Tuesday, April 27, 2010
Fear has a way of keeping our relationships shallow and our friendships surface level. Fear has a way of keeping others at arm's length, even those who appear to be safe.I am now going to say something very strange - the fact that church produces fear of intimacy is good - it means that the church is intimate, so people that fear intimacy fear the church.
In our rush to save the world, the spread the gospel to everyone, to bring all into the church, we forget something:
Eccl 3:1-11Not everyone is supposed to be in church - at least not at this moment. God has to bring some things to fruition in people's lives before they are prepared to hear the Good News of Jesus Christ - certainly before they are prepared to respond to it.
There is an appointed time for everything. And there is a time for every event under heaven--
A time to give birth, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to uproot what is planted.
A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to tear down, and a time to build up.
A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance.
A time to throw stones, and a time to gather stones; a time to embrace, and a time to shun embracing.
A time to search, and a time to give up as lost; a time to keep, and a time to throw away.
A time to tear apart, and a time to sew together; a time to be silent, and a time to speak.
A time to love, and a time to hate; a time for war, and a time for peace.
What profit is there to the worker from that in which he toils? I have seen the task which God has given the sons of men with which to occupy themselves.He has made everything appropriate in its time. He has also set eternity in their heart, yet so that man will not find out the work which God has done from the beginning even to the end.
That is very hard for us to understand because when you have the most wonderful thing - EVER - you naturally think everyone else should enjoy the benefits thereof as well.
But see, the gospel is not a possession we share. It is a force that transforms us into the shape God intends us to be in.
Lately, I am doing some woodworking for relaxation. What many people do not realize is the amount of prep that goes into getting a piece of wood ready to mill into the shape you want it for the piece you are making. Before you can cut a piece of wood into a rectangular shape of some dimension, you have to make sure it is flat and the edges are actual right angles so that your measurements have meaning of any sort. Ofttimes, such prep requires more effort that the actually milling of the pieces.
So it is with us. Sometimes, before God can turn us into His people - He has to prepare us in some way - like bring us to a point where we can even deal with intimacy.
Which means that one of the biggest secrets of being the church is to figure out who is prepared and who is not.