Scene 1, Act 1. There was this girl. From the time she was a baby, she attended church with her family which included mom, grandparents, and early on also included aunts, uncles, and cousins. She was baptized as a baby by a sprinkle of water from the baptismal font. At age 10 she went through confirmation classes in order to accept Christ as her Savior. She continued to age and eventually went off to college. During college she referred to herself as a ‘Christian’, however; she did not represent Jesus well in her actions. But that was ok…right? She was kind to others and was just having fun! AND, on some Sundays, she would make it home for church, read the preprinted confession of sins in her bulletin, and she was good to go again!
Scene 1, Act 2. 20+ years after this 10 year old accepted Christ, she started to believe there must be something more to this Christian life. She grabbed a few friends and made an attempt at Bible study. As a result of this time together, the group of friends made a decision to visit each other’s home church. During one visit, at the end of the service, the Pastor asked for everyone to close their eyes and raise their hands if they needed saving. This girl put her hand up halfway, and back down. In the next 3 visits to the same church, the same question was asked and the same half-hearted response was given. Finally the girl decided it was time to meet with the Pastor of this church. The Pastor prayed with the girl and in that tearful moment, she knew how she was being called to live her life and she was ON FIRE for Christ.
Scene 1, Act 3. This on fire girl became downright robotic. She had this overwhelming feeling that she needed to ‘be’ and ‘act’ a certain way as a follower of Jesus. Instead of seeing, smelling, tasting, and hearing the beauty in His Creation, she walked around preoccupied by her thoughts. She was filled with shame by past sin and was filled with worry over the future. She squashed the Spirit because she was so consumed with her plans and what she thought was best. She was so scheduled that she left her Spirit no room to move and left herself no room to breathe. Every move she made was thoughtful and methodical and downright exhausting.
Scene 1, Act 4. This is her current ‘act.’ Only she is tired of the act. She craves to know what walking in His grace and freedom feels like. She believes wholeheartedly that His grace is enough….only she does not allow herself to receive it completely. She shares her heart with one dear friend and on an ordinary Thursday, she receives this extraordinary message:
“We worry about offending God and so we hold back. We keep our talents, passions, feelings, words, and actions toned down, so that we don’t say or do the wrong thing. So that we don’t ‘misrepresent’ God or our faith. So we aren’t misunderstood. We live lukewarm in certain areas…maybe all areas of our life and I can’t help but think God would rather we just bring it…(Rev. 3:15). Bring it all. Our fire and passion, our humanness and mistakes. All we are, to live wholeheartedly for Him. We’re missing it because we’re worried about messing up or looking bad and the truth is, He can handle all of those things. Lukewarm living is safe, easy, known and controllable comfort…God never called us to those things. He called us to be all in.” (Morgan Alexander).
I believe this is what it is all about. Living wild and free. Not taking advantage of His grace, but receiving it when our authentic selves mess up. Who is ready to be ALL IN with me?
Scene 1, Act 5…