Go mbeannai Dia duit.

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Quaker by conviction, mother by default, Celticst through love, Christ follower because I once was lost but now am found...

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Journey for One.

"What is that to you? You follow me!" John 21:20-24

IN my insatiable curiosity about what makes other people tick I can get lost in a maze of my own making.  It takes the Lord to straighten me out.  Thorny dilemmas.  If the Lord prayed that we should all be one then shouldn't we all be on the same path?  Yadda, yadda.  And I know, because I've been told, & I've been shown, that the Lord is separating His people, calling them out from amongst the worldly & I know the call is to repentance, to holiness, to righteousness ~ and the call is for the church as a whole, who have fallen so far from the high ideals of the gospel. 

And it's a right royal pain in the whasit, you know, because there are things I do not have licence to partake off while the bulk of the church prances on it's merry way totally oblivious & my sense of the justness & fairness of things gets slightly warped because, why is it ok for them but not for me?  You can see where this sort of thinking lands me.  Yes?

So holding my pity party for one & having a good old whinge in the Lord's ear about my self~induced muddle I was brought up short.  "What is that to you?  Follow me."  Ummm......Okaaay.  Yikes.  I've been told.

Because: My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me....And that is the bottom line, isn't it?    In some way or fashion every single Christian should be hearing from the Lord & obeying His direct commands.  I am not accountable before the Lord for others, only for myself, & so I know I will be making some changes, gradually because I'm not the most organized of people & the Lord in grace & mercy gives me a fair bit of leeway to meander into line in my own lackadaisical fashion ~ but fall into line I must.

So chatting to the Lord about another of my quandaries because I know my history & that means I have serious issues with the whole Christmas trad thing, which is pagan to the very core ~ do some reading for yourselves if you don't believe me 'cause I can rant till the cows come home & the majority of Christians won't be moved ~ & I figured the Lord would have an opinion, don'tcha know.

Now I could give you a history lesson on the pagan heart of Christmas but there are plenty of sites round that do a much better job than I can; or I could point you to the scriptures that can be used most effectively to point out Christmas trees et al are beyond the pale but I figure if you've read them & breezed on then why bother?   Besides a number of my issues are directly related to our time working with the homeless because you have to question something that sparks peak amounts of domestic violence & family breakdown ~ but that's me.  You try looking into the eyes of some kid who knows they can't go home for Christmas & that there will be no presents, no festive cheer for them  & their place of refuge is likely to be closed for the day while someone else celebrates.  Yeah.  It can make you jaded.

So I asked.  I can't say I got a nice clear answer of the sort I like but I did get an answer because the Lord knows we have always been very low key about the whole Christmas deal.  At best the Lord is indifferent to our participation.   He would prefer we didn't & He has given me a number of ideas for changes I can ~ & will be making, over the next few years.

The thing is the Lord is all for celebration.  So much so He laid down the times & seasons for us to celebrate & we have been making our first exploratory steps in this new direction because we are meant to be a distinct people, separated from the world ~ not for legalism's sake but because there should be a discernible difference that separates a believer from a non~believer as a witness & a testimony.  I am starting to think different people get given a different witness in this area.  The whole idea of plainness obviously comes to mind but I do not have the usual call to plainness.  Nothing, for me, seems to follow the "usual" lines.

As we, obviously gentile, will be grafted into the root & stock of Jesse the Lord has been directing ~ & redirecting~ my attention back to His premises ~ not to put us under the Law because the Law cannot save but as a declaration of difference, separateness, sanctification, ~ & the grace & mercy of the Lord.

Just why this is so I'm not sure.  I suspect it is to do with the promise the Lord gave me that all our children would be taught of Him Himself & that His word would not depart from our household.  Which is not to say we are anything special because we're not, just that because of that He wants clear delineation lines drawn up.  So I have been looking at these ~ so lovely!  I just adore candle light, don't you?  And these

Yes I know all these are outward things & the Lord looks on the heart.  People don't.  On the whole people look on the outward things & when they can see a discernible difference they are much more likely to question.  At least, that's the theory.

And the clincher?  As my Dino has grown in the Lord he has begun to question & he has landed pretty much where I have.  Why does the church not teach us how to walk in the old paths wherein we might find rest for our souls?  Um ~ 'nother history lessons on the roots of paganism & witchcraft in the early church. *sigh*  So, yeah.  And you know, I am up to my ears in paper 'cause that child is looking at heading into theological college next year & you know, don't you, who will be fielding the thorny questions, being the sounding board, referred to on research questions.

And all this without neglecting the greater questions of loving each other, our enemies & the Lord our God.


Julie said...

