“Seek good, not evil, that you may live. Then the LORD God Almighty will be with you, just as you say he is. Hate evil, love good; maintain justice in the courts. Perhaps the LORD God Almighty will have mercy on the remnant of Joseph.” Amos 5:14-15 NIV
The best thing about seeking God is that he is already right there with you, waiting for you to ask.
There is a moment in “Not a Christian Land” as you are to meet with your God, as you are about to ask for your slate to be wiped clean, there is that moment. What happens in that moment shapes what is to come, the moment is the doubt.
For those looking for a quick fix, like a consolidation loan will continue but at some point in the near future will drift away because it is too hard, just as a year or two down the road of a consolidation loan, they realise they have signed away their house in order to pay off a credit card. They meet God on their terms looking for their way and trying to match God’s way to theirs. In their moment they are “well I might as well try this”. That’s not to say they will get it, but in that meeting, their thinking is skewed to self. (partial slate wiping)
Some people arrive in “Christian Land”, brought along by another human and they copy the rituals of the Christian People without changing their lives outside of “Christian Land” They will just stop coming to meet with God as friends change. In their moment, because they are copying, there is nothingness. Again that’s not to say they won’t get it but in that meeting, there is a nothingness. (what slate)
Quite a lot of people who thought they were Christian get a wee nudge from the Lord at some point and realise they haven’t moved into a new life yet. When this happens and they have their moment, it is full of doubt, not about God or what he is going to do but doubt for themselves, how could they have been so wrong. A preacher I heard once gave an example of this: a church warden, worked for years in the church, after thirty of these years came to the realisation he hadn’t got it. He was fast down on his knees to begin his new journey. I don’t know what was in his moment. (hidden slate)
My moment, there was no doubt, there was an urgency, an excitement mixed with hesitancy, I was about to be laid bare, my raw wounded heart was about to be seen without its battlements and moats. The hard outer crust was about to shattered into a gazillion pieces to make room for God’s tent in my softened heart. It was a scary moment, but the alternative was a roadblock. My life had run as far as it could on its own. Just like a cardiothoracic surgeon circumvents the arteries in a blocked heart, so God was about to obliterate my old heart and make me a new creation, I jumped, after my moment with both feet, like a long jumper but instead of landing in a pile of sand, I landed into a beautiful peaceful joy. (smashed slate)
I have sat next to people in church writing shopping lists and writing Bible references based on what the pastor has said in the sermon. For example the pastor might be talking about the feeding of the five thousand and person A reaches into their bag to add bread to their shopping list, person B conversely is reminded of another scripture and writes the reference down to come back to in their quiet time with God’s word. They were both listening to the sermon and heard the message differently.
We are all walking with God in equality with each other, we have to believe in each other’s sincerity, we are all different and yet held together in the unity of the cross. The fellowship of church allows us to grow, allows us to encourage and be encouraged, allows us to learn, allows us to hear the message, one day it might remind us of shopping another it might challenge us. We all hear the message individually. Sometimes all we can do is follow the rules until the time comes when we have to get down on our knees to meet with the Lord.