The scene is set with a homogeneously universal welcome to the service. In some places with a booming voice scattering the demons of hell before ushering in God’s presence, others with catchy and techy millennially appropriate entrées into the service after the coffee and donut appetizers in the foyer; and others yet with hushed ecclesiastical tones ushering God’s people in terms apropos for such a ‘holy’ convocation. I veer from generalities to focus on my fork at the crossroads the nondenominational arm, which by its very appellation is dissonant with the message of The Cross by its non-committal stance with regards to radical faith, which is the hallmark of Christ’s ministry.
Now please ‘hold your horses’ defenders of the faith and walk this path with me.
After sparing an appropriate 10-15 minutes for worship music which today, minus some phenomenal minstrels of God is more about who God is and what He does for us, rather than magnifying Him so that we can press in beyond his arm, to His face. Then comes the announcements and never to be omitted offering time, the latter which is sacrosanct lest one becomes relegated to the dungeon of poverty for a lifetime sentence. Never mind that the richest people in the world regarding monetary wealth are not Pentecostal, denominational or non-denominational Christians (Figure that one out) and lest you miss out on the transfer of wealth that is soon to happen – hogwash!
Then (drumroll please!) Comes The Sermon, which in many cases regardless of the topic, invariably incorporates painting you as a heretical villain if you do not part with a percentage, or all of your dollars. Then comes the wrap-up: a climactic or anticlimactic as the case may be, benediction and closing.
At this point, please nod your head once (to avoid detection) if the above is a true representative of the state of affairs.
Now, this is my question – Where stands The Bible in all this? Is it in Homogeneity or diversity, Conformation or Reformation, Dogma, or Spirit?
Do we come away from these gatherings full of God or fed with what God can do for us? If it is the former, I have no iron to sharpen. But if the latter, please let iron sharpen iron because my dear friend that profile may need some chiseling!
God cannot be homogenized into formulaic worship sets. He needs to be known before we can FULLY experience Him…
The Bible – is it a promise book/ slot machine/ solution finder/pillow augmenter? Yes, yes, yes and yes! But The Bible is so much more! This fact we know, but in what way?
As I sat here a few minutes ago, the title words floated into my mind, and I immediately knew that The Spirit had something to say and it is this: The Bible is not a way for us to learn about God, it is an introduction, yes! An INTRODUCTION to who God is! The limitations of my ignorance and experience hinder me from full expressivity regarding this topic that has chosen me, but The Spirit of God is speaking so I will write.
God cannot be homogenized into formulaic worship sets. He needs to be known before we can FULLY experience Him, and the only way is to have a personal relationship not with our pastor or church members or even God’s promises, but a communion with the mind of God, and introduction into the holy echelons of The deep things of His Spirit. The same ‘Deep’ that He spoke of in Genesis. The same Deep that remains dark to earthly existence unless He makes the pronouncement “let there be light!” And illumination is that which then illuminates the deep things of God as it hovers over the Waters (Word of God) to create out of the deep and unseen the things we come to perceive in the ‘seen’ realm. This knowing cannot be apprehended except in and through the solitude of communion with God. It is not in the thunder; it is not in the rain, it is in the still small voice whispering mysteries of God and His love for us into our ears.
To know God is to walk alone with Him Like Abraham, Jacob, Paul, and the earthly Jesus did, and as our souls yearn to do because we KNOW, it is the only way.
So today I hear the Spirit saying, “Come away my beloved, away from the noise and the things that clamor for attention in your souls. Come away and spend some time with me.” If you each come away with me and then come together to fellowship with your brethren, imagine how glorious it would be as we each begin to unwrap our treasures and our experiences with Him. What days of rejoicing we would have and as The Bible says there would be no need for any man to say “know thy God” for we would all know Him in our own personal way, from the least to the greatest.
Step aside as Moses did, take off your sandals – that which signifies our walk on physical earth and stand on Holy Ground, unhindered by anything man-made (sandals and all). Spend some time with The Word as revealed by His Spirit so that we may begin to know as we are known.
© AdePero Mettabel 05.29.17.