Recently, I’ve learned how quiet time leaves our soul thirsty. After getting married, I have been more and more convicted about learning more of Who God is. That makes sense. The weeks leading up to the Big Day were spent working towards something for me and my husband, Cody.
Since I am in the new season where I am getting to know Cody and my step-daughter, Sophia, more every day, it only makes sense to quench my thirsty soul with daily learning of Who my Father is. I went through the thoughts of:
“Why not continue to learn who I am in Christ and that will show Who God is,”
“You should learn more about what you need to be as a wife and mother, and God will fall into place.”
Those are not completely wrong, but they are not completely right either.
Why This Matters
I don’t have a shot of being a good wife or mother if I am not firmly rooted in who I am in Jesus, but I can’t know who I am rooted in if I don’t know Who They are. It’s like children who never knew their birth parents. They feel as though a part of them is missing, like they can’t be their complete selves. Many will say they don’t think they can ever be a good ___________ (insert just about anything, friend, wife, teacher, officer, etc) because they aren’t fully sure of where they come from.
Why would we be any different when it comes to God? How come we believe that the best way to learn about ourselves is through self help books, conferences, songs proclaiming our own journey? Listen, I am all about reading books that help you through a situation, season or trial. I have tickets to multiple conferences and I listen to “Who You Say I Am” on repeat almost daily, but I don’t see those things as what get me closer to God. Getting closer to Him is the only way to achieve that.
What I’ve Discovered
Upon my quest to learn more about God I have started to view things differently. Everything I use to use during my daily quiet times, or to fill the silence on long drives has now all been put under a different light, and it’s actually pretty astounding what I’ve come to see. I once heard a guy talk about a local Christian book store and he said:
That store is 65% trash and the rest is still worth putting under the microscope of doctrine.
After hearing that and starting to look at more and more devotionals and work on set lists for worship, I have been shocked at how right he was.
We all know our world is corrupt and broken, and if we aren’t careful we let that corrupt brokenness seep into our Christian life and distort our view. We have allowed freedom of speech to be what we cling to higher than sound Gospel preaching. Its common to listen to a sermon that mentions the name of God or Jesus, but doesn’t refer to scripture, doesn’t speak on the character of God, or the actions He has taken. Sermons that are built to ensure that you walk away happy and the church’s numbers stay high.
We care more about self preservation than we do about preserving the one true relationship that is out there. Jesus. Nowadays we forget that joke “if you don’t know the answer, just say Jesus” and will usually spout off what our thoughts on the matter are without much concern of if that is how Jesus would answer. People will proclaim their need for help in a certain area, and instead of pointing people to Jesus, we point them to the self help section of the bookstore and exclaim that the books are Christian since a well known pastor wrote it. Garbage.
Cold Hard Truth
I have fallen short in this area. Like I said, it wasn’t until recently that I really took this stuff seriously. I use to read every Jen Hatmaker book out there, or Donald Miller, and when I first became a believer I didn’t understand the destructive path of Joel Olsten. (If you read any of their stuff or listen to their sermons, that is perfectly fine by me, I would just remind you to never take them in completely, bits and pieces of their sermons, maybe, but never every word they say)
That goes for any pastor or preacher, author or song writer. Run all of them through the lens of Scripture to ensure their truth, for one, and to make sure that you aren’t being built up as the most important thing in your life.
Biblical Family Make-Up
Before getting married we were taught that God is first, spouse is second, children are third, and everyone else is after that. You don’t even make it onto your own list. Do you see that? Every person is called to serve the widows and orphans. You’re not on that list either.
Of course you are suppose to take care of yourself, but God knows what He is doing and He knows that if you keep Him first, and then the people He puts into your life, then you will be full, complete (as best you can on this side of heaven), and have an unworldly confidence.
My Heart Shattered
Worship is one of the most precious things to me since it is something God has given me a passion for, and imagine how hurt and confused I was when I started listening to the words of the songs I was singing, ushering people into the Presence of Jesus, and all I was saying was look who I am now because of Jesus. Most of the time without even singing of what Jesus had done. I love those songs, but they are songs I’d rather keep on reserve for my own quiet time, or when I’m in the heat of the battle with Satan, but not to try and present Jesus to my fellow believers, or unbelievers.
I don’t say any of this to step on toes, or cause people to feel bad, but I say this because I have seen how big of an issue this is and is continuing to become, and as someone who constantly wonders how my children will be when they grow up, I refuse to believe that they will be people confident in themselves and lost as to Who God is because our own bookstores led them astray.