Monday, July 14, 2014

The real reason many can't stand going to church.

On a church pew, I sat once. And as I sat there, with pursed lips and clenched fits I silently screeched deep within my heart to the Lord "Please, let this sermon end! Let it end! Get me out of here!"
Photo courtesy of Flick-JosefNovak33
Oh how desperate I was! "Why was I feeling like this? Where was this coming from? Was this an attack?" Those were the thoughts going through my head. I liked my church, I liked the pastor, had friends there and enjoyed my time with them. I was esteemed as a leader and enjoyed serving there. I wasn't surrounded by hypocrites but many brothers and sisters in Christ, many souls genuinely seeking something more. Whether they found it or not, I don't know... but I knew something was wrong. But I had no idea what.

The sermons were 'biblical', but only in the sense that verses were being used. But as you may know, using verses and actually extracting the fullness of grace and truth from them are two completely different things.

So what was wrong?

You've heard the story of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil and how God warned Adam and Eve that death follows those eating it's fruit.

The knowledge of good and evil... brings death. It's the surest way to mesh death and it's subsidiaries into your life! But what is exactly 'the knowledge of good and evil' then?

Do this more...
Don't do that...
Avoid this...
Sacrifice more...
Suffer more...
Strive more...
Study harder...
Work harder...

When you sit under this tree, you only hear what YOU need to do and don't do. Regardless of whether the act of Christ on the cross is expounded on and revealed, this stuff is like leaven, like yeast... no matter how much grace you hear, swallow only a tiny, minuscule amount and it'll spread and work it's way into every area of your heart... and life.

It's what Paul called the Law; and Paul was the Law's greatest enemy. He was a great student of the Law, and therefore knew far more than anybody that it's only fruit was death and curses.

I felt the way I was in that church because the teachings I was listening to, though peppered with the work of Christ on the cross, were centered on Law, on what I had to do and what I didn't have to do. It wasn't a legalistic church in the way many understand that word. This type of legalism is more subtle than to tell people about their dress and lifestyle habits. Instead, it's masked in a veneer of good intentions and speaks to our noble desires for significance, to follow and honor the Lord. We want to be fruitful... but the way isn't to beat yourself till you bare fruit.

When Jesus was about to die, with outstretched arms on that bloody and dead tree - the cross - He uttered His final words, with His dying breathe - "It is finished!"

When you sit under the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, under the teachings of the law, you hear the exact opposite, that it is not finished! You miss out on the rest of your Father. It's the true Rest of God, the real essence and fulfillment of the symbolic Sabbath of the Old Testament. I think the vast majority of God's children are sitting under this tree... they feed on the message that you still have to do things, however subtly it may be put, in order to keep your right standing in front of God, in order to make the most of your life for Him, be fruitful, sanctified, holy and blessed.

There was a tree in that Garden, His Name was Jesus, the Tree of Life, whose leaves bring rest and healing to the nations - He finished His work, so you would enter into a mighty, fruitful rest in Him. Don't worry, I know what you're thinking. "Don't we still need to... and what about doing... and, etc etc." Friend, when you rest under the Tree of Life, eating it's fruit and delighting in it's Light, you will become like that Tree, fruitful, evergreen, and strong; planted by the Rivers of Life you'll so naturally and easily be blessing not only to your house, but even unto the ends of the earth.

By David Roiel
The Green Leaf Blog - Discover your inheritance!

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This post was originally published on 4/4/2014

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