I am not a righteous person, but I want to become righteous without comparing myself to anyone else but Jesus.
I am not always right, but I want to know what is right without noticing that I know.
I can’t yet do the things that I want to be able to do, but I want to learn how to do them.
This is the reason why I read the Bible a lot and try to embrace fully what it says. I read the Bible just because it connects me with Jesus and Jesus is the only person I know who shows me what God is like so that I can worship him, please him and help fulfil his purposes for the world that he loves. It is the reason I pray a lot, because if I don’t, I will not become different. It is the reason I hang out with other people who want to serve God because I get to see things that come from God in them and get encouraged to go after what I see in them and learn from them. I hang with a particular team of people that I do life and ministry with because they are the ones who lovingly keep me accountable to the commitments I have made. I can make mistakes without shame, and I can open my heart without fear.
So I just don’t really get the lifestyle that I see around me. So many Christian people I know don’t seem to need to read the Bible, don’t pray very much, are not really accountable to anyone and don’t take responsibility for much that relates to the advance of the kingdom of God. I don’t get people who show up to the weekly meeting of the church, on average, one and a half times per month. I just don’t get that. I don’t think I am judging them; I just don’t understand how that works.
What would it take for people to feel deeply the need to connect with the Father and the Son that they were hungry for his Word and desperate for his presence? What would it take for people to just obey what Jesus said rather than be selectively obedient? What would it take for a congregation to love worshipping together, praying together and going out with a determination to obey and bringing back stories of what God did and what didn’t work?
I don’t want to belong to church in the way that people belong to the Ainslie Football Club. It is a football club, but not many people join to play football. They join because it offers them lots of ways of being self-indulgence. I hate self-indulgence. It steals from the people who need our love, our patience our support and our resources. I don’t want to run a church like the managers of AFC run their club. I want to lead people to be passionate, selfless, risk-taking followers of Jesus.
So I want to find out what we need. Then I want to run to God because we need to be there so we will run to do things because we have been there. I was with a pastor of a large church recently. It had a membership of about ten thousand people. He told me that the church had been built on two things: persistent prayer and passionate obedience. That’s the kind of church I want to be a part of.