Sunday, January 5, 2014

Wedding Day Faith

I'm becoming more and more convinced that our good Lord has landed me in this season to teach me this very simple truth, "Son, I am all you need".

Now getting to that has not been an easy journey, as a matter of fact, it has been dreary and painful.  I've heard, Jesus is enough, preached many times.  As a matter of fact, I've even preached it!   But what I have quickly learned is that, many times you don't know whether your faith is real or not until its tested.  Hence the title of the blog, Wedding Day Faith.

I think our culture is extremely interesting when it comes to marriage.  And, I'm saying that with alarming sarcasm.  It amazes me that young girls have dreamed about their wedding day before they are even in training bras.  I'm a guy, so I don't understand the fascination of the wedding dress, with it's flowing train and silk tulle veils, that brings women to tears.  I don't understand the shows, "Say Yes to That Dress", when women speak of finding the perfect dress as if it's a first love by saying things like, "You'll just know".  But even as I watched the show with my mom, these passionate soon-to-be brides are exhibiting many red flags of how awful of a wife they are about to be.  They're selfish, arrogant, self-centered, rude, and all I can think about is the fact that her behavior is acceptable because it's "her day".

Well of course it's "her" day.  She's the one that designed the martial covenant, so she's the star of what marriage is representing. Right?  (Again, alarming sarcasm) 

And I don't even know how we got here, but it's pretty bad.  Many young girls are so aggressive about being married, seemingly, (meaning I'm giving you the benefit of the doubt now), more concerned about the glory of the wedding day than the glory of the marriage.  And I've been to a few weddings, the thing is about 32 minutes.  Any longer and the young ring bearer is disrupting the service because he's hungry and wants his Cheerios.  So there seems to be no concern of what we're really getting ourselves into. There is no accurate description of the seriousness of the covenant, yes we do the vows thing but that's part of the ceremony, not me actually saying vows to anybody.  And it shows that we have no idea what we're saying, because divorce rates are rising as if no promises were made at all on the wedding day.  Our culture is getting so good at justifying themselves out of a commitment, and with a straight face say that we still love the person.  So it doesn't surprise me that we'd do it with God.

Salvation, I'm sure we all can agree, is like the wedding day.  The glory is all about us, the bride of Christ, being united with our bridegroom.  We cry and weep and hands are raised in worship because we are so in love with Jesus for choosing us to be with Him. And we walk down the aisle and we pray with somebody and we start the vows.  "Lord, I promise that I am going to do my best to live for you.  I love you so much.  I give my all to you."

Now those are great words of commitment.  And if you actually think about it, the same words are used when a person gets married and still over 50% end in a divorce.  Which means that it's getting a lot easier to say the words without considering the cost.

So what is wedding day faith?  I'm going to say that within in our faith, its the fascination with the moment or the event, not the glory of the relationship. I'll help you recognize it in yourself.  Ever been extremely pumped for a youth conference?  They've announced the great lineup at the Motion or Passion Conference or whatever youth conference you've been to, and you anticipate God is going to move mightily because these celebrity preachers are preaching or leading us in worship, and you mark your calendars and promote and get excited.  Leading up until that conference, your level of commitment to God is extremely high because you know that when that day get here, it's going to be phenomenal.  And the conference happens, and you're having crazy revelations and beautiful moments with our Creator, and you journal and tag that weekend as one you'll never forget.  But then, you get back to your regular ordinary life, and within a week you're back dry.  The daily grind of dealing with our imperfections next to a perfect God is exhausting.  Our fire runs out, and we're back to our inconsistent disappointing self, only because we put so much emphasis on the moment, and not the relationship that we were agreeing to.    

What happens when life hits you with a curve ball and you're looking at God as if He has betrayed you?  "God, you saw that coming.  What happened?"  What happens to our devotion for God in our dry spells?  When we've gotten out of a fulfilling rhythm?  All we do now is wake up, get the kids ready for school, I go to work, you to go work, come home eat dinner, in bed by 9, tomorrow we do it again.  What happens when our love takes a hit?  It doesn't look like the wedding day anymore.  Life has began to rumble with it.

I think our culture is too obsessed with the "celebrity", and Jesus is just another celebrity.  We love Him when He's going to be in our driving range, (Sunday mornings, youth conferences, etc) but we don't really pursue after Him any other day.  I remember the first time I cringed when I listened to how we advertise for our Christian conferences, as if God is a little more magical when the numbers are big, and the conference is big, and the speakers are well known, and we flock to them wanting to experience Jesus but we've been ignoring Him all week.  Was He not there with me in my room the night before the conference?  Before all the people showed up and the emotional build of the environment has me in tears, was His presence not overbearing in my car heading to work?  If not, where was He?

Wedding Day Faith.  Love is strong on that day, filled with promise and wonder.  Nobody thinks they'll ever divorce on the wedding day.  But it happens.  It happens because we don't understand the cost of love.  Our faith wavers because we don't understand the cost of following Jesus.

Know the marriage you're involved in.  Understand the bridegroom you've been united with.  The same husband on the wedding day is the same one standing there when we're hurting.  Fight through with love, hold on to the promise of eternal hope in Jesus.  Get through this.  You are able because He's able.  Maybe we should respond more to the glory of our bridegroom than the wedding day events.  The same God rocking your world at the conferences is sitting with you right now as you read this.

Say Hi to Him.  He's inviting you in.  Even with all your imperfections, He's inviting you in.

Let Him kiss His bride.                          

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