The Christian life is one of highs & lows, but thankfully it is not reliant upon our feelings – we have to put our faith and trust in God: that if we have asked him into our lives, he has accepted us.
This is the simplicity of Christian living, which we often over-complicate with further rules, expectations (from self & others), and end up feeling lost and detached from God. Within the Church, it’s very easy to get away with behaving in a certain way: saying the right things, raiding hands at the right time, etc. and everyone thinks you’re truly ‘holy’ … well you are ‘holy’, but most of us do not feel super-spiritual the whole time.
I love the human-ness of Christianity – God takes us as we are. However, this is no excuse to stay as we are. God calls us to move on. Cavanaugh gives some tools to do this when we’re feeling stuck in a rut. She used to cringe when asked the question “So, what’s God been doing in your life lately?”. Out of her own life experience (cringing at the question) she urges us to keep asking, seeking and knocking. Then you will move away from the desert and toward a fresh realisation – deeper and more mature – of friendship with God as he truly is. We have to change our mindsets (p103-4):
The Lifestyle of Surrender
[This is hard work and against our self-centred nature, but as we continually attempt to surrender, our thinking will gradually change:]
Wilderness thinking says “Maybe there is no personal God. I haven’t seen or heard from Him in a long time.”
Surrendered thinking says “I choose to believe in the God I can’t see or hear.”
Wilderness thinking says “God can’t love me, because I have wasted so much of my life in this wilderness of unbelief.”
Surrendered thinking says “I choose to believe that the God who sent His Son to die in my place paid too dear a price to give up on me yet.”
Wilderness thinking says “God will hold me accountable for my wasted potential, and I will never be who I could have in Him.”
Surrendered thinking says “God is the one who ordered my days – perhaps he brought me through this experience in order to prepare me to do something for Him I never would have chosen on my own.”
Wilderness thinking says “I am unfit to serve Him”
Surrendered thinking says “God is in the recycling business, and He will send me out to help and encourage other wanderers, to point them to Christ and give them hope. Broken people love and serve broken people.”
It’s not all about ‘Keeping up appearances’ – don’t drop out, but be honest about where you are.
Prepared for use as as an Oak Hall leader.