A young friend posts on Facebook: Christ died for me so that I could dance with Him.
Everyone likes that, except the Spirit within me.
It balks at the subtlety of experienced-based religion and explains why I hesitate to plunge in.
The metaphor arises from the sweltering heat we are having in the East.
Experienced-based religion dances in the pool and refreshes itself. It makes Christ into a culture that serves men who “believe”. Christ’s gospel carries cups of cool water through the staggering heat to a parched and dying world that needs His love.
While the religious splash around in the cooling waters, those who take up His cross and head out to the world experience the miracle of living waters flowing from their emptiness and into the thirsty all around them.
Is your religion about what you are getting or about what you have received? Is it about inflow or outflow?
The old Charismatic song boasted “We’re going to dance in the river!” It’s time for the church to stop dancing in the river and start taking the waters to the thirsty.
No one dances at the foot of the cross. We weep. We see the price He paid for our sin. We behold His sacrifice and come face to face with our depravity.
Having written that, I feel like one of those old-timey preachers shaking his finger and waving a black King James. We could use a little of that, minus the culture of works, to remind us of our need.
But I am no old-timey preacher. I’m a rebel girl who wasted most of her life seeking fulfillment outside of God and wasted more of her life seeking personal fulfillment with God. I want to save others from the subtle heresy of me-centered religion.
Christ’s gospel preaches: Take up your cross and follow me. It isn’t easy to dance while you are doing that. It’s hard. It means crucifying every bit of what you think you are entitled to get and enjoy.
It means leaving the comfort of home and church, to speak truth to people, whether they want to hear it or not. It means reminding others that we can do nothing to add to what Christ did. We don’t get Brownie points with God through what we do. God looks right into our hearts.
So what is your heart looking at? That inviting pool or the cracked and dry land where men die daily?
Give me the love that leads the way,
The faith that nothing can dismay,
A hope no disappointments tire,
A passion that will burn like fire,
Let me not sink to be a clod,
Make me Thy fuel, Flame of God!
– Amy Carmichael
Give me that old time religion girl!!
Jer. 6:16 “stand in the ways and ask for the OLD paths where the good way is and you will find rest for your souls.”