So here’s the deal: I’m going to write something that could get me in trouble. But guess what else? I don’t care. So I’m in a season of awakening. It seems like moment by moment, I’m getting hit with waves upon waves of the freshness of God. In this season, I’m questioning some things. Funny thing is, I’m questioning things I’ve questioned. Remember, I’m raw. I don’t take five weeks to process stuff before I write it down. If you’re looking for that, go somewhere else. I’m just laying things out there honestly and authentically.
God has to live inside of me (aka the Holy Spirit) in order to get to heaven. But really, these days, I’m not even caring much about the destination right now. Truthfully, right now, I’m just falling head over heals in love with God. I don’t want to think about heaven now. I have heaven already. Inside of me. And I’m wondering…in Scripture. Eternal life means God has to live inside me. And to live inside of me, there are two things Scripture tells me to do. Repent. Be baptized.
Now one thing I’m struggling with is the idea that this is how the transaction takes place. I know the bridge illustration. I know the plan of salvation. I have tracks memorized. I know how to tell the Gospel story. But what I’m wondering…and I’m still marinating on, is this: Where in the Bible does it say all you have to do is slip up your hand or come forward to come to Christ?
What I’m seeing now (or noticing at least), is that God is really calling us to come and die. It’s not really glamorous. Salvation is when we kill ourselves by repentance and come alive to God. Then God comes into our body and we are saved. Yes, I know just before Acts 2:38-39 (repent and be baptized) you could argue, “but it says not more than a few verses above, “he who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved” (Acts 2:21). Where is the Grace? C’mon Jason. Get with the program. What about the thief on the cross? He didn’t have time to repent and be baptized. You may be getting a bit too jiggy. Too extreme. But my Scripture also says, “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow Me.” Luke 9:23.
So, another question. If we want the Holy Spirit inside of our bodies, we have to do this, right? What other options are there to receive eternal life? To be filled with the Holy Spirit? Feedback? Thoughts? Am I missing something? Too emotional?
So, I’m thinking out loud. Which is what I like to do. I’m marinating on these thoughts as I process them through. What’s clear? What’s not up for discussion? Here’s what I know from my cultural upbringing. I know God loves me. I get the whole idea of confessing my sin, asking for forgiveness and asking God to come in. Bam. Got eternal life. And now I’m supposed to talk to others about Him and convince them to follow. We talk about holiness in the Free Methodist church, but what I am realizing now is what we’ve forgotten something. The Holy Spirit. And what He brings when He comes into me: Power.
We talk about holiness and perfection. Being set apart. I can use words like “entire sanctification” and other big words. But we don’t talk about the power of God manifest in our lives. In our bodies. We don’t talk about supernatural power. If we do, we don’t talk about it in the context of a person like me. Which is why it’s been so frustrating to live a holy life. Living a holy life with no power is living a life of failure. And I’m tired of living that way. I’m tired of constantly saying “I’m sorry” and not seeing a change. It’s defeating. Self-depricating. Wrong.
Past Culture and Pretense to Response
Where is the Spirit-filled life? Where is the power? When will we freaking get it? Stop talking about it. Stop “churching” the issues. Stuff is black and white. I’m saying screw theology. Screw exegesis. Analysis gone. I want God. I want all of Him. In his FULLNESS. So, here are some questions from the message I’m listening to for the second time today. Listen to the message first, then go through these questions. See what you think. I know to do. I’ll be curious to see what you may think or how you’d choose to respond. Because this isn’t a type of message that you can choose to not respond to. So be warned.
The Questions (from Francis Chan’s message)
- Do you believe that God is great? Really great? How great? How great is He to you? The person who gets the Kingdom of God is someone who sees a field and sees how valuable it is and will sell everything he has to buy the field. You don’t care about anything but God.
- Do you believe that God’s way of living is best? Really? Agree it all? Not just the consequences of sin, but do you hate sin itself? You really don’t want to lie, have bitterness, lust, etc?
- Do you in your heart want to be in love with God? Really? Not intellectual belief. Not in principle. Not in love just with Scripture intellectually. We’re talking heart, mind, soul, strength. He wants it. Do you?
- Do you want to have power in your life? A power to live out this holiness? Really spending a life getting rid of sin and empowering others to do the same? He wants to empower you. Do you want it?
Watch the Message
If so, repent, be baptized, and be filled with the Holy Spirit. Watch “The Holy Spirit: Part 3” by Francis Chan in iTunes