What you pursue matters

Romans 9

30 What then shall we say? That the Gentiles, who did not pursue righteousness, have obtained it, a righteousness that is by faith; 31 but the people of Israel, who pursued the law as the way of righteousness, have not attained their goal. 32 Why not? Because they pursued it not by faith but as if it were by works. They stumbled over the stumbling stone. 33 As it is written: “See, I lay in Zion a stone that causes people to stumble and a rock that makes them fall, and the one who believes in him will never be put to shame.”

        In keeping with my new pledge to blog things that I would’ve posted on Facebook, I wanted to share this scripture. God has really been dealing with me on some issues over the last couple of months. I mainly have a few themes echoing in my life and in my mind at the moment (some of which will be shared over the course of time) and one of them is based on the question asked to the apostles in the second chapter of Acts, “What meaneth this?” Basically it is saying that you can have all of your works of the Spirit and all of your demonstrations and you can say whatever eloquent words that you want to say(all of which was going on in Acts Chapter 2 like crazy), but the bottom line is, how in the world can I apply this to my life. I think that most people raised in evangelical Christianity have failed to ever sit and even ask themselves what it all means. Usually when you are raised “in church”, a majority of your relationships are with other “churched” people and you don’t rub shoulders much with those far from God or those who have never known God. You surround yourself with people that don’t ask questions about the meaning of God because asking questions is perceived as questioning faith. In fact, God wants you to ask questions because He wants to clarify for you how good He really is! He wants to empower you with His Spirit for a life you could never have imagined.
      As someone who was raised in the home of a Pentecostal preacher, I knew all the routines, rules, regulations, and rituals of Pentecostal Evangelical Christianity. I read my bible, indeed I even had and still have entire books of the Bible memorized, I prayed, and I was faithful to church. I even had the truths hidden in my own heart, however, until I bothered to ask what does this all mean, all I had was religion. Do most people that eat, chew, and digest whatever Biblical meal is being served up to them without seeking for themselves even realize all they have is religion? To that, I have to say no.
       Our LifeGroups are currently studying the book of Romans and these verses from Romans 9 are part of our study this week and my Observation/Application/ and Prayer (In keeping with our SOAP journal method) are that stumbling blocks are everywhere. Usually we like to blame people and circumstances on our trip ups, but in fact, our own attitudes, generally rooted in our pride, are what cause us to fall. Your view of God as a Grandfather punishing those who do wrong and so I’ll be the little girl in pigtails entertaining said granddaughter by following all the rules, is causing a major rift between you and experiencing all Christ has to offer. Those that are raw, real, honest, and relentless in their pursuit of the things of God and the mind of God are those that are attaining the goal. Take the pious mask off, quit looking at living for God merely as a list of rules and way to avoid hell, and, with the tenacity of a bull charge every good and perfect thing that he has for you. Live out your faith. Do not pursue rules, ritual, and religious tradition, but pursue Christ. The answer to the question of “What meaneth this” is Jesus. Everything that we say, do, and pursue should be to glorify and honor Jesus and point the way for others to find Him. When you are on the “Way” with Jesus, He will show you the truth and the Life. He is everything. Run this race with reckless abandon and as long as your faith is in His perfected work on the cross and nothing else, you’re not going to fall.

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