Returning To Our First Love

princeofpeace13What do you crave?  What is it that brings you lasting satisfaction?  Or…have you found many things that are momentarily sweet (like cotton candy); Things that ultimately leave you unsatisfied and allusively hungry…for what you’re not sure.

I’ve been there over and over again.  My vision still occasionally slips.  I get distracted by the most current “truth.”  Or, I momentarily slip back to focus on stuff that I’ve already realized, previously, falls short of true satisfaction.

Andre Lefebvre is a Facebook Friend.  He’s an excellent Psalmist, and we’ve had several enlightening social media conversations.  I saw a post of Andre’s recently that echoed truth in my heart.

     “I betrothed you to one Husband…and His name is not revival, His name is not the end-time move of God, His name is not Baptist, His name is not Methodist, His name is not Catch the Fire, His name is not John, it’s not David, it’s not Steve, it’s not Sally or Rachel – His name is Jesus.  I promised you to Him, and to Him along”  (David Ruis on 2 Corinthians 11)

The first thing I want to state is that I realize that “labels” are simply that.  Labels.  They help us to identify subsets of belief systems and people of like mind.  And, used in this manner, they are not necessarily bad in themselves.  And, my intention is not to be snarky. 

The thing that tugs at and resonates in my heart is that it is so easy.  So, so, easy to replace the person of Jesus with labeled identities.  I think the reason is because most of the labeled groups promote life giving truths about Him.  The Apostle Paul had the same issue with the Corinthian church.

“For when one says, “I follow Paul,” and another, “I follow Apollos,” are you not mere human beings?”  (I Corinthians 3:4)

“Am I not a mere human being?  Umm…yes, aren’t I?”  Apparently not.  Apparently one whose been born from above and given an eternal spirit and claims to follow Christ as his or her Leader is no longer “wired” to be a mere human being.  Therefore, we need to take care not to act like one.  Mere human beings get their identity from the groups they identify with.

Us…the “other class” of human beings are designed to get our identity from Christ, Himself.  We are also now “wired” to function as He would function.

Here’s the deal:

Jesus doesn’t associate Himself exclusively with the group with which you or I identify.  The scriptures display an example of Christ Jesus as one who embraces truth where ever and with whom ever it is located.  Jesus can often be found on the other side of the line that “mere humans” have drawn in the “us vs. them” distortion. 

I don’t believe that Jesus can best be found in any one sub group, denomination or ministry of the Church.  The entire Church is His body.  Each has it’s function according to Scripture.  No one part is better or more true than the other.  Therefore, in the same way as we should – and do – respect each part of our physical bodies, we must respect (I didn’t say tolerate) each other and worship the Head.

Okay, okay.  So you have personal body parts you don’t like so much.  🙂  But, let’s get real…you respect it if it’s under the threat of pain or injury.  You may not appreciate some parts as much, but in very real ways you respect ALL of yourself.

We are promised to Christ, our Bridegroom.  May our chief belonging be to increasing personal knowledge of Him.  Not just stuff about Him.  May our primary pursuit and passion be to respect and find truth where ever it may be found.  May we also venture outside or “belief boxes.”  By the help of Holy Spirit, may we “belong ourselves” to Him. 

There are no substitutes that will bring abundant life!  Only direct identification with Him, personally…Our Primary Love!

Maybe…just maybe it’s time to grow up in Him rather than in our own group or ministry.  For real.  Not just because it’s the right thing to say.

I’d love to hear your thoughts.  We’re in this together.   Please reply in comments.

Gary

 

 

 

  • Hannah

    Hi Gary!
    Yes. Let’s ‘belong ourselves’ to Him and Him only. So true that we can slip back into things we have already ‘learned’ and find momentary satisfaction in things that leave us hungry for ‘we’re not sure what’, as you said. Well put. God help us. Timely and encouraging post. Thanks and Blessings.
    Hannah