Thursday, February 24, 2011

A Song Blog: Part 2

Then we’ve got “More Like Falling in Love” from Jason Gray.

Give me rules, I will break them
Give me lines, I will cross them
I need more than a truth to believe
I need a truth that lives, moves and breathes
To sweep me off my feet

It oughta be more like falling in love than something to believe in
More like losing my heart than giving my allegiance
Called up, called out, take a look at me now
It's like I'm falling, oh, it's like I'm falling in love

Give me words, I'll misuse them
Obligations, I'll misplace them
Cause all religion ever made out of me, was a sinner with a stone tied to my feet
It never set me free

It's gotta be more like falling in love than something to believe in
More like losing my heart than giving my allegiance
Called up, called out, take a look at me now
It's like...

Love, deeper and deeper
Love that made me a believer
And more than a name, a faith, a creed
Falling in love with Jesus brought the change in me

This one applies less to my personal life and more to ministry here. Because these people have religion. You don’t even have to ask them, and they’ll tell you, “No thanks, I’m Catholic.”

But this religion that they have is yet to set them free.

They are still bound in sin, that stone tied to their feet, and they are trapped in a cycle of works-earned salvation. All they know is a list of rules they need to follow, a list of requirements they must fulfill, and they are painfully aware of all the times they fall short.

There is no freedom there.

A book that has been really influential in my spiritual life is Searching for God Knows What, written by Donald Miller. And throughout the book, he talks about how the formulas we are taught in order to relate to God are just not enough. The formulas are completely incapable of changing a person’s heart. He says that, “the difference between Christian faith and all other forms of spirituality is that the Christian faith offers a relation dynamic with God,” and he asks, “Why are we cloaking this relational dynamic in formulas?”

I think that is a really good question.

Because in door-to-door evangelism, which I do on a practically daily basis, it is really tempting to explain what I have come to “offer” them in a list or formula.

Example: God loves you. You’re a sinner though. So you need to ask for forgiveness from your sin. And then you’re saved! Just accept Christ into your heart, okay? Now repeat after me…

I’m not saying this is completely wrong, but I will say it is most definitely not enough.

Because that just gives them another religion to ascribe to. It gives them more rules and requirements, when what they need in a Savior who wants to know them and wants them to know him.

I like telling stories when I evangelize.

I like talking about the lost son and the lavish, prodigal love of a father.

And I love talking about how what Jesus did throughout his whole ministry and especially towards the end of his life fits in with the Jewish marriage customs of the day. That through his life and death, Jesus is calling us into an intimate love affair with him.

Talk about something that can really change a life. Thinking about cheating on my husband really puts sin into perspective.

Now Donald says many quotable things in his book, but I’ll leave you with just a few:

“I realized the gospel of Jesus, I mean the essence of God’s message to mankind, wasn’t a bunch of hoops we needed to jump through to get saved, and it wasn’t a series of ideas we had to agree with either; rather, it was an invitation, an invitation to know God.”

“If we think of God’s grace as a technicality, a theological precept, we can disobey without the slightest feeling of guilt, but if we think of God’s grace as an invitation, an outreach of love, we are pretty much jerks for belittling the gesture.”

“I began to wonder if becoming a Christian did not work more like falling in love than agreeing with a list of principles.”

It’s more like falling in love.

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