In storybooks and seasons past, “Church” is seen as a service to attend for one boring hour on Sunday mornings in order to “keep right” with a distant God who might otherwise look sourly at us from His lofty place above.
I think, when Christian beliefs are not openly talked about, it is common to have this notion. It is common, even, for this notion to carry us through to our adulthood, as we go through the motions of “church” without ever really realizing why. Worse, while doing so because “our parents did,” or “to keep our place in Heaven.”
I am extremely open in all areas of my life about faith, and the reasons I go to church. If your notion of church-going has ever been as bleak as the one above, I would encourage you to think about the very Truth that lead me to a life surrendered to God in the first place.
It was a nagging question I had when I was nine years old.
I couldn’t stop thinking about death.
If I could somehow transport myself 100 years in the future, I thought, I would be dead. And life would go on. So there is no way the purpose of this life can be about ME, or serving myself, or catering to my temporary lusts. There is more.
My 21-year-old brain has definitely filled in some loftier language here, but you get the idea.
This thought led to a long season of entrenched soul-searching, at the end of which I was wholly convinced that Jesus Christ was the purpose of my life, of all lives, and that eternity with Him, for HIS glory and not my own, was a prize worth knowing. Meeting Him myself and falling in love with Him; His perfect, selfless way of loving; His beauty; His servanthood and godliness; His non-judgement and His Words; His lovingkindness, patience; then, understanding His wrath, and how deserving I am of it, but that it’s only Jesus that could save my soul… understanding my soul’s NEED for saving… it was this “fear of the Lord that was the beginning of all wisdom,” as the Proverb says.
Wisdom, that led to joy that wasn’t fleeting, but eternal.
And so, my friend, church isn’t an hour on a Sunday morning to sing songs about a foreign being. It’s a supplement to a LIFE that we’re called to in FULL SUBMISSION to the God who created us, who died for each one of us, and who we will all meet face to face one day. Who says He gives His Spirit in full to those who believe and ask Him.
It is my belief in these things that causes me to live moment by moment in grasping, anguishing need for my Father God. For every ounce of purpose, Life, wisdom, strength, and compassion.
Are you searching for purpose? What questions do you have? How have your views of what “church” is shaped your views of God? How might you go about finding the actual facts about these things, in order to live a life that is more aligned with the Truth?