As I sit here and ask God, “what does abiding in You look like?”
“What does not being conformed to this world look like?”
It amazes me, how different His answers seem to be, compared to what I’ve been taught and told. From what I thought and expected. From how I’ve been.
Almost everything has always came down to performance. Appearance of. Behavior modification. What you believe and think
Being unlike the world, in a sense of external actions. Staying away from “sin”.
What I see God showing me here, is that it is much more about the presence you occupy. The atmosphere you create and engage in.
The things we indulge in, are what affect us on a much deeper level…
And though sinful actions do come into play, we have focused so much on the physical manifestations of them..of subduing, conquering, killing them…we have neglected the self-sacrificial attitude..of laying our lives down.
We forake the personal ache…the cost..to our pride..ego..who we really are.
There is no self sacrifice. Just self fulfilment. Self-preoccupation. Self-righteousness. My opinion over yours.
I mean when we can spend hours as believers arguing on YouTube why this persons views are wrong and un-Biblical…Just accusing, witch-hunting, and.debating…
If we can spend hours in Bible study, snacking, learning, note taking, singing, meeting…and all we’re doing is feeding OURSELVES…..
What good are we really doing? And for whome?
We spend more time accusing the gay guy who actually loved like Jesus, than going out and living and acting like Jesus ourselves.
Now who did Jesus say we should look like? The Samaritan who did the right thing, or the priest and that other dude in a hurry to get to the temple?
You know that parable would be equivalent to church goers today, in a hurry to get there. Ready to sing, worship, pray, all dressed up..lunch afterward…and a gay guy. Yet it would be the gay guy who WE would condemn. While he takes his time, money, resources..and acts like Christ…helps the broken..the one in need. While everyone else is too busy… “churching it up.”
Sorry, but the sinful Samaritan and the gay guy are the one’s Jesus says are in the right…
And guess who’s in the wrong?
And oh’ how we contest!
Oh, how we are ready to pull out our Bibles and show Jesus the law that says we must stone them!
But, what does Jesus say?
Funny how we don’t seem to see that He objected to a lot of what the law said and gave them a whole other game plan many times?
We still refuse to listen today.
It’s almost like He came to show us what God really meant…and Who He really was…even when it contradicts the Law.
It’s almost like He came because what the Jews had in mind…was a little off.
They loved their Torah, more rhan their God.
They had made it into something..that even Jesus tried to imply was not so.
And it’s like the cycle goes on.
Again, it’s the “sinners” and least of these that seem to get it..
And we hate to hear it
We are blinded to it!
We refuse to be wrong. We have to be right…pride..
Accusing…complaining..bickering..debating…while people are dying..
But, OUR doctrine is right. Our beliefs are right. And that’s what matters. Set in stone, that even Jesus couldn’t refute them. Right?
Yet, we don’t act on them. Our debated and inflated beliefs. We just argue instead.
We’re right..but NO ONE seems to agree. And the very things that we do we agree on (Jesus) ..we refuse to go and do….accordingly.
We miss the point. But love making points.
When I speak of the presence we occupy and the atmosphere we create, it comes down to what we feed our spirits, what gets us “high”..our inner hungers and how we satisfy them.
Very subtle things.
We can conform to the world in our minds and hearts. That’s why Jesus asks us to renew our minds so often. What are we minding? What are we entertaining? What are we craving? What can’t we get enough of..what can’t we give up?
Become a little more self-aware, rather than self absorbed.
We conform to the world ..not specifically by engaging in the sex, greed, success..we so condemn.. But in the things we insist we have that might not be as apparent.
The deeper drives we must keep occupied.
Our bent toward drama, division, bickering, comparing, our minds minding everyone elses business, but our own.
Worried about this persons relationship, money, church attendance, love interests..all in everyone’s business..but not BEing about the Father’s…
Our need for attention, recognition..by the world. It’s standards. This is what I mean by..Acting like the world…Conformed in it’s image: mentality.
We may not be out here clubing and drugging…skipping church..dating non-believers..
We may be churched up, our definition of prayed up..whatever we think is what’s up..
But, if we’re out here neglecting the things Jesus asked us to do, like really LOVE and all that comes with it…..
I think we’re on the wrong mission..but we love missions right!?
Who and what are we really conforming to?
Eating from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil more than we know it. Cuz we are like God..in the fact that in our minds-eye..we are right..have the right beliefs..and we know it.
Scoff at the wisdom of the world..but ignorant to the fact we our so full of it…we don’t see it. Same attitude. Same arrogance.
Like the Pharisees..so full of ourselves and our teaching..we missed Jesus. Head full of doctrine..but twisted.
He’s been right in front of us..and we rejected and denied Him. To busy finding out what that really means…instead of just being Him to a world in so so so so much need.
Our obsessions with the things that aren’t that significant ..the appeal of the world that draws us in and keeps us so so occupied and engaged:
I can get on social media right now and bicker with a million brothers and sisters in Christ over what is right and wrong in the world today..but not find a hundred willing to work together and help people in really hard times.
Some do have good ideas…but a lot of even that I’m finding, is more talk…than walk.
Consumerism, of all the crap that don’t really matter..just makes us fat. Fat headed. Full of stuff that is not getting anything done.
Not that these things are all bad. But, just when they take over. Just when they are almost like a drug to us..that we can’t leave them alone. When we spend hours and hours with each other covering the non-essentials.
They create a mindset..an attitude…that can be much more harmful than “messing up” here and there …
We’re oh so focused on the mess ups. In ourselves and others. That we can even see the toxic nonsense we’re indulging in.
Blinded in a sense.
All that’s relevant to us..is worthless:
Bickering about opinions and ideas…while people are lonely, hurting, dying….in need.
Quarreling over differences …childish.
Soap opera drama…we can’t get enough of it.
What’s going on here, there…everywhere? We are FULL of all the news, the info, the hate, the discrimination, what’s going on..what he said, she said, they did….you name it.
We are scholars. Ready to engage in the new craze in gossip..while nothing of eternal value is done….neglected.
We spread doctrine..but not hope. Fear, not love. Hate, not good news.
We are intelligent, but it’s not relevant…to what is needed. What is necessary. To what Jesus really came to un-do. Self-invested self-interest.
Yet we’re so “engaged”.
Full of knowledge. Content. Of all the things that don’t really matter ……
We give a damn..about a lot.
We give a damn…but maybe a bit too much about all the wrong stuff.
Arrogant, self-seeking and pleasing.. too blind to see it. Hypocrisy.
And if Jesus were to rebuke us..I wonder if we’d yell..”crucify Him”?
Because we love a good rebuke..as long as it don’t sting….as long as we’re the accuser..not the accused.
“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you tithe mint and dill and cumin, and have neglected the weightier matters of the law: justice and mercy and faithfulness. These you ought to have done, without neglecting the others. You blind guides, straining out a gnat and swallowing a camel! “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you clean the outside of the cup and the plate, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence.Matthew 23:23-25 ESV
“But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you shut the kingdom of heaven in people’s faces. For you neither enter yourselves nor allow those who would enter to go in.Matthew 23:13 ESV
Before him will be gathered all the nations, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. And he will place the sheep on his right, but the goats on the left. Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’ Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’ “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink, I was a stranger and you did not welcome me, naked and you did not clothe me, sick and in prison and you did not visit me.’ Then they also will answer, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to you?’ Then he will answer them, saying, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me.’ And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.Matthew 25:32-38, 40-