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Wednesday, November 13, 2013

You might be surprised what God cares about most!

I'll admit that my last post, "Why God Should NOT Be #1 on Your Priority List " was meant to provoke you.

Truthfully, I expected a little more push back than I got. Maybe Christians are just too nice to say what they really think?

The point of my post was to get you to rethink how you look at your priorities and how you approach your spiritual life. The truth is that your whole life is your spiritual life, not just the stuff we think of as spiritual, like quiet times and Bible studies. The main issue with trying to make God your highest priority, is that you can then tend to then separate your life into spiritual and secular, which is completely non-biblical.

Now by me saying that you should rethink your priorities in this way, I'm not saying you should take a lax attitude toward the things of God. Reading the Word, praying, worshiping are all good and all important parts of our walk with God. I'll get to why that is in a bit.

Neither am I suggesting that you try to hyper-spiritualize everything in your life. I'm not sure God is all that concerned over whether you buy the Wheat Chex or the Corn Chex.

The Real Number One Priority

What is it you think God cares about most in your walk with him?

During the "Grace to the Nations" conference I attended last week, Andrew Farley mentioned a Barna Research report that floored me. According to the report, 81% of Christians think Christianity is mostly about obeying rules. If that is a real number, then I think God's heart is breaking.

What God cares most about is relationship, not rules. He wants your heart, and he wants you to know his heart of love toward you. Yes, He mostly wants intimacy with you. Remember how I define intimacy in marriage: to be known deeply and loved completely. That's what God wants with us. After all, he's after a bride.

Remember this verse?
"For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh."  This is a profound mystery--but I am talking about Christ and the church.
Ephesians 5:31-32 (NIV)
Did you know that Christ died in order to be one with you? It was all for the sake of intimacy! I bet many, if not most, would answer that He died in order to forgive our sins. While our forgiveness is real and necessary, the sin was just the thing that stood between us and intimacy with the Father. That's what God was ultimately after in the sacrifice of his Son - an eternal bride that could dwell with him in intimacy right now and forever.

The Bible makes it clear that we are already one with Christ. We don't need to earn it by our good deeds. But if that is so, then how do you gain intimacy with Jesus? You get to know him- deeply! That's the only reason that studying the Word, praying, worshiping and all the stuff we "do for God" matters. It's not to earn holiness points, it's to know him more deeply. And when we get to know him, when we come to understand his loving nature and gracious ways, we cannot help but love him.
And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge--that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.
Ephesians 3:17-19 (NIV)
Did you get that?  Fullness in God = Knowing the love of Jesus.

Here's another of Paul's prayers for the church:
I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better.
Ephesians 1:17 (NIV)
That should be our daily pursuit, "Lord let me know you more."

God wants us to find him in everything we do, not just the "religious" stuff. That's why I challenged you to rethink your priority scheme and allow God to infuse your entire life with His presence.

If your whole life is spiritual, why not let God into every minute of it? How will you pursue knowing God more deeply this week?


Anonymous said...

LOVED this!! I couldn't push back on your last post because I agreed with all of it!! I was just about to post this on my FB page and Twitter, but it seems to apply so I'm going to share it: Religion is eager to dogmatize truth; but love lives it. –Jam 3:13

Scott said...

Thanks Robyn. Great scripture reference!

Paul Byerly said...

Great post!

As to keeping rules, I happened to read Galatians 2 just before I read this. A few bits from the end of that chapter, as found in The Message:

I tried keeping rules and working my head off to please God, and it didn't work. So I quit being a "law man" so that I could be God's man. Christ's life showed me how, and enabled me to do it. I identified myself completely with him... I am not going to go back on that. Is it not clear to you that to go back to that old rule-keeping, peer-pleasing religion would be an abandonment of everything personal and free in my relationship with God? I refuse to do that, to repudiate God's grace. If a living relationship with God could come by rule-keeping, then Christ died unnecessarily.

Scott said...

Thanks Paul. A deeper revelation of grace has come to me in the past few years after !many years walking in the law. I'm never going back either! Still, it is amazing how easy it is to slip in a little law on the side!

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