Today is Good Friday and I have declared it to be an amazing day. Its supposed to rain and be nasty but even so, it can still be an amazing day. Its all about mindset. But, hey, I was thinking of something. Actually it’s been on my heart for a while and my cousin even wrote a book about it sharing her story.
Many people will be going to Church this weekend. Way more than usual. That’s the way it is. Christmas and Easter people show up. Many that don’t go to church at all through out the year. I wonder at times why that is. Well, I know the surface reason, but what could be the root that takes it deeper??
I believe some don’t go to church out of an experience with the church at a previous time or the “church” leading them astray. Not truly loving like Jesus loved, but instead, constantly condemning and shaming. So If one feels lost and has come to church to find their way, the church literally just threw them back out the door with their “religious” ways. So some try to pay their dues by coming on Easter for the resurrection and for Christmas for the birth.
Have you ever been to [a] church and you just feel like crap every time you go? Who the heck wants to face that each week or for some twice a week? And for many church is literally a place to show off in front of people and act holy. (We don’t even need to act holy. We have already been MADE holy.)
That is not how the kingdom of God operates. Jesus was love and is love. He held those that made mistakes and spoke life and love over them. He saw the sin, but did not wipe faces in it. He loved and forgave. I believe he would say something like “sweet child of God, go on. Its ok. You are forgiven, but do yourself some good and leave that kind of life. It’s not good for you. I have something so much better for you” He came so we could have a relationship with God. A loving relationship with a Father.
We have freedom to be ourselves 100% we don’t have to put on a mask or put on an act. We don’t have to sit in shame and try to cover ourselves up. He says “Come as you are”.
Sometimes going to church makes us feel singled out over a mistake that we have made. And its pounded over us with a hammer and stamped to our forehead. Our mistakes do NOT define us. Repeat that over and over until you believe it. That condemnation does not come from heavenly father.
A few years ago the word TRUTH kept coming to me. Over and over and over. So much that I started asking myself “what is true here”, whenever I started to have thoughts that were leading me down a path that God had not laid before me. It was a way to start recognizing the lies and schemes of the enemy and to start speaking the truth (of God) at all times. Not that I was a liar, but I had been deceived many times. When the enemy deceives us, we begin to believe something is TRUE, but in all reality not.
Those lies can come from the way the world (it took me a while to understand what “world” meant) operates – never being or doing enough, comparison, following man vs following God, chasing things trying to fill a void that things will never fill, and so much more. They can come as our own voice in our thoughts. Without a doubt, they come in some form or fashion.
The bottom line is, I believe there is truth awaiting all of us. So many of us have been lied to, and hurt by the church and we have gone away from God because we think what we have seen in [a] church or experienced in [a] church (the not so good experiences), that’s how God is. But that is so far from the truth.
He wants love, joy, and peace for us. There is forgiveness with open arms waiting to wrap us up in love. We may be convicted of something, but we must remember, that is NOT the same as condemnation. Conviction brings me to awareness and doesn’t shame and condemn.
So when we get hurt, I remind myself that hurting people hurt people. Sadly, many that are in the church have been hurt and don’t even realize the freedom we have in Christ. They don’t know that they can have a relationship with God, but instead the focus is on using the bible as a tool to hurt more people because that’s what they have been fed for years and the cycle keeps on going.
So how do you break out of that cycle? Seek TRUTH and allow Holy Spirit to guide you in TRUTH to open your eyes and heart. Be open to love. Love one another.
And to take this deep, the enemy knows God has a great plan for your life, so if there is a way that he can jump in and mess it up for you, what do you think he will do??
The enemy will use people in the church to turn you away so that you won’t go near your destiny. He will use your children to try and break you. He will use people, even your parents or siblings to keep you small so that you will never rise. Whatever any of that consists of, it is NOT the truth of who you are.
So if he can keep you small or keep you away from the truth that will set you free, do you think that you will be able to rise to the place God is taking you and has already laid out for you?
The mistakes you have made are not your truth. I know you may be beating yourself up over them over and over. But forgive yourself. God has forgotten about them. He knows you by name and calls you his beautiful child. We don’t have to allow that to be a stronghold for the enemy to keep you living small and in shame.
“Don’t let yourselves get taken in by religious smooth talk. God gets furious with people who are full of religious sales talk but want nothing to do with him. Don’t even hang around people like that.”
Ephesians 5:6-7 MSG
We must know truth and not conform to this world. We have been set apart.
Romans 12:1-2 (MSG translation) “Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.”
Romans 12:2 (NKJV translation) And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.
Romans 12:2 NKJV