Something more.

“I am changing
Less and less asleep
Made of different stuff than when I began
And I have sensed it all along
Fast approaching is the day” – Brooke Fraser

 

Yes, I have that feeling in my bones again. This feeling ive had since I was a little kid dreaming of Jesus coming back. that was before I even knew what that really meant. I remember those dreams so vividly, and I now appreciate how amazing those dreams were. Jesus appeared to me when I was little. He told me He was coming back soon. I didnt know what to do except be excited to see Him again, but in the past few years, I have really come to understand why He told me that so long ago. And I understand why those dreams have stuck with me for so long.

 I understand now that our time is limited, and I need to start affecting the world more than I am. There are people looking for Jesus, and there are people dying without knowing Him. I cant live knowing that without trying to do something about it. A friend of mine said that she regularly prays for faith so strong, it makes others uncomfortable. Im at that same point.

Ive been here before. Everytime I get to this point, something gets in to my head and convinces me that Im fine where I am, Im affecting peoples lives everyday and thats enough. So I pull back, because its easier to do that, than put myself out there and get laughed at by people who think my beliefs are ridiculous. That hurts. That pain of rejection causes me in many cases to pull back. Its just easier.

But whats easier for me, affects the lives of others. In my innermost being, I know I was created for more. More than walking around with a smile, something greater than being more polite than the average person. Giving more than an extra tip to the waiters and sushi chefs.

I used to think that “fellowship” was the most important thing, and most important way to affect the world. if people see how much you love one another, then they will want to know why you love each other so much. Now, I dont think thats really the case. Yes, fellowship is necessary… but I know now what I was involved in was not healthy fellowship. We spent all of our time together, with the same group of 5-10 people. Every day, doing the same thing. Cooped up in an apartment or sometimes we would take the occasional road trip. while it was fun while it lasted, ive come to find that it did not convey a positive message to those who were not a part of it.

Most, if not all, of my unsaved friends hold the opinion that I was a part of a cult. I had no idea of this, and when I heard it, it stung. Then I asked, “why do you think that?” and my friend replied “well you hung out with the same people every day, and did the same thing every day, and you guys didnt even do any church things” and i said “church things?” and the friend said “yeah, besides going to church, you guys just hung out all the time.” 

I was offended. And I initially chalked the friends’ (there was more than one saying this at the same time so it more or less felt like an attack) opinion up to their unbelief in God and resentment towards Him and those associated with Him.

But then I thought about it. What was being said here? What was being said was,
“you isolated me from your social circle, and in essence made me feel neglected and not worth your time.”

Rather ignorantly, I and my friends at the time were NOT spreading the love that Christ has for every single person, what we were saying to the world was “we dont want to hang out with you because you dont believe in God,” just by hanging out together all the time and not being inclusive.

Who did Jesus have dinner with? Tax collectors, the most HATED people because they turned their backs on their Jewish heritage, to work for the Romans and basically ripped off the very people they were a part of. Who did Jesus touch and heal? Among the many were lepers. people who were so disfigured and considered unclean that no one wanted to even be around them, let alone touch them. Who did Jesus listen to and grant forgiveness to? The prostitute, the overlooked beggar on the street, the many people who thought they had done so much wrong they were unworthy of such forgiveness and love. Who did Jesus criticize more than anyone? the pharisees. The “religious leaders” who were observing the law with their flesh but not their heart. Those who criticized His outpouring of love and forgiveness upon those who had broken the jewish law and genuinely repented. Those who would not DARE have lunch with tax collectors, touch a leper, or show mercy to a prostitute, theif or debtor. No doubt those pharisees hung out all the time and contemplated ancient texts and the law and everything “religious”. No doubt they felt secure in the things they did every day. They observed the holidays, followed the law to a T, and kept company with those like them. But Jesus says to them: (In Matthew 23)

Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you shut up the kingdom of heaven against men; for you neither go in yourselves, nor do you allow those who are entering to go in.” He also says…

“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you cleanse the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of extortion and self-indulgence”

I am not saying that fellowship is not good, it is in the Bible that it is very important! But, we need to do some serious self evaluation of ourselves and the things that take up our time.

what is fellowship? Is it gathering in an apartment and playing board games until the sun rises? Is it taking roadtrips, hanging out all the time, occasionally talking about Jesus and Bible passages with a closely knit group of friends? Or is it banding together with the primary purpose of affecting the world around you for the glory of God?

Which affects the most people for the better? For the glory of Jesus Christ?

Why not go feed the homeless together? Volunteer at a shelter or hospital? Habitat for humanity? Do a breast cancer or MS or march of dimes walk together? Why not go street witnessing? Or plan a missions trip to a nearby city? Or you could hold worship services outside in a park somewhere. Collect blankets and canned goods and maybe put your money together to sponsor a child in another country? Or any ministry for that matter. Do these things in the name of Jesus, for the purpose of spreading the very love He showed for every single person on earth.

Its easy to lose focus of why we are here. Yeah, life is meant to be fun and enjoyable and we are supposed to appreciate the moments we are blessed with. But we are also here to work.  We are here to spread His message. Time is limited, and I for one am having a hard time swallowing that I wasted so much time in “fellowship” that was unbeneficial to the world around me. “Fellowship” that left my dearest friends feeling deserted and isolated from my life. I dont think thats what God had in mind for us.

I think we were all meant for something more.

“See then that you walk carefully, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time, because the dayse are evil. Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is.” Ephesians 5:15-16

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