26 January 2016

Religious habits

We are creatures of habits and routine, habits are formed from years of being and doing. This makes change difficult, because once we become use to our ways of being... A different way becomes a threat to our existence.

This is also true of being a Christian, we are use to a particular style of worship, praise, people, songs, and prayer. When we are faced with change, we resist, or even become very critical of whatever is different from what we know.

After moving houses a few years ago, I realised that my then fab church was indeed too far for me and I would prefer something closer home, no more than 10 mins drive from my house. In my search for a new church, I visited several churches near our new home. I was surprised at the different style each one had. 
I continued to attend my old church on occasions, but continued to visit some local churches  as I was now expecting my first child.

I found my current church while out walking one day. Although a big difference from my then current church, I felt at home straightaway. 
This was a world apart from what I was used to? But I felt comfortable and decided to give it a go. I stayed because I love the different style, it was easy without being ridged, it was simple, without being pushy, each Sunday was different. I found myself looking forward to the services.

The worship, praise, preaching, method of delivery was different but it was the word of God. 
It was a struggle at first, but I quickly adjusted to this new style of worship and opened myself up to being blessed. My decision was confirmed when my kids came along. As they too were accepted and we now have our very own grandpa Ray. 

So it was with understanding I encouraged a friend who recently relocated, to consider other worship centres, rather than travel miles and miles just to worship with the church she was familiar with. It would have been alright if she was happy with this arrangement, but she wasn't. Her contention was she feels she can't fit in and get use to something else.

We are not called to be familiar but to enjoy fellowship with other believers. Not to be comfortable but to comfort others with the comfort we have received.
To not like the method but to love the brethren, because we are one body with different members.
To not be like them, but to be part of a vision that further the message of the cross. 

Are you struggling to find a place to settle. Start were you are and truly look beyond method or style of worship. Do you feel love and welcome where you are? Then fellowship there in spirit and in truth. 

Seek to be what you look for in a place, a place that loves, that cares, that gives, that encourages, that welcomes and inspire, teaches and build. A place that does not give preferential treatments, or belittles any one. A place where friendship forms the bond of unity. 

After all, who is the church? You and me. 
As David said "O how good and pleasant it is for brothers to dwell together in unity". 

Do not worship at a place because that's what you have always done? Worship there, because God dwells amongst you and inhabits the praises of His people. 
That's all that matters. 

Are your habits stopping you from truly fellowshipping with other believers? 
Prayerfully ask God to break down every barrier which holds you from being part of the wilder body of Christ...And to give you the liberty to worship freely. 

For God seeks those who will worship him in spirit and in Truth, not out of religious