Ganeida, I always am challenged by the things you write, and I appreciate the love and grace that come through as well. I have been spending a lot of time lately thinking about the grace of God. I am not one of those people who think we should focus on only the aspects of God's character that we prefer - He is the Great I Am and He has brilliant, blinding facets to His essence/personality that all blaze - His grace, His wrath and hatred for sin, His patience, His creativity and love for beauty, His sovereignty over all, His goodness, etc. I don't think it's wise to pick the facets you want to see blaze in Him and ignore the rest. That being said, I am so thankful that He has been unbelievably patient with me for these 42 years since I gave my life to him. The things that were part of my life those first years, things that were not profitable at all and would be sin for me now, He was patient with. I look back now and am shocked at some of the things in my life I used to feel were acceptable to Him, yet now I feel a direct, divine nudge to leave them be forever...and I'm grateful for His tender patience with me. The longer I walk with God (and that term is used loosely - toddle and fall and wander off the path and climb sobbing and pleading back on is more like it) the pickier He becomes. And I mean that in the most wonderful sense. So I know He will be asking things of me in the future that He knows I could not see or bear now. I know He asks things of me now that I could never have obeyed twenty years ago. How grateful I am for a holy God's tender patience with a very slow-to-learn and often willful child! In Ephesians it says that we have been shown the INCOMPARABLE riches of His grace, expressed in His kindness to us in Christ Jesus. I've been pondering that word incomparable. Would the Great Lakes hold His grace if it could be measured such? No. Would the Himalayas turned upside down be enough to hold the incomparable riches of His grace? No. How about the Mariana Trench, which dwarfs Everest? No. The entire sea? The Solar System? No....His Word says there is nothing even comparable to the riches of His grace, nothing at all. In times like this when I'm certain about some things He's leading me to do, yet completely uncertain about others that He's obviously leading others to do, I fall back on that INCOMPARABLE grace. I am not trying to cheapen it - on the contrary the more I ponder His grace the more awestruck I become and the more I want to bow before Him. My prayer these days is something like this, "Lord, show me what to do, show me how to do it, show me what I need to know to live a life that will bring a smile to your face, show me what I need to know about myself, enable me to do the impossible things you've asked, show me Jesus and His ways. But please be gentle with me. Please take care, because I'm nothing but the dust you created me from, and you know how easily I fall apart." He has done that, and I praise Him for His kind and tender ways with me. Think of that! That a just and holy God who hates sin, would be kind and gentle with a stubborn sinner! That is what I love about Him today. Thanks for letting me say so much - hope it wasn't blahblahblah. God bless you Ganeida!

Ganeida said...

I look back now and am shocked at some of the things in my life I used to feel were acceptable to Him...

This spoke to me so loudly because that's it exactly. More is required now because I am capable of more ~ developing spiritual muscle etc. MY mistake is in shifting my focus from what God asks of me to comparisions [which are odious {ask Disraeli} with others] & then becoming disatisfied. *sigh*

It is hard when no~one else seems to *get it* & the body of Christ, brothers & sisters in the Lord, write you off as weird.

Ganeida said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
seekingmyLord said...

My husband and I just had a conversation about our church at lunch time. In Sunday School, we were asked what we considered being wealthy was. Most gave the typical materialism view with sprinkles of spiritual wealth, but I, always going against the grain to simplify the matter, said that being wealthy was your heart's desire satisfied. I was trying to point out that the condition of the heart determines what is wealthy to the individual.

This related to our discussion that most people in our church, and I am included in this assessment, feel we comfortable where we are spiritually. However, I doubt if God would see us as wealthy in that area of our lives. We all have much to, actually I think it is more that we all have much to shed that is not from God and much to accept that is.

joyfulmum said...

You've certainly been doing a lot of deep posting lol! Loved how eloquently Julie described her journey :) I gave up trying to compare myself to others a while ago....I realized God deals with every person differently and it's not for me to question why so and so can do the thing I am not to do. It keeps me focused on my relationship with Him and on the journey I need to make. Btw we do celebrate Christmas in case you wanted to know....:) don't hold that against me lol !

Ganeida said...

Seeking: ♥♥♥With you.

Rosemary: I think some comparision is necessary ~ or one can fall into the trap of heresy ~ dontcha think? But I do agree with the point you are actually making. ☺ And don't worry about Christmas. Everyone I know celebrates. I just seem to have been redirected along a different path. Not always easy.

joyfulmum said...

phew! :)
about your question: I think it depends on what we are comparing I suppose - I think it's always good to be open to learn from others no matter who they are, but I guess I was talking about comparing myself to others in the sense of focusing on what God is speaking to me to change, what he 'allows' me to do/ not do etc. One example is movies for me, I just can't watch some movies but have other dear christian friends whom it doesn't bother, does that make what I'm saying clearer ? :)
Is that what you were asking? :)

Ganeida said...

Rosemary: lovely & clear. Yes. I know exactly what you mean. I can not/am not allowed to read any horror at all. It makes me physically ill but I have other dear Christian friends who thrive on the stuff. lol

I have also had really strong guidance on my reading material ~ part of the whole *holiness* journey & the renewing of my mind. It flowed over into t.v., DVDs & Cds. *sigh* It would be easier if the rest of my household were also so directed ~ but since they are not [though there has recently been movement in some quarters ;D] I sometimes have to really stop myself getting ugly just because they make it harder for me. lol