My experience around the church and spirituality has always been painted as a journey or a process. All of us on it, all of us having a mixed bag of life encounters dictated by our choice and the choices of those around us. These life experiences then inform our internal judgments of how spiritual or mature we, or those around us are. We use words like “dry season,” or “feeling God” to convey this idea of our current spirituality, which is usually “understood” by whoever we are communicating with.
I think my problem is that I am starting to believe this metric system is a bunch of hooey. What if maturity is simply walking with God today? Making the choice today to yield to His Lordship, throwing off the idols of culture that we call our process? Seems a bit extreme, yeah? Jesus seems to be an extreme individual. But what the hell is going on with our christianity culturally lacking joy, peace and purpose as a norm? Or the amount of addiction we have to sugar, information and entertainment? It’s like we justify our spirituality on this fake metric to justify not yielding our lives to His Lordship today.
Reading through the words of Jesus, I’m challenged by these things telling me that His yoke is light, He has abundant life, that His sheep hear His voice. Then I wake up and engage my life wondering if my spirituality is just not to a place of maturity where I experience these promises of a follower of Jesus. Communicating these churched-up words to justify to myself and others that I’m “on the right path” calling it “process.” It’s conforming to this measuring system of spirituality that is culturally relevant, yet has nothing to do with basic repentance and following Jesus today.
I’m convicted of this in these last few days — waking up with a sense of dread well before my alarm and not being able to go back to sleep. What’s wrong with me? Do I have the courage to be still and simply ask the Lord. or do I report in to my friends with some spiritual sounding language to justify something that’s off within me? Sadly, I don’t always go directly to the source. Do you?
Reading my Bible this morning, and sitting in stillness, I realize it’s not actually as complicated as this cultural metric system makes us feel. Jesus is very clear, when we stop, listen and open up our Bibles. I picked up Ephesians 4, and written out in verses 18-20 Paul is exhorting us not to live as we did before Christ, in what he described as the futility of our thinking which is being corrupted by evil desires, but rather in the new self yielding to Jesus. As I read this, the Lord begins reminding me of what’s been on my mind when I can’t sleep in these early mornings. Money.
You see, I sold my house a few days ago, and am 100% debt free, and have a chunk of money that I could do anything with. As I approach that, I feel the need to “steward it well”, at least that’s what my religious brain is telling me. The reality is I am wanting to control the situation to validate my spirituality to those around me. How did I come to that conclusion? Simply, stilling my heart and reading the Word and walking away from this ridiculous notion that there is a cultural metric to judge my spirituality. There’s not.
Either I walk with Him today, or not. And the indicators of me doing that are the benefits of being with God: peace, patience, gentleness, hearing His voice, being aware of His presence… all today. The indicators of me not walking with God are pretty evident: internal turmoil, frustration, control… also today. Jesus did tell us in Matthew 6 not to worry about tomorrow. Regardless of what happens with this money, it is no indicator of my following Jesus or not following Jesus. If it multiplies 10 X or goes to zero, I get to follow Jesus, and actually trust Him with my future security and financial stability.
At the end of the day, my spirituality is me choosing to follow Jesus today. Which can include giving away all my money, investing all my money, or a mix of it. However, I am not going to measure my success by an unwritten cultural standard of spirituality as proven by my “stewardship.” I will measure it by being with Jesus today as I follow His leadership with my money.
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Be blessed and highly favored today #readurbible #stopscrollin