We live in a society where “quick & easy” is expected. We have information at our finger tips in the matter of milliseconds and the thought of opening a book and researching seems very foreign. We want our information, and we want it now.
In college I learned about “Cliff Notes”. The “highlights” of a story that would eliminate the need for actually reading the assigned book. They give you just enough information to write a half-hearted paper that would likely get you a passing grade if you were blessed with the gift of embellishment and bs. But? You missed out on the experience of that book. The depth of the story that the artist wrote to try to impart thoughts and feelings. Cliff Notes? Was the easy way out.
I know that people will reach a point in their life where if they are not already attending church? They contemplate “God”. Is he real? What does He want for my life? All the big questions. And? They start seeking a church. My heart, and warning, for all those who didn’t grow up in church and are just starting to seek God; don’t go for the “Cliff Notes” of religion and miss the relationship. Don’t base your relationship with Jesus on the people attending the church you find, or the pastor behind the pulpit. A church is often a hospital for broken people. So your chances of “church hurt”? Are good. (But they are much less if you do not get easily offended). But why would you let church hurt keep you from seeking God? From showing forgiveness and love. From not getting easily offended. The Pastor? is like a teacher. There to give you a word that encourages you, or teaches you something. But YOUR walk with God is not a pastor’s responsibility. It’s your own. Just like in school. A teacher can give you an assignment, can provide lectures and their knowledge on the subject, but to be truly proficient at a subject? You must study it for yourself. And if you desire to be a really good artist, or a wiz at Math? You’ll go to class with others on the same pursuit as you, and? even with the class clowns and the bullies. But you’ll also continue to seek knowledge at home. You’ll research and read to learn all you can. Funny that many will research for hours on the best car to buy, but won’t open a bible for 10 minutes to determine what God wants for their future. “It is a lamp unto our feet, and a light unto our path” – Psalms 119:105
The living word is also a weapon. It is full of promises. You can speak those promises over your situation instead of speaking about your situation. “I’m not worried about that situation Lord. I can walk in strength and without fear because you said that you would go before me.”
Just like an earthly relationship requires intimacy and quality time? So does one with the Lord. You have to get alone one on one and pray. You have to get out the bible and read it. And when you do? He reveals things to you. It’s the start of relationship and the disappearance of religion.
You don’t learn anything in school (Math, English, Biology) without reading & studying. To learn the heart of God & His plan for your life? You have to open the book for yourself. Avoid Cliff Notes & copying off your neighbor – they will keep you from the revelation He has for your life. Pursue your personal walk. Love the journey!
“For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.”
Hebrews 4:12 NIV
Thank you again Chris your words are right on point with what my pastor preached on sunday. It’s not his responsibility to make us feel good. But it is his to get us prepared to go to heaven. It is our job to have a relationship with GOD so we can be ready.