Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Questions and the Kingdom of God...Fiction, or Not?

It was the last day at one of those huge conferences where Christians gather periodically to refuel and learn from the giants of faith. Between sessions I slipped away into a small room and was relieved to find only one other person had found this oasis of relative quietness. A woman about my age sat on one end of a long bench reading her Bible.

As I settled nearby she looked up and smiled slightly as we do when we acknowledge strangers, then went back to her reading. Opening my journal I glanced over my notes. The subject of the conference was The Kingdom of God and the speakers had been wonderful…so many powerful insights about the coming Kingdom. Suddenly my bench mate sighed and I looked up to see tears running down her cheeks. Not wanting to intrude I kept quiet until she turned my way then I asked, “Are you okay?”

Wiping her eyes she said, “Yeah, I am…it’s just that I’m confused. We come every year to these conferences…thousands and thousands of Christians sitting here like so many baby birds our hearts open to what God has for us then we go home and the glow fades and nothing ever changes!”

“Sometimes I can’t help but wonder what would happen if Christians simply believed the Bible? What if every Christian on the face of the earth actually believed that Jesus meant it when He said the Holy Spirit of God lives in us and He would lead us and guide us in all our ways? Would we ever be in fear and confusion?”

“What if we were so aware of Him inside us that the very idea of asking Him, like the guy did when he dismissed the last session, ‘to go with us as we leave this place,’ would be ludicrous? I mean, where else would He be…if He is in us?”

My eyes must have widened in surprise at the intensity of her passion because she smiled and added, “I’m sorry…I sometimes get carried away.”

“No it’s okay’ I assured her “…please go on.”

She stared past me and continued, “So many years I have sit in the pews and heard thousands of sermons, but I wonder, “Did I believe any of them? What if I truly believed that when Jesus died for my sins that it actually undid the works of evil? What if I knew in a practical day to day reality that God is love and ‘Love’ cannot give cancer or kill babies or any of the multiple horrors we contribute to devine destiny of God’s will?”

“What if when someone said or did something bad to me that I was immediately able to balance their opinion against what Father God thinks about me. Like, “You are the head and not the tail. You are above only and not beneath. I fight your battles. No weapon formed against you can prosper.” If I believed the Bible how much effect would negative things have on me?”

She opened the book in her lap to John14:27 and read aloud, “Peace I leave with you. Do not let your heart be troubled, neither be afraid. Stop allowing yourself to be agitated and disturbed; and do not permit yourself to be fearful and intimidated and cowardly and unsettled.” Her dark eyes flashed as she leaned slightly toward me, “If I honestly believe Jesus wouldn’t ask me to do something I couldn’t do what excuse do I have to spaze out about anything?”

“I have no excuse except that I not paid the price to renew my mind with the Word of God until I measure every single thing that happens to me against it.” She laughed as she stood and gathered her things, “You know, I have New Age friends who spend hours a day renewing their minds to their philosophy. They fill note books copying over and over the thoughts of their favorite guru. They actually believe the Universe will bring good thing into their lives and it works! When was the last time you saw a Christian spending that kind of time and dedication renewing their minds to the reality of what the Bible teaches? How many Christian notebooks have you seen filled with nothing but the Word? If we simply believed the Bible, wouldn’t we be living in the Kingdom of God on earth?”

As she walked away I began writing the promises of God in my journal.

P.S. The truth is...this blog is based on a real conversation I had with myself. (: