Wednesday, 7 January 2015

The way we treat God

The first of three Passion Conferences was on last weekend in Atlanta, there is another in two weeks and one in Houston in February. I am hoping they do a live stream of at least one of the conferences... last weekend they only made one of the sessions available, I am thankful I got to watch that one.

Francis Chan spoke in this session and his message was fantastic.  If you have the time, sit down and at least watch that.

He spoke from Exodus 19, talking about the preparation of the people to meet God and then Moses going up the mountain to speak to God face to face. It's incredible the time and the preparation the people put into that event, and then their anticipation to actually meet God, but they were not able to - Moses was told to make sure the people didn't touch the mountain or they would surely die.

Chan then set up a tent (just a little pop up one) on the stage and described the idea of Louie Giglio coming out onto the stage and going into the tent, and all of the people there in the stadium getting to watch as God came down into the tent and witness Him speaking with Louie face to face... how amazing that would be for all of them...
God is going to visit us in that way!? A human being is going to climb in there and it's going to be him and Creator God! See this is the way they viewed this meeting with God.  And what's crazy to me is that nowadays is how we treat this time with God as ordinary or even burdensome... to where we try and squeeze in 5 minutes at the end of our day, like I gotta try and get some time with Him, I feel guilty because I only got 2 or 3 minutes... ahhh do you understand? I was reading this in Exodus and going 'man how did we come so far?'
Where it use to be "no way! A man is going to meet with Almighty God", and they'd see the lightning and hear the thunder, the fire... and now it's like a burden, and we have pastors that beg us to 'please, please, please just give Him a few minutes... please just try and read through the Bible in a year it only takes like 10-15 minutes a day, just try to hear from Him... Please!' How did we get here?
~Francis Chan - Passion 2015
I know that as a pastor I have done that, pleaded with my young people (and whole congregation) to just give 5 minutes to God.  That's disgusting, that even in our church the culture of today is so caught in itself that it denies God the respect and honour He deserves.  But I know I am guilty too... I don't give enough time to Him... and sometimes when I do, the time I give isn't given with the right amount of respect or honour.

Francis also said this;
I think this generation would be more excited to take a 'selfie' with Moses than to meet with the living God.
That's it isn't it? It's so true! Today's society is all about who we know... or who we are known to know. We crave the 'selfie' with the celebrity, so people will see that we 'know' that person.  I've thought about it... I was at a conference earlier this year where Francis Chan was speaking and I really wanted to get a photo with him so I could make it my Facebook profile shot... how cool! I met the Chan! But I didn't, because he preached a message like this, and I realised as cool as he is... it's not about him... it's not about knowing him, it's about knowing Jesus.  We have access to God now, through Jesus, yet we don't go ourselves, we chase the selfie with Moses instead. In Exodus 19 the people couldn't go to God... they had to experience it through Moses, but now, because of the peace we have with God through the grace of Jesus Christ we can approach him like Moses did, face to face.

So why do we idolise and search out our modern day Moseses?? Why don't we go ourselves? Why do we see it as a burden, or flippantly give God 5 minutes at the end of the day out of guilt? We need to shake up our church culture... we need to realise the privilege we have, and the honour that God deserves... because most of the time I think we miss the point.

I don't want to do better just so I can say I am better... I want to do better because I realise God deserves the best, and when I am not doing that I am not living a life worthy of the grace He has shown me.

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