It doesn’t make sense


There is a major push today for everything that happens to make sense to us.  We strive to understand everything from the celestial patterns of the stars above to the very small idiosyncrasies that we all have. We struggle and strive to make everything fit into a neat and tidy box where everything fits and has a place. And when it doesn’t many of us struggle with why.

Every one of us from the smartest person to the least intelligent struggle with trying to make our lives make sense.  The reality we all live in, even though we do our best to ignore it, is that life really doesn’t make sense.  We fight and struggle to make all the pieces fit, and we are sometimes successful for a time.  But then something happens.  Life enters our perfectly aligned world and scrambles all our pieces again.  For many of us this can be extremely traumatic depending on our circumstances and how badly we need our lives to be in order.  Life just refuses to be squeezed into our understanding of what we think life is meant to be.

The same thing happens when we try to make God fit our understanding.  I have spoken with many Christians who don’t understand what God is doing and often write it off because it doesn’t fit with their understanding.  And as a result completely miss out on a tremendous blessing and life changing encounter with the God who created them and deeply desires to be known and experienced by them.  It is unfortunate that this happens and my heart goes out to them every time.  Not everything that happens can be called a move of God.  But a great many moves of God have gone ignored and missed completely because they didn’t fit with our expectations or understanding.

We are not the first ones and definitely will not be the last ones to struggle with this.  Jesus himself walked the earth and many people were powerfully blessed and impacted by Him.  But a great many refused to receive from Him because He didn’t fit with their expectations and understanding.  Jesus didn’t make sense to a great many people.  The Pharisees were the ones who prided themselves on knowing and following God.  They even bragged about being able to know what God was doing.  “If we were alive when the prophets of old were here, we wouldn’t have stoned them, but would have known what God was doing and have surely followed.(my loose translation)”.  And yet they missed completely who Jesus was.  Jesus Himself said to them “You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that bear witness about me, yet you refuse to come to me that you may have life.”John 5:39-40 ESV

Many times we miss the moves of God because we have expectations that God does things a certain way and are guilty of missing what God is doing because we rely on our understandings to reveal what God will do, rather than be open to God speaking to us and revealing Himself in ways we don’t expect.God often moves in ways which cause us to say “That doesn’t make sense”.  Our task is to be open to what God is doing and allow Himself to reveal Himself to us and be willing to set aside our expectations and understandings and allow Him to be who He is, not who we expect and understand Him to be.

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,”declares the Lord.” Isaiah 55:8 NIV

We will always get ourselves into trouble and miss out completely on what God wants to do if we rely on our own wisdom and understanding.  God is moving in our world and in our time, changing and impacting lives.  Will we choose to be open and apart of what He is building, or will we hold tightly to our own understanding and expectations and miss out?

The Missing Church – part 1

Much of what we consider to be church today is actually a waste of time.  We go through our religious routines and do our spiritual duties once a week and continue on with our lives as though nothing has happened.  God, it seems, has no room in our lives except to an hour or two on a Sunday.  Or maybe we have a small “quiet time” and pray our list and read a couple chapters in our bibles and consider our duty to God has been fulfilled.  And yet this is not what Christianity was to be about.

Christianity, according to scripture is supposed to make a difference in our lives.  1 Peter 2:9 “tell others of the night-and-day difference he made for you—from nothing to something, from rejected to accepted”  If Christianity hasn’t made a major difference in your life that others can see, then we need to re-evaluate our faith.   People look at us who call ourselves Christians and see no difference between their lives and ours.  Statistically we have the same habits, spend our time in the same pursuits, watch the same movies and television.  In fact statistically the only difference we have as Christians from those outside our faith is that our divorce rate is much higher.  And we wonder why people don’t want what we have.  I don’t wonder.  There are some days where I look at what the church has become that I don’t want it either.  We are a long way from what God designed and planned us to be.

God’s plan for the church is for us to not be a natural church, but for us to be a supernatural church.   We were meant to have the power of God flowing in and through us on a daily basis.  If you visit different churchs from various denominations around North America, you would find little differences, other than maybe styles of music and teaching.  And it wouldn’t matter what faith you visited.  And yet Christianity is supposed to know God’s presence and it is very lacking in our services and lives.  But if we were to visit many churches in many third world and developing nations, you would experience God in them.  God’s presence if so real it is almost tangible for them.   Daily miracles and healings are documented, and not documented by the churches, but by medical science and those outside the church.  People are seeing who have never seen before.  People are hearing and walking and talking.  People are even being raised from the dead.  And the church in North America which calls itself by the same God is barren and quiet.  God seems to be absent.  Why is this so?  I think there are 3 reasons

  • We don’t understand the Christian Cause
  • We don’t understand what Christianity Costs
  • We don’t understand how Christianity is Communicated

We don’t understand the Christian Cause;

            Christianity is not about going to church.  Nor is it about confirmation and communion or all the other rituals we attribute to our faith.   So if Christianity is non of the things we attribute it to, what is it really?  Lets start at the beginning.

Christianity is about our need for a Saviour.  We have missed out on the plan that God had for us.  The bible states that we have missed the standard that God requires of us.  God’s standard to be in heaven is absolute moral perfection. “Be holy even as I am holy” the bible says, and “Without holiness noone can see God”.   We all know what it is to tell a lie, or to steal.  We say but these are such minor issues.  I have never murdered anyone, or commited adultery.  But these are areas where we have fallen short of God’s standard.  And if we look at scripture we have all murdered and commited adultery.  The bible says that if we have hated someone it is the same in God’s eyes as commiting murder, and if we have lusted after someone we are not married to we have commited adultery, so we have fallen short and missed the mark that is God’s standard.  And the cost of missing the mark is that we are and remain separated from God, and as a result of that separation are condemned to an eternity in hell.   “But” you would say “if God is so loving how can He send me to hell?”  But the cause of us being in hell isn’t God’s fault, it is ours.  Asking how God can send me to hell is the same as shooting someone and then asking the judge how he can send you to jail, and in some places death row.  Hell is a result of our actions not God’s.  Then you state that you have been a good person and have helped the poor and done so many good things so then you should be able to go to heaven.  Unfortunately, compared to God’s holiness, our attempts at good deeds are about as nice as a bin of old oily rags.  They simply don’t measure up.  Nothing we can do can cause us to measure up to God’s standard.

So what can we do?  Well scriptures say that God loved us so much that He sent His Son to pay our penalty and allow us access to Him once again.  Because of Jesus the separation between God and us can be broken.  Jesus came into the world not to condemn the world but so that through Him the world could be saved.  He came to save us from eternity in hell and offer us eternal life.

Christianity is about eternal life.  But what is eternal life?   Christianity is not about living forever.  Every person concieved lives forever, which is why abortion is such a horrible thing to God.  So if eternal life is not living forever what is it?  The bible states what eternal life is.  John 17:3 states “Now this is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.”  The word KNOW in the greek literally means to be intimate with.  Eternal life is simply and deep and intimate relationship with God.  Nothing more and nothing less.  This is why Christianity is so life changing.  When you get close to God you cannot help but change.  We have made Christianity so complicated and so full of rules and regulations and we have totally missed what it is about.  Simply a relationship with The One who created you and loves you so deeply that He sacrificed Himself to pay your penalty so that your could come to know Him deeply and intimately and enjoy each others company for eternity.  If we can come to God on those terms we can have that relationship with Him.  It is about asking Him to forgive us for missing the mark and allowing Him to change us and bring us into relationship with Him.

In my next posts I will continue my thoughts and share about what Christianity Costs and Communicating our faith.