Saturday, March 9, 2013

Relationship vs Religion

I met Jesus when I was five years old in a Southern Baptist church that I'm still a member of today. I remember like yesterday walking down the aisle with my parents, praying and recieving Christ and everybody hugging me after the service was over. It was THE. BEST. DAY. OF. MY. LIFE.

I was one of those "went to church nine months before I was born" babies. I am so thankful for that! My parents are the utmost Christian people I've ever met and I thank Jesus everyday he let me belong to them! (They probably weren't as excited about getting me as I am that they did)! :)

I went to a Christian school and never partied or drank or went crazy. I never had to. I loved Jesus. I loved him so much that when it was my junior prom and everybody got drunk afterwards, I went home. Home was more fun than that stuff. Granted, eating alone for the rest of the year because everyone got mad at me for asking what they did after prom (seriously, all I did was ASK!) was NO fun. But, I didn't really care, even then.

I was involved in or led something EVERY year of VBS. Surrriouslllyyy, my first VBS craft was made in June 1990, when I was six months old.

Ha!!

I went on every youth retreat, etc. throughout school and I really did love getting closer to God. It wasn't until I went to college that the religion relationship I had with Jesus turned to a personal one.

I went to Huntingdon college for my freshmen and fall semester of my sophomore year. That was the BEST decision of my life. I left for a ministry in Birmingham that I never really should have (and I'll probably regret that forever) BUT my time at Huntingdon was life changing. We had chapel every week, and a different Bible study to go to most nights of the week.

As a freshman, I was vice president of my sorority and one of our "events" was evening going to a church and listening to Siran Stacey PREACH!! How cool is THAT? Anyways, I also got to lead a girl's Bible study and made SO MANY good friendship. On top of all that, I even went to another Bible Study one night a week. Hey, having a hot guy lead it didn't hurt! :)

Anyways, it was those three semesters that I really began looking at my religion as a relationship. I started thinking about things like: "I'm not going to do _________ because it would hurt my relationship with Christ" instead of saying things like "I'm not going to do _____________ because it is against the 10 Commandments." You see?? It was more about not wanting to hurt my relationship with God then it was about hurting my relationship with rules.

That was freeing. I think when you think of God as a bunch of DON'TS and RULES, you miss the intimacy. When you think of him as your FATHER, FRIEND, ETC. you don't get scared of him. You get mad when you disappoint him but you realize what you did was wrong.

I love leading small group on Sunday and Wednesday nights now with the youth at my church. It's a small church but I LOVE it. And you know what? My 7-10 youth members are changing the world just as much as Billy Graham himself.

I DESPISE the POPULAR MOVEMENTS or POPULAR PREACHERS or the POPULAR RETREATS, etc. etc. Ya know Jesus wasn't "popular" and we really shouldn't seek out being popular, right??

Just making sure, because for a while I lost sight of that. I wanted to be famous for Jesus. Not that it is a "sin" to be famous for Jesus. Plenty of pastors and people are. But, I want to get to Heaven and be a "behind the scenes" person. I don't live to please PEOPLE anymore. I live to please God. So many people on Facebook and Twitter will send me stories and prayer requests, etc. and I LOVE praying for people! I don't want anyone to not ask me to pray for them, etc. because they think I am too popular.

It is important for us to be set apart from the world. If you are re-creating rap songs just so they can fit JESUS in them or altering the way you look just enough to be a cool Christian, etc. YOU'RE DOING IT WRONG. There is an actual group in California that is teaching their new groupies that you can pursue WORLDLY dreams as well as GODLY dreams. Need an example? A girl posted on the website that she is "so in love with God. I wanted to be a professional dancer and they encouraged me to take stripper classes. Not to be an actual stripper, but just so I could dance better. Now, I get to dance and attract guys that would otherwise never come to a Christian service and lots of them get saved and then ask me out."

SO. MANY. THINGS. WRONG. These people are calling themselves Christians and using worldly tatics to get people to their services. You aren't suppose to be anything like THE WORLD if you are a Christian. I am captilizing that so that you know I'm yelling because I've been there before. I wanted to be famous for Jesus.

Now, I want to Jesus to be famous. I want every lesson I teach, every word I say, every patient I meet to know that I LOVE JESUS. It isn't about lights and cameras and the latest trend, it's about how you seek him. Do you spend time with Jesus alone? I think that is when I grow the most. I get filled up on just Jesus and I time then I can go overflowing the fruits of the Spirit on everyone else. I hope that everyone has a plan to grow closer to JESUS. Yeah, it's important to have friends that are Christians, but at the end of your life, Jesus gets you into Heaven, not your frands.

With me?

Cool.

I also wish people wouldn't be so shy about being "politically" correct. Forget "politically" correct. What about "biblically correct?????" Homosexuality is WRONG. Putting the destiny and future of our country in the hands of a man who doesn't worship Jesus is WRONG. Having sex before marriage is WRONG. Getting drunk and high is WRONG. Ignoring others because you don't like the way they look is WRONG.

Believing and following and listening to Godly people is RIGHT. Being able to give yourself (and your whole heart) away to one man (or woman, if you're a guy) is RIGHT. Being friends with "the least of these" is RIGHT.

I am a virgin. I tweet about, I facebook about it and now, I'm blogging about it. One person sent me a facebook message one time telling me the reason I was was because "you're ugly so it's easy to be a virgin." Do I believe that? No. I'm no Carrie Underwood but God made me. So, even if I have my ugliness to blame, at least I'm not giving in to a man. ANYONE CAN HAVE SEX. Y'all realize that, right?? Anyone can if you want to. There are enough websites and sick people in the world that would do it at the drop of a hat. That means being a VIRGIN today is HARD. It's hard but it's worth it. The greatest gift I've ever been given in salvation and I believe that the greatest gift I'll ever give is my WHOLE HEART to my husband. And, if you are beating yourself up for the past. Jesus forgives and forgets, so it's never too late to start over. Not having sex is the right thing to do before marriage.

I also get messages on Facebook saying that we should "honor and respect the President because he is the President." The only thing I have to do for Barack Obama or for any president who doesn't believe in the Bible is PRAY FOR THEM. I do NOT have to support them. I pray for him and by doing so I honor who he is as a person. I don't support ANYONE who doesn't believe in the Bible, whether they are the President or not. That is me. I pray for them. OF COURSE. But, I do not support the lifestyle they live.

Someone once told me that being involved in local ministry wasn't fulfilling the calling on my life because it wasn't helping people all over the world.

FAIL.

It is. Everything that every person on this entire earth does helps people all over the world. Be encouraged, don't listen to negative people. Listen to positive ones! And if you ever need an encourager, I'm your girl!! :)

Happy Saturday!!

1 comment :

  1. Amen sister! I love it when someone isn't afraid to stand up for what they believe in. NEVER any shame in that...(stopping by from Kelly's Korner!)

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