Saturday, October 11, 2014

Belief is a verb.

Jesus replied, “This is the work that God asks of you: that you believe in the One Whom He has sent [that you cleave to, trust, rely on, and have faith in His Messenger].” John 6:29

Come Thou long-expected Jesus

Born to set your people free;

From our fears and sins release us;

Let us find our rest in Thee.

Voskamp also struggles with the trust issue. She writes: I refuse to relinquish worry, a babe that a mother won’t forsake, an identity. Do I hold worry close as this ruse of control, this pretense that I am the one who will determine the course of events as I stir and churn and ruminate?

This stands in direct opposition to what He directs, tenderly commands: Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me. An untroubled heart relaxes, trusts, leans assured into His ever-dependable arms. I can’t fill with joy until I learn to trust: may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow.  The full life, the one spilling joy and peace, happens only as I come to trust the access of the Lover, the Lover who never burdens His children with shame or self-condemnation but keeps stroking the fears with gentle grace.

Belief in God has to be more than mental assent, more than a clichéd exercise in cognition. Even the demons believe. What is saving belief if it isn’t the radical dare to wholly trust?

Last night a few of us met around some spinach salad, some cheese, some grapes, some crackers and a bottle of wine. Such a beautiful home, filled with flickering candles and bright colors and photos that exactly capture a moment. The question at hand is how do we impact a community for Christ. Each of us pours out our life in service: mentoring low-income kids from the wrong side of 22nd, bathing the city in prayer from every possible angle and catalysting (yep I tried to turn it into a verb) hands and feet of Jesus from all over, attending endless task force meetings about this bond issue or that six lane corridor including two transit lanes voted on last night, immersing her head into the depths of biblical exposition, and me, well, longing that May This Day Matter in These Lives.

And Colby reminded us that really we are naïve if we think we can just be good and nice, and that will declare our position as Christians, followers of Jesus, because honestly, there are a bunch of nice people out there doing good. And lots of them do it better than we do. And we explored the idea of love, beyond the Pharisee love of loving our friends. It’s loving those enemies. Loving those who persecute you. So we may be the sons of your Father in heaven. This is how we will be known. And honestly we Christians are not particularly known for this.

Because belief is a verb.

And the question of the week is about risk. If we believe that we are a new creation, then we can take that risk. Because we really believe. Or at least we are whispering: I believe. Dear Lord, help my unbelief.

The joyous risk that oddly enough ties into the Follow Me love. The Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me risk. Not the stir and churn and ruminating grip of control that is not risk. If I am serving because my eyes are on Him, serving out of trust in Him, it will be known by the bubbling over delight. It will be known that I trust that He has my back and I can absolutely let go. Most of all it will be known that I actually believe all this stuff; it's not some dusty doctrine choked down or just a ticket through the golden gates. I am to love the LORD with not just all of mind, but with all my heart and all my soul and all of my body as well.  And in the same way, to love my neighbor.  Love that will be permeated with the full life, with no reservation or holding back, the life overflowing with joy and peace, and always pointing to Him. Giving thanks to the LORD for His mercy and wonders He does for His children.

Release, lean into the sharp curves of life with the wind pushing back my hair, a huge smile on my face, and even peddling as fast as I can go, not just with a death grip on my brakes.

Let them give thanks to the LORD for His mercy and the wonders He does for His children. For He shatters the doors of bronze and breaks in two the iron doors. Let them give thanks to the LORD for His mercy and the wonders He does for His children.