So, you know how it is when every spiritual venue of your life converges on a single topic?
I think maybe, potentially, possibly, could be, God is trying to tell me something.
It all started innocently enough. I expressed some frustrations to a friend that I hadn't seen in forever and due to that very emotional outburst she suggested we do a book study together. This was in March.
Not that we actually got around to doing the study...until two weeks ago. Deitrich Bonhoeffer's The Cost of Discipleship, which is, let me just say, not easy reading. And very challenging on several levels. And just when I think he's pushed something too far (to the works side of faith), he rights it.
Sorry, can't quite boil it down and do it any justice for blog fodder, but essentially he challenges the "current church" (written in the late 30s in Germany, I believe) for handing out "cheap grace" at the expense of true discipleship, truly following Jesus. And he keeps talking about "obedience" and I kept saying to my friends (a second one joined us, or rather, I joined them), "Yeah, but obedience to what???" Because the examples he uses are the rich young ruler (give away everything) among others. Big, extravagant, costly obedience.
And I don't think God asked me to give away everything.
So my question was, how do we know what He's asking. I mean, I know that the more we practice in obedience the more obvious it will be. And, face it, if I just was obedient in the way I spoke to my children everyday, I'd come a long way.
Fast forward. I decide to read Galatians this week. What does he talk about? Well, not in so many words, but cheap grace, works, faith, the balance, following Jesus. It isn't the outward acts, but it isn't only the confession either.
I'm butchering this.
I just got up this morning with the expectation that church WOULD be about this topic. Meaning the sermon.
What I didn't account for was the music, and basically anyone else that was given the microphone, too.
I think I just sat in church with a silly grin plastered on my face.
I got it, God. I got it. Hearing you loud and clear.
Now, the hard part.