Tuesday, February 27, 2007

In Others' Words--Chic Religiosity or Real Relationship?

"If I’d abandon all that seeks to make my faith informed and chic, could You, would You, show Yourself to me?”
~ Nichole Nordeman ~

I remember back in my seminary days we would often jokingly call them "cemetery days." My explanation for that feeling was that we spent so much time talking about God that often we forgot to talk to God.

Sometimes I still feel that way. There are days that I seem to know too much about Him, and yet know Him so shallowly (a former pastor would say many church goers are 20 miles wide and an inch deep) . I get caught up in the "chic" and miss the "real." I do the right studies. I read the right books. I frequent the right blogs that talk about the right spiritual things. I say the right words. So I appear to be "informed and chic" but instead I am "shallow and pathetic."

Don't get me wrong, those things in and of themselves are not bad. Studies should point us to God. Books should deepen our desire to know God. Blogs can and do teach me so much. But if my relationship with Jesus is based on other people's studies, books or blogs, I am missing the reality of a life of intimacy with Jesus. I want Him to show Himself to me, and to make my relationship real. I cannot rely on Him showing Himself to others. I need first-hand knowledge. So I need to put aside the tools and get back to basics--me with my Bible in prayer in tune with the Holy Spirit. That is where He shows Himself. That is where I grow. That is what I need the most: to talk to God not just to talk about Him.

And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him. Hebrews 11:6--emphasis mine

Now devote your heart and soul to seeking the LORD your God. 1 Chronicles 22:19a

And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever—the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you. I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you...Jesus replied, "If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him John 14:16-18; 23

This week's In Other Words is hosted by Christine at Fruit in Season. Be sure and visit the other blogs writing on today's quote. Blessings to each of you!


eph2810 said...

MiPa, I so agree with you. We read and study so much other 'stuff', but some times to forget to go back to the root. As you said "We know about Him, but know Him so shallowly".

Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts on this week's quote. I enjoyed reading it very much.

Blessings on your day and always...

Cyndi said...

Amen, and amen. I thought of the words "shallow and pathetic" yesterday, too. (Or the same Holy Spirit who gave you those words impressed them upon me as well, I guess I should say!) The times others have perhaps perceived me oh-so-informed and chic have been some of my most "shallow and pathetic" times, I think. (If I'm honest with myself.) It *is* about relationship, not the religion.

Excellent, excellent post!

Christine said...

Wonderful scriptures! And I love the quote from your former pastor about how "wide" vs how "deep" we are. Awesome! Thanks for being a part of IOW this week! It's always great to visit!

janna said...

You said: "But if my relationship with Jesus is based on other people's studies, books or blogs, I am missing the reality of a life of intimacy with Jesus."

And I say: Amen and amen.

Let's keep trying to point others to Jesus so they can have their own first hand experience with the God of the Universe.

Denise said...

A great big amen to this, bless you.

Heidi said...

great post!

Shelley said...

I really enjoyed reading your take on this week's quote! Great viewpoint!

Cindy said...

Excellent take on the quote. I have to fight being shallow. Thanks for visiting by IOW. :)

Crystal said...

Very good post! It's impossible to cultivate a relationship with someone by just talking about them and never talking to them or listening to them.

Thanks for sharing... good stuff! :)

Jennifer said...

"Talking about God that often we forgot to talk to God."

What a great point! Thanks for taking the time to post. I enjoyed your take on this quote. So many different perspectives on this one!


Amydeanne said...

Great post. I had a hard time with this one this week.. whether my brain didn't comprehend the quote, or whehter I just didn't want to, not sure lol... anyhow, I understand this! Thanks for posting it!