Sunday, June 19, 2011

Love is Getting Lost

What do we have to lose? There is a story in the Bible about a prominent man named Naaman who had leprosy during the times of Elisha. In order to be healed, he went to Elisha to ask for him to heal his leprosy. But Elisha sent his servant to the door to meet Naaman and told him to dip seven times in the Jordan River and then he would be healed of his leprosy. Naaman wasn’t a big fan of this because a) Elisha hadn’t even come to meet him and b) because, being from Syria, he thought the rivers were cleaner in his country than in Israel. He was adamantly opposed to the menial task of dipping in the muddy river because it went against how he thought it could have happened. But his servants in one of the simplest acts of wisdom I’ve heard lately, says in so many words, “What do you have to lose?” Upon hearing that, Naaman dipped seven times in the Jordan River and was healed.

What do you have to lose? I have been thinking about that rigorously lately. We are full of sin. We constantly fall short of the Glory of God. We are lepers. And yet when God tells us what we simply have to do, most of us turn away in rage. What do you have to lose? This can apply to the concept of salvation and believing on God but it can also be applied to, how I feel more convicted, the Holy Spirit.

The Holy Spirit has got to be one of the most forgotten, most misunderstood, most judged, debated, avoided, or abused topics in the entire Bible. You look everywhere on the media and you see people on TV charismatically calling on the spirit for personal gain, for personal fame. Then you go to most churches and you find no sense of the Holy Spirit anywhere, and you might even find some that oppose it all together because things will get to complicated when you mix in the Holy Spirit. It creates a sense of fear around the topic and around the usages of the gifts of the Spirit because of uncertainty on what they are and how they work.

On this biking adventure trip that I am on, I have spent a large amount of time thinking about what I have to lose. What fears are holding me back from really grasping on to the Holy Spirit in my life? What barricades are keeping me from breaking through a room of complacency and safety into a vast arena where the only way to be victorious is to depend on the Holy Spirit? How would people view me, even on this trip, if I began to talk more about the Spirit, about Jesus? And I narrowed the answer down to one simple word: loneliness. If I start to change, maybe no one will want to talk to me and I will have to spend my time alone. If I become to weird, maybe I’ll never find a belonging with a group of people. And then what? . . . . What do you have to lose?

Love should not be hindered by legalism, by fear, by confusion, by avoidance of certain issues, by tradition, by pride, by anything. I’m learning that more and more as I visit various different churches and hear various life stories of people biking with me. It seems a lot of them love to “do”. And that’s awesome! But sometimes we can get lost in that. And as loving as it is to give someone a house, how much more to give someone an eternal house? How much more to grasp on to the Holy Spirit’s directions no matter what, trusting that He will always be there with you? What is holding me back, you back, us back from letting the Holy Spirit work through us? It’s time to stop getting lost in the doctrines and in the traditions and in the fear and just let the Holy Spirit do what it does best,

Let love be found!