Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Choose Again

None of us intends to have a shallow, deep, or poor theology; it just sort of happens, even when we know we're prone to it and can feel it creeping it. 

For example, I am one that is prone to intellectualism. I know this, and yet, it still happens. It doesn't take much for me to be reading and studying and worshiping devotionally, but then something about this God of ours or His Word or His heart or whatever strikes me, and I think, "That's interesting" or "That's cool" or "That's hilarious...it's so God." 

And then, all of a sudden, I'm out in search of other interesting, cool, and hilarious so God things I can discover, which means that I have placed God under a microscope rather than a stethoscope. I'm no longer interested in His character or His heart, but rather, I am interested in His facts and His presentation. 


Most of the time, this process is so subtle that I don't even know it's happening. It just sort of...oozes in without my noticing, usually because I am able to tell myself that I'm still investing my spirit in God, investing my soul in Him, that this is how I connect with Him the best. 

But it doesn't take long before my soul feels parched, my spirit weak and I realize that it's happened yet again. I've become more enamored with the idea of God than I have with the love of Him.

It takes a conscious decision to pull me back, and it's one that I have to make continuously until I get back into the habit of engaging God devotionally. I know I'm not alone in this, which is why I've chosen to be honest about it in this space. Most of us, if not all of us, struggle with this, and it makes us question not only our faith, but ourselves.

If we can't even do this God thing right, how are we supposed to anything right? If we can't be faithful and keep our perspective holy, how can we expect God ever to answer us? We don't deserve His answer. He's probably...and this is one of the tragic secrets of modern Christianity...extremely disappointed in us.

Do you feel that? An overwhelming number of Christians believe that God is eternally disappointed in them because they just can't "get it right;" you're not alone.

But I don't look at it that way, and that's also why I wanted to share this truth with you, in the hopes that it might encourage you in times like these when you're tempted to think that you've gotten it wrong...again and you're...never going to get it right and God is...always going to be disappointed in you.

When I go off-track, when I let my human proclivities take off on me, when I begin to approach God academically, totally in love with the idea of Him but dangerously disconnected from the heart of Him, it takes a conscious decision to pull me back. And this means that I get the blessed opportunity to choose God again.

And again and again and again and again and again.

Every time this happens, I get to rediscover who God is all over again, and I get to choose Him anew. I get to decide, again, to give my life to Him. I get to learn, again, that He is worth my sacrifice. I get to come face-to-face with all of these things that I've forgotten so easily, but yet seem so simple. And yes, I could probably beat myself up over that; enough of us do. But instead, I rejoice. Because it means a couple of things.

First, it means that I made the right choice the first time and that, given the opportunity to do it all over again, yes I would. How often do we get to say that in life? How often do we get the chance to affirm that we made the right decision about something major in our lives? Having to choose my faith again assures me that I would and I did and I will. I'm doing something right, and all it takes is for me to do it wrong to figure that out.

Second, it means that my faith is always new. It's always growing, always developing, always refreshing itself. It doesn't grow stale on me. It can't. It's got to be compelling and surprising and incredible enough to keep bringing me back, and that means that it's always got to have that ability to strike me in a new and powerful way. Every time I re-encounter God, I find what I always knew about Him...and I find something new, too. New mercy. New grace. New love. New word.

So yes, my faith gets off track sometimes, just like I'm guessing yours probably does. And maybe it'd be easy to chastise myself for that, to think less of me, to start to question things. But honestly? The only question I ever have is: how do I get back to it?

And I get to say yes all over again. I love that.

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