I went to an event yesterday, feeling I was the only one without locks or African attire (then I realised I was wearing my friend’s gift from South Africa). Studying the life of the prophets makes me realise that we are all sent by God. At the bare minimum, our lives were designed to give Him glory. But most, maybe all, of us have been sent to shine this glory in some form on the earth. It’s like he made us so we could know Him, then He deployed us so we could show Him and others would find Him.
I was having a conversation with a friend which got to the point where we were discussing church in the culture. What is the relevance of Christianity if it can’t be applied to our lives? Not to say that we attempt to justify our lives and make God out to be something He’s not; but why serve God if He does nothing for us and we can’t do anything for Him?
At this event, the feature, the musician and maybe half the audience went to church. It felt like standing among the thorns, along the roadside and on rocky soil looking at withered and choking plants and pecked seeds. I thought, “Did we go wrong or was this just something that was going to happen?” How much responsibility should the church take for the lives of those who hear the message?
It is said that you can lead a horse to water but you can’t make it drink. I think the same applies to sheep and Living Water. Drowning or dead, we can’t hold God’s hand for anyone. If we could, we would. (If we could we wouldn’t – us humans.) Ultimately, the relationship is personal.
There comes a point for everyone where s/he must find God for her/himself. But God is not far. Although the chasm between death and life is far too wide to cross, He is not far. A thousand light years is like the day the light has come. And He lives in us legitimately, as we cross the chasm.
I’ve seen too many take stabs at God, Jesus and His Word. I’ve also seen a big difference between “getting my start in church” and “building my foundation in church”. I really don’t think anyone should be proud of leaving church. That doesn’t seem like an accomplishment.
Christianity without culture and community is like water without a cup. It’s just there. No shape, no form, no use. Many times we’ve thrown water at the thirsty instead of bottling it and giving it to them. God made the culture so that the culture could glorify Him. God made the community so the community would glorify Him. In a nutshell, the answer to the famous question “why am I here?” has been ringing in our ears from day 1 – to glorify Him and enjoy Him forever. It’s Romans 1 and Psalm 19. But after knowing God, we decided we knew a better way.
God has sent His children to Athens (Acts 17). When the unknown God gets explained, He either becomes the known God or the God we reject. The only question that remains unanswered is “how does this apply to now?” The Christian shoemaker does his duty not by putting little crosses on the shoes, but by making good shoes (Martin Luther). In essence, depend on God, give thanks and glorify Him.