For a while now I’ve been on this constant seeking and searching for truth. What is the “right” way to worship as a Christian. There’s so many Christian denominations and voices in this world that say, “this is the right way” or “this is the only way” and most people seem to feel that theirs is the right and only way, yet im not convinced and left to keep on seeking, praying, and coming back to reading scripture to find what I’m searching for.
Just a few weeks ago I had had yet another amazing dinner with a friend whom I can talk for hours about faith and religion. I grew up in a house hold that followed most of the traditions and sacraments that my friend currently does, but I never understood why we practiced them at the time until my friend has continued to share his wisdom and understanding of why his denomination does certain things.
But for some reason after that dinner, I drove off feeling a sense of sadness. My friendship felt divided and broken in some ways. I cried out of pain and desperation wanting and asking God to help me understand why even though we both ultimately believe in Jesus Christ dying on the cross for sinners like us, why did it feel like we were still divided?
Since making the choice to be baptized at an interdenominational church in 2017, I had developed a love for reading scripture and understanding God’s unfailing love for me and all His creation. Through reading about generations of broken people throughout the Bible, again and again I continued to see relationship with God more important than religion itself. Why put God in a box when He’s immensely so big to fully comprehend? Don’t misunderstand me though, I do believe in God coming to earth as fully human through Jesus Christ, Son of God, the Messiah, lamb of God crucified for our sins. You and I don’t have to earn nor work for our salvation. Period… Every other God I’ve come to learn of doesn’t give this sense of peace I have inside me when I think of life after death because of the hope in eternity.
But who is a perfect Christian or perfect worshiper?
None of us are nor will we ever be, yet we do strive to be more like Jesus every day of our lives as the Holy Spirit helps and guides us.
If we worship a carved image we are sinning, but if we constantly seek approval from authority instead of God first, this too, is idol worshiping.
Whether we simply fantasize over someone in a sexual way or we actually sleep with someone simply out of selfish desire, that too, is adultery.
When we read throughout the Bible we can clearly see how messed up people were yet we can’t glorify our times and generation today because we’re not too far off from wondering like lost sheep ourselves.
After feeling so overwhelmed and sad about the division between people and Christian brothers and sisters from any denomination, I simply keep coming back to God’s Word where Jesus says;
“You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. A second is equally important: love your neighbor as yourself.” ~ Matthew 22:37-39
It only makes sense to me that these two commandments go hand and hand. How can we love others if we don’t love God with all of our being? Or how can we love even ourselves if we don’t know our Creator first?
“The Lord is merciful and compassionate, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love. The Lord is good to everyone. He showers compassion on His creation.” ~Psalm 145:8-9
And if you’re curious about how God sees you or what He thinks of you, read one of my favorite scriptures in Psalm 139.
Sometimes it’s hard to believe in a good God or to even know that we can have an intimate relationship with Him because of cultural backgrounds, upbringing, trauma, generational beliefs and traditions, but God graciously offers us an invitation to follow Him and to know His heart in new and unique ways to all of us.
I do see divisions and brokenness in the Church. But it exists because we’re all broken sinners, yet loved sinners in need of our Lord, Jesus Christ.
So what can give us peace even when we’re shaken and in need of answers?
Simply knowing that God sees our hearts. He knows our questions, concerns, fears and doubts. And to be quite frank with you, I’m glad we will always have questions even if we won’t always know all the answers because this is what bring us closer to relationship with God and with others if we’re open to it and willing to seek Him alongside other Christian brothers and sisters.
“… The Lord doesn’t see things the way you see them. People judge by outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” ~1 Samuel 16:7
It’s so easy to judge ourselves and each other by what we do or don’t do, but there’s some sort of comfort (and sometimes uncomfortable but necessary convictions) knowing that God can see our true intentions in all that we do…
So whom is a perfect Christian other that Christ Himself? And why should it feel divided if Chist is only one?
Even though it’s often hard to understand other people’s beliefs, it’s beautiful to challenge one another in our faith and still be able to walk alongside each other.
Grace is undeserved forgiveness, receive it as a gift and be gentle with yourself as you explore this lifelong journey with God.
Trust God, and Do Good…❤️
Lord, thank You that You desire intimate relationship with me even knowing how much I’ve failed You and continue to fall short of Your grace. Forgive me for sometimes being impatient with myself and with others when I don’t have answers. Lord, I pray for truth that comes from You. Protect me and my friends and family from lies we’ve believed and bring us to Your truth that we may glorify You in all that we do. In Jesus’s name I pray, Amen.