“If you have to minimize yourself in order to belong somewhere, you don’t belong there. Being tolerated is not the same as being celebrated. Make sure your close circle of friends is full of people committed to helping you become the most fruitful you can be for the glory of God!” Christine Caine. Can we go there? If you’ve chatted with me for 5 seconds or 5 hours, you know I preach a message of full transparency, let’s be real – no phony, no fake, no masks. So let’s go there. This message has been burning in my spirit for months now and I’m sure it will be an unpopular one, but that’s ok by me, because that’s what this post is all about. Why is it that people feel the need to comment on someone’s worship style or put labels on “movements” within the church? Charismatic or Conservative, Pentecostal or Baptist – which are you? Oh wait, but then there’s more, let’s complicate it even more. Are you Southern Baptist or regular Baptist?
You know what my response is? Neither, none of that! I want NONE of that, why? Because I want all of God. I don’t want to base my theology on this Pastor or that theologian. People ask me about certain speakers, teachers, pastors, authors – my response? I don’t follow any of them! I came to such a desperate and tormenting place in my faith six months ago and my friend Jessica Satterfield in all her Godly wisdom said “Cut all that off. Read the Gospels. He will be faithful to show you. Jesus is perfect theology”. And I took her advice and have been riding the wave (more like tsunami) of personal revival since then. I don’t want to base my theology on anybody else’s revelations of Christ. I can have that for myself. I want Him to be my source of all Truth. I want to feast at His table from EVERYTHING He paid a high price for on the Cross to provide for me and for YOU! He paid for my freedom in the Spirit to feast from everything He has prepared for me, for you, for the body of Christ, for the church. And I won’t settle for less, I don’t have to accept “culture” in the church as my normal, I don’t have to tiptoe around man-drawn lines and not cross them for fear of consequences, opinions, or even “weird looks”.
My famous go-to line is: “If you can scream your head off for an artist, a celebrity, a sports team – people who have done NOTHING for you but provide “temporary entertainment”, than I can certainly show the same crazy and passionate excitement for the Man who died on the Cross for me to give me something of permanent value – eternal LIFE!” If you can stand there like a statue in worship when we sing lyrics like: “Then came the morning that sealed the promise, Your buried body began to breathe. Out of the silence, the Roaring Lion, declared the grave has no claim on me. Jesus, Yours is the victory!”, then all power to you. But I CANNOT, my spirit cannot. And if I offend you with my worship or make you uncomfortable, then take it to Jesus and pray for me. Because I’m not stopping and it may even get more radical. I told someone recently “I haven’t been escorted out… yet.”
Jesus took the worst beating and death of any man in human history, because He loved us that much. I pray daily “let the Cross never lose its power in my life, Lord”. I never want to become numb to what He did for me. When Jesus ascended, He left us the Holy Spirit and before He was even arrested before His death, He prayed “I also pray for those who will believe in me through their (the disciples) message… I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one… let the world know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.” Matthew 17:20-23
He gave us the same glory that was within Him, so that the world will know and believe in Jesus Christ. How can that happen if we talk and act the same as everyone else? No! The Spirit is freedom, fullness, and GLORY. When an unbeliever (or believer) walks into a church, they should see and feel the difference – the literal glory of God in the temple. How? Because we carry the glory and we ARE the church – it’s not a building, it is the body of Christ, it’s you and me. I don’t know about you, but I’m going after that with everything I have. Will you take the plunge? Will you dare take God out of the safe boxes and lines you’ve put Him in for so long? Maybe that’s all you’ve known or been taught, but I guarantee you there’s so much more to Him than you’ve even scratched the surface of. He is a never-ending well, keep digging. I’m rolling up my sleeves and getting dirty alongside others who are desperately digging for all that He is and has to offer.
And if you think this is just for those crazy Jesus freaks or for those walking in complete holiness (no one is perfect other than Jesus), you’re wrong. God is not a respecter of persons. He will draw near to anyone who draws near to Him, He will be found by anyone who seeks Him wholeheartedly. Don’t seek to be tolerated, seek to be celebrated in whatever space you find yourself in. Be with like-minded people. If you’re hungry for more of God, surround yourself with people that have the same hunger and passion. We are pressing into a season of NEW, the old has gone, behold the new has come! Don’t miss out on it or stand on the sidelines as a skeptic. Dive in and be refreshed, find your freedom and fullness in the Spirit of God. Has your way been working out for you? Have you been living your most carefree, peaceful, and joyful life? If not, why not take the gamble? You’ll come out winning, I promise!
P.S. We are hosting a worship night in our home tomorrow night. I am ready to celebrate the freedom and fullness of the Spirit. If you are a prayer warrior, please join us in prayer. That every person who comes to this home would find their true identity in Christ and flow in all that Jesus has already done. Tetelestai – It is Finished! John 19:30