Thursday, July 22, 2010

Lofty Glances From Lofty People

A couple days ago, I watched this music video by Casting Crowns. It literally made me cry. It's called "Does Anybody Hear Her" . . . and I felt like "Her" was me, about a year ago. Take a minute to watch it:

She's shunned at home, by her father. She's looking everywhere else, for that lack of fulfillment. She hurts herself in the process, as she's finding love in all the wrong places. When she goes to church, weak and defeated, she's met with "lofty glances from lofty people." No one reached out to her. The whispers all around her seem so hypocritical, as she's only looking for help, and she's heard that it is the place to find rest.

The description above fit me perfectly.
I was shunned at home, by my father. I looked everywhere else, for that lack of fulfillment. I hurt myself in the process, because I found love in all the wrong places. When I went to church, weak and defeated, I was met with "lofty glances from lofty people." No one reached out to me. The whispers all around me seemed so hypocritical, because I was looking for help, and I heard that church was the place to find rest.

If I could speak, and be heard, by the modern american church . . . I would say this.
Christianity is not about the institution.
It's about the heart.

The entire Bible testifies to this, but specifically, the book of 1 John. I've been taking time to really study chapters 3 and 4, which focus on the heart of Christianity - God's love.

1 John 3:16 - By this we know love, because he laid down his life for us. And we also ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.

All those who profess to be Christians know of the sacrifice made for our sins. A perfect and holy God loves us enough to send his son to die in our place. Christ experienced God's wrath so we wouldn't have to. This is love! So, to the modern church . . . Is it that hard to reach out to those who are suffering? It's not like you're being asked to die on a cross or anything. Don't you realize the love you've been given? The same love that you preach about, every Sunday?

It's safe to say that all of us fail to walk the talk. We're all hypocrites in some sense, if we're being perfectly honest with ourselves. But to preach love, and yet - not show love, is shaking a fist in the face of our Father above.

1 John 3:18 - My little children, let us not love in word or in tongue, but in deed and in truth.

It's really tough to be judged. It really hurts, too. Because I've been there, I can say that. Sometimes, I don't even think we realize how judgemental we are of others until we feel judged ourselves. When we hear the pastor preach on love, and then walk through the church to hear whispers and see cold looks . . . Something's terribly wrong.

1 John 4: 7-8 - Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God, and everyone who loves is born of God and knows god. He who does not love does not know God, for God is love.

I guess I just don't understand. When one loves Christ, really really loves Him, there should be an overflowing gratitude and passion to love others. Am I wrong for wondering what the problem is? How can those who refuse to walk in love, really walk with God? The Bible says it's not possible.

I will probably get in trouble with the church for writing this post. However, I don't write this in arrogance . . . I do write it in love, in high hopes that they will change their ways, for the sake of their fellow believers. I plead with the church not to take this the wrong way, as they did in my last one. I love the body of Christ. I hope the expression of my bleeding heart will be met in humility.

~Lauren Lee

P.S. . . . Here's a scary verse, I think all believers need to remember this!

Matthew 27: 41-45:
Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into the eternal fire which is prepared for the devil and his angels: 42for I was hungry, and ye did not give me to eat; I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink; 43I was a stranger, and ye took me not in; naked, and ye clothed me not; sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not. 44Then shall they also answer, saying, Lord, when saw we thee hungry, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee? 45Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, as ye did it not unto one of the least of these, ye did it not unto me.

Monday, July 12, 2010

I've gone head over heels . . . It's L.O.V.E. . .

I am in love.
That tingly sensation in the pit of your stomach that makes you want to shout it to the world? Yes. The beating of my heart when I hear his name? Yes. That wonderful and blessed plague of never being able to stop thinking about him?? Yes! The ache my heart gets when I'm away from him, even for a short time?? Yes!

