Our Beliefs: The Journey
We believe that when we give our life to Jesus, and accept His redeeming blood for the forgiveness of our sin, and admit we are a sinner, we become a new creation in Him. No longer bound to our old sinful ways, but set free from them. Or are we truly free? It seems that human nature tries to fit in society, in our fellowship at church, or with the guys around the water cooler at the office. We long to be accepted by others. We also hang-on to who we were, because that is our identity—our reality. There is comfort in this. Sure when we first find Christ, we immediately identify some evil things in our lives to eliminate. And people immediately see a new person, one that does not cuss when his team is loosing, or no longer goes out for a drink with the boys. But they also see the same old person in many ways for we are often slow to change—slow to giving control over to the Holy Spirit. The point is that we have given God partial control of our a rudder and slowly He starts to bring the ship about. This old lumbering ship does not turn on a dime, for we hold on to our old self, our old friends, the comforts of old identity
Part of this journey encompasses new revelations that come from God's Word, from the teachings of the preacher, from observing the leanings of the elders in our church, from conviction by the Holy Spirit. We start to learn about the character of God, and what pleases Him, and what would He want me to do. As we seek out His face in our lives, we realize that the old-parts of ourselves that we have held on to throughout the years are not all that pleasing to God. We hold on to the comforts of our possessions and the passion of this fading world more than the eternal blessings that God has waiting for us. It takes time for us to really set ourselves free. Perhaps one day we realize that it is not so much what we do as what we do not do. We realize all those times around the water cool, that an office mate is put down and treated inhumanely, and you—I—failed to say anything. Perhaps one day, as Christmas approaches, we decide to deviate from the culture and instead of shopping, we are ringing a Salvation Army bell outside Toy R Us.
It is hard letting things go, for we live in a Christian culture here in Mississippi. Don't we? The person that sits next to me on the pew on Sunday morning, he is on this same journey. I am like him—that's good, right. Right? No at some point we learn to first quit emulating the persons on the journey who's ship is constantly being broad sided by waves, and start seeking after those who's ship has turned into the waves and is cutting a path directly towards God. Perhaps we learn to look to Jesus and the Holy Spirit for direction and a model for our lives. One day perhaps we will wake up and no longer find our identity in who we were but find our new identity in Christ. Perhaps this day, we quit trying to fit in and we no longer have joy for things of this world. We have finally died to self and live for Christ.
Oh but this is all a dream. Is it not? Surely, we are not called to give up who we are—who we were? How can this be God's desire for us—His calling for us? Preachers are called to this stuff. Not me!!! Right? Why do I dream about this fictitious journey? Why? It is because we do not want to recognize that we are on a journey, since that would imply that there is more change to be had. We don't want to think about the waves that keep rolling over the side railing that knock us off our feet. No everything is fine—or at least that is what I keep telling myself. I let Jesus have the helm did I not when I put Him in the copilots chair. He sits right next to me in the pilot's chair. It is my life right and besides He is in heaven? How can He drive?
You see the Church is made up of people with some still going the wrong direction, and some who steer as clear as they can see towards God, and some let God do the steering, most of the time. It is a mixture. How does this change our beliefs? It reminds us that we all need grace as we fight lives battles, and the real enemy is Satan who does not want us to even know that God is trying to bring the ship about. It is reminder that we all need help in this journey; help to let go; help to see the face of God and to walk with Jesus. The church is where we can find strength and wisdom from God to make it to the finish line.
Come join us in this epic Journey.