“God never intended for us to refer to church as a building. And he never intended worship to be reduced to a church service. His church is his people, and worship is what they do.” (1)
These words resonate for me. Early in my journey I was introduced to Brother Lawrence and the book, Practicing the Presence of God. The book helped me to learn early that to be healthy, I needed to put my fragmented self back together in Christ. My faith, this life with Christ is not something I do, but rather my identity. There is often pressure to put it into a box and take it out when needed.
Sadly, I most often see this in my vocation. My vocation has been a response of thanksgiving for what God has done in my life. It is an extension of my identity as his daughter, not some piece of me I pick up when I feel holy. My life is how I worship. On Sundays I attend church but I live worship every moment. When that changes I know I am out of balance and becoming fragmented again. Those are the times I need to be still and listen for that voice that calls me home. The doing needs to be set aside so the being becomes the focus again.
Emily states in chapter 14 that our greatest enemy is forgetfulness, forgetting what we have in Christ. When I stop looking to Christ and instead look to external things for worth I get caught up in the need for my mask, because without it how can I measure up? It is as I people please, meet the needs of those around me, give until nothing is left that the lie that I am not good enough gets quieted, but never silenced.
I am re-remembering that the way I hold on to Truth is to spend time in Scripture and Bible study. I have recently started a new study that I complete most mornings before I even climb out of bed. It is conveniently on my tablet which I turn on and read before I even think about coffee. The mornings I rush and don’t do my study first I am noticing a HUGE difference in how my day unfolds.
This study has helped me to fall in love with scripture memorization as well. When the liar starts chattering at my heart I have begun silencing him with Truth. It has amazed me to feel the power of those words re-focusing my heart and my mind on truth. This is how I am living into the “biblical self-image” Emily speaks of. I feel like a kid in a candy store and love it!
The nugget from this section was,
“The soul screams, but the Spirit whispers.
Fear shouts for me to run.
The Spirit beckons me, Come.
Fear pushes me to hide, take cover, and protect myself.
The Spirit whispers, I have already overcome.
Fear hurls insults, chaos, and anxiety.
The Spirit lavishes love, steadfastness, and peace.”(2)
I hear the Spirit when I climb into the Word. In climbing there my ears become unstopped and I can hear my Father’s voice clearly again. I am able to remember that I belong to Christ and I am beloved.
Remember to visit Emily at Chatting at the Sky to read her post and find others who are reading the book. This week’s questions:
Chapter 13 highlights the truth that we are a whole people. We cannot diagram our lives into segments, not really. Worship covers the circle, full. Do you struggle with the concept of worship in everything? In what ways are you beginning to see your living as worship?
In Christ, our safety has already been decided. By faith, we believe it to be true. In that case, our greatest enemy is not losing our salvation, trying to become worthy of love, or disappointing God. Our greatest enemy isforgetfulness – forgetting what we already have in Christ. Forgetting that we have been placed into safety because of him. In Chapter 14 we talk about setting our minds on truth. What does this practically look like for you?
(1)Freeman, Emily P. (2011-09-01). Grace for the Good Girl: Letting Go of the Try-Hard Life (Kindle Locations 2463-2464). Baker Book Group. Kindle Edition.
(2)Freeman, (Kindle Locations 2593-2595).