Christians often appear to others as narrow, confined or constricted. While that may be true Jesus wasn’t cramped or limited.
Those who exemplify the scant lifestyle are sitting in the pews of patterned behavior and customs. “Pomp and Ceremony” have their place and are to be reckoned with. However, when it becomes a hindrance to growth, maturity or lessons learned maybe the conventional mannerisms should be tested.
Wisdom is learned over time. However not all is assigned in a classroom or sitting in a church pew. The basics may surface from many Sunday sermons but understanding and knowledge are examined in the field of God’s university. The trouble with it is you never graduate.
Jesus seemed to enjoy sitting on rocks, a hillside or standing in a boat to render his teachings. The local Ethan Allen’s or Haverty’s were unavailable to deliver the latest in outdoor pew décor.
Just as pews sit better indoors, so it is with our hearts. The belief we are to grow from the outside-inward is backwards. God takes our hearts while sitting in the pews of his church to cultivate our souls from the inside- out.
It doesn’t matter where you sit or stand. What counts is allowing God to “narrow” our work, interests and purpose for a time to center ourselves in an inner circle with him only. From that point, he molds us into the design he created for each one individually.
Society has all but perfected the universal movements and large activities of our grandiose habits. Find “Your place in this world” and then learn how to deal with it; like teaching a baby to run before it crawls.
Michael W. Smith – Place In This World *original music video*
Order is a major component of God’s laws. As buildings are constructed from the ground up or bread is made from scratch; so it is with God’s eternal words. We must soak them internally before we can present them externally.
Part of this process includes stripping our personal desires and interests from the outside until we are wrapped inside by his glory. In other words, get rid of self. The only manner of achieving this is by “narrowing” our purpose and goals to draw more and more to him.
This craft is not seen or welcomed by today’s culture. One stuck in this sphere of exterior platitudes ignores the thought of being “chipped” away from the inside-out.
Yet, the pleasure of God’s grace will not be experienced by one who refuses the time and effort in unloading baggage. His interior sphere is holy and sacred waiting for the chosen few who are willing to attach themselves to his cross of pain, agony and persecution. It is in that “crown of thorns” where hearts are transformed, souls are purified and a friendship is born unlike any other.
From his wreath of friendship cultivates within us his adorned character and banter personality.
As the furniture maker artistically covers the pew with a lasting, smooth finish, we too are shielded and protected by the veil of God’s love.
When God said “let us make man in our image” Genesis 1:26 he was giving us his “personal touch.”
And that touch is far and wide.
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