Yesterday Steve Heerema from Pella finished up his series on Christianity 101. It was all about getting back to the basics of Christianity, and boy did I need that. Three things from the scripture resonated with my soul especially strong.
The first was Romans 7:15 "I don’t really understand myself, for I want to do what is right, but I don’t do it. Instead, I do what I hate." How many times does this happen for me? How many times does this happen for you? It was such an encouraging reminder to me because so often I forget that every Christian battles with their flesh in some way. It is our human, sinful nature (Romans 7:18). We cannot forget that we...are...not...alone. Hallelujah!
The second thing that really got me was Romans 8:12, "Therefore, dear brothers and sisters, you have no obligation to do what your sinful nature urges you to do." (emphasis mine) How much have I needed that reminder lately!!! Sometimes I get so overwhelmed with how much I need to change, but I forget the power of the Holy Spirit that lives within me. Duh! It's so simple!
And the third thing got me the most. God used this Truth to complete refresh my soul. Steve was talking about how we as Christians have a tendency to get all caught up in all the rules of Christianity, but forget what a joy it is to be a Christian. While the rules are important, there's so much more to it. It's really all about having a relationship with God that is so deep that we can call him "Abba, Father". I learned today that "Abba" is a term for father that is similar in meaning to the English, "Daddy".
That was so powerful to me. Am I in a place with God right now that I would feel comfortable calling him "Daddy"? Not right now, no.
But I long to get back to that place.
I found myself wiping tears away throughout the entire message. What gets me the most is how open Steve has been. He's a big "tough guy", but he has let the tears flow during his messages, and it has moved me. Or should I say, God has moved me through Steve's vulnerability.
Immediately following the message, Steve had us reflect upon two questions; "Do you know God?" and "Do you want to?". The time for reflection was so moving to me because after I was finished reflecting, I was drying my eyes, feeling silly for getting so emotional, when I looked around and saw person after person drying their own eyes. Unabashedly. And I felt immediately that this is where I am meant to be. This church is where I belong right now. The Spirit was moving so mightily in that place that it was almost palpable.
And as Chris and I were walking out of the sanctuary, I laughingly told him that one of these days I WILL be able to remain dry-eyed through an entire service at this church. But when I sit back and think about it, I realize that I'm okay with having some tears flow because that's how I usually respond to the Spirit moving within my heart.
And I never want that to stop.