Friday, May 25, 2007

The Holy Roller Coaster Ride

Today they are up. Tomorrow they might be down. Christians are often poor followers of the way of Jesus. We are irradically emotionally driven and we don't do well at pursuing in times of trouble. Mostly this is because of the kind of faith we practice. We long for experiences. At first, those spiritual ones are amazing- the exhileration of salvation, the intimacy of prayer, the power of the Baptism in the Holy Spirit. But eventually, the new found exhileration wears off. Many believers bounce back to the world to satisfy their "experience jones". They fall away from the Lord and pursue other expereinces. It is unbalanced, irrational, and unhealthy.

"Spiritual breathing, like physical breathing," said Dr. Bill Bright, founder of Campus Crusade for Christ, "is a process of exhaling the impure and inhaling the pure, an exercise in faith that enables you to experience God's love and forgiveness and walk in the Spirit as a way of life."

"But the average Christian does not understand this concept of spiritual breathing as an exercise of faith and, as a result, lives on a spiritual roller coaster. He/she goes from one emotional experience to another living most of his life as a worldly Christian, controlling his/her own life--frustrated and fruitless."

Perhaps that is why so many chase after the latest guru. Looking for an experience that doesn't require much diligence. here is the bad news. The longer you walk with the Lord, the novelty of the spiritual experiences wears off. Not that I don't, after almost 3 decades, enjoy the times of intimacy , refreshing, spiritual infilling that I receive... but the trouble spots in my life (and many others!) are involved with areas of of active obedience. When I live for Christ- I put away my hunger for "highs" and "mountain top experiences" and concentrate on obedience and pleasing God. The funny thing is that when we please God and when we are obedient is when we have the best experiences with God!

So if your on a holy Roller Coaster Ride- get off. Live for Christ in the daily decisions of what you will think on, managing your life's mission of bearing testimony to Jesus, and loving others noticably. As you step out in those areas you will be surprised at the exciting presence of God you will feel in your every prayerful step.


rgeorge61 said...

I am seeing church people and TV preachers going off charisma or the latest christian fad saying and leaving sound doctrine behind. Of course you may leave sound doctrine behind if your not studying. There is so much bad theology being taught as the word of God that its sickening. The funny thing is that you don't have to be a scholar to understand the word. There are so many resources to use on the internet and tons of books, commentaries and just having a good study bible is very beneficial. 2 Timothy 2:4 says, No one serving as a soldier gets involved in civilian affairs—he wants to please his commanding officer. Soldiers do things because they are taught to obey and we are taught to obey the word of God. I am surprised even during services that many don't have a bible (I am talking about church leaders and Pastors sitting in church without a bible in hand). The Pastor, as good as he may be, is teaching the word and its our duty to study to show ourselves approved as a workman who correctly handles the word of truth. The Pastor gives us the word and explains how to apply it to our lives. We take the word and apply it and as soldiers do what it says. How can we apply what is said when we don't even bring a bible? We are trying to go into battle unprepared and what else could we expect except failure? The Pastor could be teaching us wrong doctrines and leading us astray. The only way to know this is check it out for ourselves. We live unsatisfactory lives when we expect the Pastor to spoon feed us and burp us and clean our dirty diapers. This takes the Pastors time away he could be doing Gods work instead of babysitting but it also hurts the body of Christ as it grows weak from spiritual malnutrition. My wife things I'm strange because I watch some TV preachers who I don't agree with doctrinally but I do this periodically to see what the latest fad or saying is. Activate your faith is said a lot as if we can make things happen on our own without seeking and knowing God. Faith is changed from the focus being on God to something we can manipulate when we believe strongly enough. If we believe strongly enough we may start believing we can save ourselves? I see these preachers using their charisma or guilt tactics to manipulate people. Rhyming seems to be big now with TV preachers. You must believe to conceive, position yourself to prosper, or change your fears into cheers. We all need encouragement but its the word that changes us and not words from motivational speakers that have no biblical basis. I see styles and fads come along and everyone on Christian Tv jump on the bandwagon. When a man came out and gave his testimony on how Gods diet changed him every TV minister had to jump on this and it was the latest buzz for several months. We seem to be people who pursue everything else except the kingdom of God. We are constantly told to expect because God is about to do something with expectations of prosperity and blessings from our great Pinata in the sky. God never changes and Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever. So if God or his word doesn't change why do we change with every new wind of doctrine. They claim if you give so much right now you'll make sure you don't miss out because God cannot bless us beyond this very moment. I have actually heard this said while they are trying to get us to send in our money to support them. God is not playing games with us!! He will be found when we seek him and its not because of what someone tells us but is based on what the word of God says. We will find him when we seek him with all our hearts. We should, as soldiers, serve God with the attitude that We do what God says and he speaks to us through the word. We cannot live for God through someone elses experiences. We can know God for ourselves and should.

Pastor Dave said...

Prayer and intimacy with God breath life into the doctrine of the Word. Much minsitry is without one or the other. How tragic that the church rides the roller coaster.