is knocking down boundaries and barriers in such a big way. There are churches popping up that are non-denominational and I love it. It isn't about your denomination it is about Christ,
 it is about loving people where they are for who they are because they are a beautiful and unique,
loved child of God.
 It honestly makes me excited to see it...
I am even more excited that I get to be a part of a church that really walks that out.
On any given Sunday I can sit next to a woman who has attended church faithfully for 50 years
or I can sit next to a man who was just released from prison last week for theft and
it doesn't matter. In those walls there is love. In those walls we have all sinned and we have all fallen short
and there is the same solution to save us all.
God doesn't show favoritism over His children and I love how today's church is opening their doors and hearts to all His children.

So many of us grew up worried about following the rules, and being taught what we were supposed to do.
It is what I now call "religion" as opposed to relationship.
Religion is about rules, religion makes us fail every single time.
See, we will never in our own power be able to get it all right.
We are human, we are broken, we are unable to make ourselves right with God.
If we try, we'll wear ourselves out and give up.
It is a common denominator of humanity.We all fall victim.

But relationship, now that is a whole other ball game. 

God doesn't desire religion. God desires relationship.
He desires to be your Father, He desires to be your Savior, He desires to walk with you, to listen, to uphold, to support, to love, to lavish grace and mercy and peace. He desires to be your safe place.
I learned a valuable lesson a few years ago.
One I wish I had learned many many years before...
Maybe it is one you have learned and as they say "teachers are the worst students"
so it would make sense I came to this concept late....  : )

Once you fall into this relationship with God the boundaries, the rules, the religion,
it all changes. You have this love, this respect, this innate desire to please your Heavenly Father and out of right relationship with Christ these things fall into place.
He is my Daddy after all and what little girl, what daughter of the King doesn't want to please her Daddy?

In Ephesians 1:4 we learn this valuable piece of information:
For He chose us in Him before the creation of the world to be HOLY and BLAMELESS in His sight.
Do you see that?
He chose us.
That means He chose me,
He chose you. 
Just the way you were, before creation, before religion ever came into play.
He chose you.
He desired you.
Just the way you were.

What a shift right?
In religion we are always striving, battling for approval, for keeping the rules.

But here He is saying He chose you.
He is desiring a relationship with you right now.
It doesn't matter what rules you didn't keep.
He doesn't care.
He just wants you.
Will you say yes?

You say, oh but you don't know what I have done, or what I am doing or who I am involved with.
I have to stop this, or that, or maybe when I am done with this chapter of my life.
Then I can have a relationship with Him.
Or ______________ fill in the blank with whatever excuse applies....

Read these words, HE desires YOU.
Just where you are today.
You see God is not inhibited by our circumstances.
Even if you think you have created quite the mess out of life.
He is bigger, He is stronger, and His love covers it all.

He just wants you.
Will you say yes?

part 2 tomorrow....

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