We visited a new church today. In all, this makes number seven since September. I had a nice entry written a few minutes ago, but the internet ate it… and it ended up somewhere in cyberspace never to be found again. That’s okay, cause I was basically sizing up the fact that we have been invisible at nearly every church we have visited.
Shane and I have both been wanting to visit this church pretty much since September, but we hadn’t felt that God’s leading to be there. This morning, we felt the time was right. And it was. The worship and the lesson were just what I needed today. I have been handling this entire process much better than in the past. However, for several weeks I have been getting discouraged and almost depressed come Saturday afternoon/evening. Even to the point of saying what’s the point. No one is going to miss us if we don’t go to church. Especially since we’ve been nearly invisible in several of the churches that we visited including the one just a few miles down the road. That we really were hoping would work out.
We really were hoping to find a church that was in our community, but it doesn’t seem likely, as a)either we’re invisible, b) doctrine isn’t sound c) surrounded by gov’t school teachers that don’t understand that our children aren’t going to Sunday school. The church we visited this morning is near where Shane works, about 10 minutes farther, so a one hour drive. It starts at 10:00am. But I can’t help recalling Alistar Beggs lesson when he was in Kansas City a couple of years ago. Basically he said that if you have to drive to find a solid church home, then you drive.
This mornings service was uplifting and encouraging. It is a Sovereign Grace church. (think C.J. Mahaney, Gregg and Josh Harris, Together 4 the Gospel T4G). In their literature, they describe their doctrine "as being essentially Reformed, with a commitment to the charismatic practice as biblically defined." Yes, apparently you can have both and if today was like every week, they do it well.
The time of worship was Christ focused, lifting hands, praising Christ around us, but not legalistic in that if you weren’t doing it, you were "wrong." Been places like that before and that’s no fun either.
The sermon was Christ centered and taken from Proverbs 29:18
Where there is no prophetic vision people cast off restraint; but blessed is he who keeps the law.
It was a simple message, but one filled with wisdom and depth too. The Pastor spoke about the vision being Christ and Christ alone. We should not just be following our dreams for the sake of following our dreams–dreams can be deceitful and can keep our focus on ourselves instead of on Christ.
It is God’s Word that gives us vision…
We need to actualize Him, not ourselves (I remember studying "self-actualization" in Psych in college).
We need to let Christ be our love, our soul’s desire. If He is not, everything else is muck (I thought of the verse about being "dung").
How I am relating to God is not showing me a heart problem only but also a theological problem.
Is Christ my vision?
Do I want Christ, or more of the same?
Oh Lord Jesus, I want YOU! And You alone–