Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Is your pastor confusing you?

Are you confused in your Christian walk?

You started your Christian life with lot of enthusiasm, thrill, joy and peace…

After a while, you have been eventually drifted away from all the good things you enjoyed with Christ.

No enthusiasm for reading bible. The only reason you go to church is to have fellowship with others and if possible to get some goose-bumps from the fiery preacher/music.
You easily get frustrated with your wife and kids. None of the ‘principles’ are working. You tried many study tools, bible in a year, more study. Nothing works.
You even disconnected your internet connection and stopped watching television. That really didn’t help much. You tried ‘quite time’ with God fervently.

Problem worsens!

You tried everything your pastor told you to do in order to be more ‘spirit filled’ and joyful. It seems like there is nothing wrong with any of these things.

So, there must be something wrong with me…

You again go back to your pastor…

He looks as if he is the most joyful person in the world. And he shares all the ‘tricks’ which he uses to be that joyful with you such as – Fasting two days in a week, praying 1 hour at 4.00 in the morning, reciting bible verses etc. It looks like he has the best marriage in the world. When you see that you become more saddened and questioning yourself why is this not working for me?

You have framed 10 commandments and many other bible rule verses and hung all over your home. There is ‘fruits of the spirit’ hanging right on the refrigerator. Every time you go to the kitchen you see that and you get more saddened realizing that you have none of them.

You are easily angered when some one cuts off in front of you on the freeway. You feel like killing him and then tries to block all his ways to pass! And then you look to the sticky note on the dashboard which says – ‘Always be patient’!

You feel guilty and irritated…

Then you started questioning the capability of your pastor…

Isn’t the pastor capable enough to give me all the capsules I need for my Christian life?

He should be. He is a PhD in ‘Biblical Life applications’! He is well trained in a respected seminary.

Is he lying?

No way! Why would he?

Days goes by… Weeks… Months... Probably years!!!

No difference in the ‘joy’ department!

You tried – more strict rules, more ministries, more charity, more tithing and offering, more programs, more everything…

Nothing seems to be working…

Then one day out of your frustration you cried out to God (Finally!!! God got your attention!)… Lord! What am I doing wrong?

Then eventually your turns your Bible to Galatians 5!

For if you are trying to make yourselves right with God by keeping the law, you have been cut off from Christ! You have fallen away from God’s grace.- Verse 4

What???

Ooopss!

Oh! My….

Then you read further…

For when we place our faith in Christ Jesus, there is no benefit in being circumcised or being uncircumcised. What is important is faith expressing itself in love. – Verse 6

Faith?

Love?

Faith expressing itself in love?

Is that the only thing counts?

The only thing?

No one told me this!

Then you read further…

You were running the race so well. Who has held you back from following the truth? – Verse 7

That’s true! I was running the race so well!

I eventually drifted and drifted and drifted from the truth!

Then you read further…

It certainly isn’t God, for he is the one who called you to freedom. – Verse 8

It shouldn’t be God…

This false teaching is like a little yeast that spreads through the whole batch of dough! – Verse 9

Ya. Little false teaching is enough to make life miserable!

Then you read further…

I am trusting the Lord to keep you from believing false teachings. God will judge that person, whoever he is, who has been confusing you. – Verse 10

Oh My…

My pastor was confusing me! And I was following him as fool holding this Bible in my hand, never asked God to show me the truth!

Now I started seeing some clarity…

WOW!

So God is not concerned about what I am doing…

That’s liberating…

It was not God teaching me all those junk for sure…

Then you read…

You feel the joy!

And it is a consistent Joy! Which you never had for years!

It is not just goose bumps!

It stays!

You read, read and read…

You can’t stop reading… You learn about Grace, Love, New Covenant, Jesus, His all sufficiency, His righteousness…

You quit trying… You slowly understood what it means by ‘abiding in the vine’…

Aaah!

What a joy!

6 comments:

Joel Brueseke said...

Very good stuff! I think I've gone through almost everything you've mentioned here at one point or another in my Christian life!

And then came freedom... and real love, and real peace, and real joy!

Bino B. Manjasseril said...

Yes Joel!

The thing is if we mix a little law with Grace that spoils the whole thing!

This false teaching is like a little yeast that spreads through the whole batch of dough!

Most Christians love grace but then they mix a little law which spreads through the whole dough!

Gary Kirkham said...

What a joy indeed! Excellent post!

Gary

Bino B. Manjasseril said...

Thanks Gary!

Daelon said...

Amazing post. I love this!! This has been striking me hard lately. Keep it up!!!

Bino B. Manjasseril said...

Thanks Matthew!