Saturday, August 3, 2013

I want to be a party girl

Parties? I thought those were for "sinners."

My pastor at our church gave a sermon that I've been thinking about almost daily since he gave it back in June. It has made me reflect and search and shift.

Ever since college, or even before then, I have caught myself becoming "super spiritual" at times. That might sound like a good thing to some, but it has caused me to live trapped in performance, pride, and self sufficiency.

Now don't get me wrong, my absolute love and adoration for Jesus Christ is not what I mean by "super spirituality," but rather it was what I felt like I needed to do to love him that made me caught up in this hyper spiritual mentality. I began to realize this more as I saw how I put an unspoken (and sometimes even spoken) expectation on what others needed to do in order for me to believe they were "true believers." I mean, I do believe what the Bible says about their being fruit in our lives that display our commitment to following Christ, as well as clear commandments to keep us on the path of the straight and narrow that leads to life (Matthew 7:14); but I saw myself setting a standard that was outside of God's Word. That standard was something that I thought was necessary in order to prove salvation.

Fasting, worshipping with a physical expression, prophecy, healing, and 2+ hour prayer meetings became obligations to being "legit" rather than being an invitation to His benefits.

I lost the idea and the concept of rejoicing, of fun....of freedom that the Bible is so clear about.

When the Bible tells us to rejoice always, that means to feel or show great joy or delight! YES! That means have some fun, be free! In the presence of God there is fullness of joy. Goodness me, for those who have been set free by Christ are free INDEED!

When you look at the Bible there are two things it says Jesus came to do. Jesus came to seek and save the lost (his mission, Luke 19:10) and Jesus came eating and drinking (his method, Matthew 11:19). As my pastor said, Jesus liked to party! Sharing a meal and celebrating and fellowshipping with others was at the center of Jesus' mission to seek and save the lost! I love that! Jesus was a human. He didn't just sit in a prayer closet or spend all of his time with people who believed in him. He was invited to parties by sinners. How often am I invited to parties by people who don't think or believe the same way that I do? I want to be a party girl.

I have found so much freedom in recognizing that I can worship Jesus while feasting and laughing at a table full of people just as much as when I'm fasting, or I can worship by playing with my neighbors kids who don't know Jesus, just as much as when I'm in a 2 hour prayer gathering. I still see the power and benefits of fasting, prayer meetings, and other standards I had, but I am not ruled by them. I am not cherished because of them.

It's so amazing to see Jesus more for all that he is, and it's SO rich to be able to walk in ways that draw us closer to all that he is.

I want to be more like Jesus. Jesus was a partier. I want to be a party girl.