Now, I have not found my dream boy. I've not yet come across the handsome tall stranger who will one day be my husband. ;) BUT. I'm so in love! I am anamored with my heavenly prince, Jesus Christ. This is what Christianity is all about. It's not about rules - it's not about laws - it's not about legalism or judgemental thinking or religion or conventional wisdom. It's about Christ. It's about having a beautiful, personal, intimate relationship with him who LOVES YOU!

Am I excited much?!

The Lord has been putting on my heart lately that he doesn't just want to be PART of my life . . . he wants to BE my life. Every waking moment, I should be completely enraptured with Him. Not because I have to, not because rules tell me to, but because I want to. Because He loves me.

Think of an earthly relationship you might have been in. Do you love the person because your forced to? You love your mother, best friend, brother, father, husband, sister, boyfriend, whichever, not with a love that is forced . . . . but a love that springs from within. This is how it is with Christ. I don't love him because I have to - because religion tells me to. I love him because he first loved me. He is everything, my life, my love, my all in all, and I am overflowing and overjoyed to think of it.

Because of this amazing love He has for me and I have for him in return, I am so willing to give up this world. Any books, any music, any magazines, anything, that takes me away from HIM, be gone. That would be really hard for me, if I didn't have Christ as my motivation.
You all don't know my secret addiction to secular music. ;)
It's really quite awful. But if there is something in your life you can't live without, it's an idol.

"Do not love the world or the things int he world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father but is of the world." ~1 john 2:15-16

Leslie Ludy put it this way . . . "Does God stand up and cheer over american Idol? Does he smile with delight over the new Harry Potter movie? Does he get excited about the latest coldplay album?"
Probably not, huh?

I can't picture Jesus taking the night off and relaxing with a bubble bath, Jay Sean on the radio, and eating twinkies. Can you?
I'm not saying that all these are a bad thing . . . I really really love bubble baths. I can see how this can be taken as legalistic. But a true love for the Lord will weed out pop culture, so that the devil can gain no access to our souls.

Remember, the devil is crafty and decietful. We think, "oh it's ok if I watch this or listen to this. After all, I don't agree with it . . . " You're giving the devil a foothold, even if it's not consiously.

Another thing to think about along these lines - we are the temple of God. Our bodies are were the holy spirit dwells. Think about the music you're pumping into his holy dwelling. Think about the images you're recieving into his presence. His very presence!

Horrified yet?
Be scared!

In the old testimate, when a high preist would go into the temple, he walked in with a rope tied around his waist. why? In case a sinful thought crossed his mind while in the presence of God. He would be struck dead. And someone would have to pull him out. Think of the seriousness the temple was treated with in the Old Testiment . . . . and think about the defilement we put it through, in modern times.

"For you are the temple of the living God. As God has said, "I will dwell in them and walk among them. I will be their God, and they shall be My people. Therefore come out from among them and be seperate" says the Lord. Do not touch what is unclean, and I will recieve you. ~2 Corinthians 6: 16-17


Give it all up. Love the Lord your God with everything in you. Live a life that is utterly engulfed in him. Every waking moment. Sound like a challenge? Remember: Matthew 7:14. Narrow is the way that leads to eternal life.
This is not a joy ride - it's a poured out existence for our savior!

John Piper once said that at an early age, as he was contemplating ministry, he decided to "live as he would have wished he had, once in heaven."
Yes, believe it or not, you can live without Jay Sean.

Instead of Lady Gaga, try spending time in the presence of Christ. Your love. Your life. Your everything. Let your heart pound in excitement as you prepare to meet him in quiet time . . . . be completely swept away by your heavenly prince.

This past week, I've given it up. This next week, I give it up. And the week after that. I long to be a pure and undefiled temple of God, and a beautiful bride of Christ.

You will be amazed at his love, and the intimacy of a relationship with him. Take time for your Prince, cleanse the temple.
Join me?

~Lauren Lee
Depart! Depart! Go our from there. Touch no unclean thing. Go out from the midst of her, be clean, you who bear the vessels of the Lord ~Isaiah 52:11

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