1 Samuel 17:38-40 38 Then Saul outfitted David as a soldier in armor. He put his bronze helmet on his head and belted his sword on him over the armor. 39 David tried to walk but he could hardly budge. David told Saul, “I can’t even move with all this stuff on me. I’m not used to this.” And he took it all off. 40 Then David took his shepherd’s staff, selected five smooth stones from the brook, and put them in the pocket of his shepherd’s pack, and with his sling in his hand approached Goliath. The Message
Over the years, I often felt restrained, and constricted while sitting in church. I felt like David in the verses above. Someone usually tried to get me to wear something I just couldn’t fit into because it was not me. I often felt stifled, wanting to pull a Braveheart, standing up in the middle of the room and shouting, “Freeeeeeeeeedom”. I didn’t, of course, but I wanted to. I got irritated and suddenly found myself wanting to get free, at any costs. In my frustration, I cried “Get me out of this.” Just like David.
Yes, this has happened to me. No, I am not against the church. Yes, this is my personal experience. No, I am not against the local church. I am for individuality in Christ, but not independence. Being independent can cultivate introspection and selfishness or being a long ranger. There is a beauty in the Body of Christ when we find that place of interconnectedness, but not at the cost of fitting in because of external pressure, or being absorbed into religion, or losing that creative spark in my life.
I don’t want to try on someone’s vision or be conformed to any one’s mantle. I am being formed in Christ, and conformed to His image in my life. I want to be joined to others in Christ, where we live, move and have our being in Him. Right now, Marvin and I worship at home and weekly fellowship with our Finnish family in the Spirit via Face Time.
This may sound strange to you but it works for us right now. I am not looking for a ‘church family’ to fit into, just for the sake of being in a form. I know many out there right now are in the same position as we are – walking alone, trying to find their way in the Body of Christ, outside the walls of a form but still part of the Body. We will see a ‘coming together’ but it will be in a new way, a fresh way in Christ. So just keep walking, keep walking, keep walking. Eventually we will find each other, connect with each other, and birth that new thing, that new wineskin in Christ. We will. I won’t settle for less.
Interconnectedness in Christ, each of us beautifully formed and fashioned in Him, allows us to flow in the ‘Christ in me’ alongside the “Christ in you”. This is the foundation of my passion for creativity in the Body of Christ. I thrive and flourish when YOU are walking in Christ as YOU. There is no other way for me to be me.
So how do I practically see this working out, so that it is more than just musings on this blog? I am not sure yet. I see something in the distance forming and I am not quick to jump and run because as humans, we so easily try to form it in our own wisdom. So I am heading to Finland in November to pray alongside our team. We are small but mighty in Christ. J We want to see with eyes wide open what the Lord is saying about all of this. Building a new paradigm in our midst – a daunting task but someone’s got to do it. We will keep you posted.