Monday, February 18, 2008

Can I still live in the Status Quo?

I am a woman who loves the Lord and is becoming relaxed and comfortable with who I am in my journey with Father, I have come to understand the importance of living in a relationship with God and getting my focus on my heart more than my outward appearance of how I look as a Christian to others. Don’t get me wrong, I want to show others Father through the way I live my life, but as far as how others see me, regardless, I want the freedom to do what I feel I can do without judgments from others, especially if I am not getting conviction from Father. I am literally crawling out of my shell on this one, so ‘PLEASE’ bear with me.

There are choices that I make that put Christians on edge. They may look at me and say, that chic is not a Christian, she doesn’t go to church, and she goes places ‘I’ would never enter. She listens to secular music. She drinks alcohol on occasion, and go on and on and on. They make these judgments without ever knowing who I really am inside my heart. Now I could see where they are coming from, for I have been there before. I used to look at people from that angle if I found out that they partied, or they listened to secular music, or so on if they professed to be a Christian, but then I realized something. Its not what one does that clearly defines them, but it is the heart that defines them. Now I can see how contradictable that sounds, but if one focuses on what the person is ‘doing’ than on the ‘person’, it is easy to overlook what is simply important. Their heart and whom they really are inside. I may know a person my whole life and really never ‘know’ them because they aren’t willing to expose their heart to me, but only know them for what they do. How then can I make judgments on what I can see, and expect to make a 'good' judgment and never really know who they are.

It's not my place to judge 'regardless'...


Okay, I may be skating on thin ice here, but I have been thinking about this lately, and need some input.

Please be real with me!

12 comments:

Laurie said...

"Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.
“Everything is permissible for me”— but not everything is beneficial. “Everything is permissible for me:”— but I will not be mastered by anything." (1 Cor. 6:9-12)

God wants us to worship Him in Spirit and in Truth so I’m sure he would rather that we were honest and transparent in the way we live. He did however die so we could truly live and not pursue empty ways of life handed down from our earthly forefathers. We can easily kill our conscience if we ignore it enough so living in a real relationship with Father and being prayerfully aware of God’s direction should keep us making choices that honor Him and bring us closer to Him and cause us to turn from things that are not beneficial or that He knows will ultimately control us rather than us being able to live a self-controlled life.
Freedom to me is not only freedom from religious systems and rules that threaten life in the Spirit, it is also freedom from slavery to sin and things that will draw me away or separate me from His life in me. The Spirit of God will make me aware of the beneficial choices and give me strength to turn away from things in this world that threaten to interfere with the freedom I’ve been given in Christ, whatever the source of that which would seek to master me. I think each one of us know deep within our hearts whether our cry for “freedom” is His true, life-giving freedom or just a cover-up for rebellion and self-will.
It’s not about “do not handle, do not taste, do not touch” rules anymore (they lacked any real value in restraining sensual indulgence anyway -- read Col. 2 and 3) it’s about fixing our eyes on Jesus, setting our hearts on things above and letting His real life be manifested and evident in us.
When you read the gospels Jesus rarely did what the religious thought he should but He was always in such close communication with His Father that he just knew what would please the Father and never dishonored Him in the choices he made.

Walking Church said...

I prefer God's applause over man's!
~8)

Laurie said...

I guess what I was trying to say last night when it was an hour and a half past when I'm usually sleeping was...

Galatians 5:13 "You, my brothers, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the sinful nature; rather, serve one another in love."

I think it boils down to -- "love the Lord your God with all your heart, mind and strength, love you neighbor as yourself and then go do whatever the hell you want" (you might just still be a little religious if you're more worried about me saying, "hell" than the rest of what I just said in that statement)

bob said...

Hi Nicole

Don't worry (easy to say) about what others say about you. Allow The Spirit to guide and direct you as Jesus lives His life in you, through you, as you.

One of the guilt trips the law lays on you is that you have to perform to somebody elses standard (look like a good Christian). You can never accomplish that but you will at least conform to minimum standards so that you will be the way the church wants you to be and just keep trying harder.

When we get to heaven we're gonna skip church one day and go have a drink. I hear Jesus makes the best wine and I think I read somewhere that He came to set us free.

Free in Him
Bob

Nicole's Godblog said...

Hey Mom, Good Stuff. Your words are exactly where my heart is. It is about love and how we show that!

Alvin, Very well stated and to the point!

Bob, thank you for the encouragment. It really brought a lot a lot perspective to the surface for me. I would like to go have some wine with you, especially if its the wine that Jesus made, maybe Jesus will even join us. :)

As you can probably tell, I have moved away from others expectations and moving into Fathers grace and comfort in who I am and what I do. I even believe that Father shares the experiences with me in the decisions that I make and what I do, and I don't do something just because its the Status Quo of what the usual Christian does, rather, I do what Father and I feel comfortable in doing. I am not alone in this and look for His presence anywhere I go, whether it may be in a bar; a place where one woundn't think a 'christian' would be.

Just trying to find the freedom in that! It is hard because it is so easy to allow the pressures of others to control what I do and how I live.

lydia joy said...

Nicole
I think you are in a good place, just learning how to be is great, I want to be known for who I am not what I do, and more importantly I want to know God personally, that is the most important thing, our personal relationship with God. Take all the time you need, growing confident in God's love for you will spur you on to love him and others and it will be easy because it flows out of you from the wellspring of life that is hidden in you, Christ. Christ in you, that's your hope of glory!
I can so relate to your heart on this post.....I love this message I have posted on my blog, Victory over condemnation, for some reason I feel like you may benefit from it...check it out if you are interested........ http://www.citychurchinternational.net/mp3_2/2007_07_29.zip
Grace to you!

bob said...

Hi All

Jeff Vanvonderen has written a number of books on this subject. Check out the titles of his books at: http://www.innervention.com/catalog/index.php?cPath=1&osCsid=d9963932db75b48c82a89259b2beaf9c

This is one area where I have never had a problem (I have problems in about 10,000 other areas - not laughing) but I know from counselling people (informally) that it is a very, very common problem.

His life in me
Bob

Bino B. Manjasseril said...

Nicole,

The more you grow in Grace, the less status-quo you have to maintain. Jesus and His disciples weren't very popular for maintaining a status quo of the Jewish community they belonged. They were called law breakers. They did the things many other Jews did not do because they had a different purpose. My parents can't even digest the idea of not attending any churches. Why blame them? I couldn't digest that idea first. Thats what religion do, it is pretty strong and it requires a long process to shed it off completely.

Nicole's Godblog said...

Lydia!

Thanks for your comments. Your words are very encouraging and touches me deeply. I read your blog and its like we are on the same page! I think that is very cool indeed! I appreciate how transparent you are.

Bino! Great thoughts brother! I am glad you came by! It is true that its hard to un-learn religion because its grip is so tight and controls the mind into thinking that its the heart, and tries to manipulate and take away the purpose of just being still in Father and the confidence of not having to "do" anything. Like I have said before, take away all of that other stuff, and all you have left is Father and his love for you.

Love In Freedom, Nicole!

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