“To infinity and beyond!”

Thank you, Buzz Light from Toy Story, for that all so fitting quote today!  Last night in Bible study, Beth Moore shared on her video about how she spent a good part of her life, because of the church she was raised in (a church she loved dearly), but like some churches, they tend to focus on certain parts of the Bible and the rest of the pages might as well be stuck together.  You just didn’t go there.  It was too scary or too “out there” and you didn’t want anyone trying to interpret it.

But she found in her own experience she had to find a bigger God then the one she’d been told about because, in her own words, “I was such a mess.”  Beth put into words what I had never quite been able to articulate in my own words.  She made it very clear though that in her search for a bigger God, she made sure to stay within the confines of the Scripture.  She said, “It is easier to eliminate (Scripture) than to examine (Scripture)”.  The Bareans in Acts 17:11 were so balanced because they “received the message with much eagerness AND they examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true.”   

I wanted to learn more than I had been taught all my life.  I needed more than the rabbit trail of verses the meeting church focuses on.  Beth Moore also says, “Legalism is the easier way to live; give me rules and I will follow them. It’s easier to be spiritually legalistic than it is to be Spirit lead.”

One of the greatest thrills for me when I began my journey outside of the meeting church box was having Scripture come alive in ways it never had before.  It still is.  As I’ve written here before, when I began reading other translations of the Bible other than the KJV, is when that started happening to me.  The KJV is beautiful but just reading the Bible with fresh eyes really helped.

Then I started (and I started this my last few years in the Work) listening to and examining all the yearnings of my heart that kept bubbling up to the surface rather than ignoring them or silencing them again.  In so doing that, I began a desperate search of the Scripture as never before for scriptural answers for those yearnings and what to do with them because I knew those yearnings came from God; thereby the answers had to be from God as well.  My yearnings and questions came from my heart not my head.  They were real. They were strong. They weren’t wrong.  I simply was looking for scriptural tools to get through life.  I wanted and needed a deeper level of peace than I was currently experiencing.

Once I began the search, it never stopped.  There was such a wealth to be found in all those stuck together pages.  I was finding the bigger God.  I was finding verses I could literally take ahold of and apply right here and right now into my life.  I was terrified of being guilty of manipulating scripture just to fit an agenda so I prayed constantly, “Lord, do not let me be deceived but rather teach me only Your will.”  Because I was praying that prayer with a 100% pure motive and desire, I chose to believe that God would answer it.

Again I will say “It is easier to be spiritually legalistic than it is to be Spirit lead”. (Beth Moore)  It is easier to follow all the unwritten but very subliminal rules of the meeting church.  The group wants to be Spirit lead and they say they are and I know some individuals who are at times, but in reality, you know perfectly well what is expected of you and what isn’t.  What is allowed and what isn’t.  I found myself very aware of the fact that it didn’t take faith to be in the Work because I knew what to do and the friends knew what to do.

There is today in that church a growing number of people (mostly women and girls) who are “breaking” a lot of the outward rules because they think they are old fashioned and silly.  I agree.  They certainly aren’t scriptural and they aren’t necessary to anyone’s salvation. They are necessary though to have the full approval of the group.  Big difference.

But, if a person in that church is now refusing the rules and getting away with it (albeit the workers are tolerating it. They most certainly are not condoning the lack of conformity), the question needs to be asked of those women and girls, do you truly have a defining moment you can point to when GOD, not your own will, revealed (this is key) to you the fact that the outward rules were no longer necessary?  Or are you just rebelling against the system?  There is a huge difference.  If you were not lead by the Spirit and you got out from the power and hold of legalism, what indeed do you have left? Where and how is God in your life now?  You will fill that vacuum with something. You are free from the “rules” but are you closer to the Lord than ever? Is He more real to you than before? More precious? More dear? Are you praising Him more? Because if not, then you have simply rebelled against the group but moved no closer to God.  I do remember some very “free” individuals in the meeting group who were free from the rules and who were in Christ like very few were and they were wonderful to be around.

I would encourage everyone to think of “infinity and beyond”!  Think outside the professing box.  Look for the God of the universe; the God of the Bible.  You will love what you find!  I guarantee.

 

Advertisements

7 thoughts on ““To infinity and beyond!”

  1. I love this blog called “to infinity and beyond” I have to admit that I got angry at the whole system and left in a very ignoble way. But then through a very seemingly coincidental set of circumstances I ended up reading a book called The Shack by Paul Young. Through this book, God let me know that He loves me still. I returned to Him and the scripture came alive. In fact it started jumping off the pages! It is the most exciting thing I have ever experienced in my life!

    You are so right that when we get lazy spiritually, we fall prey to legalism. Its the way we can focus on the cares of this life and yet have a feeling of “doing God’s will” too. I never want that to be my condition ever again. Its the road to bondage to any wind of doctrine that any cunning person or spirit dreams up and I want the freedom that Christ made me free with forever.

    Sorry this got so long. I am rather passionate about this. Love your blog! Thanks!

    Like

  2. Thank you for the questions you ask, good to think from someone else’s perspective. Your journey continues to be interesting. I am able to understand more where you’ve been which is different than where I’ve been but not different in all ways. I will look at answering those questions and I too have noticed outward change among some teen girls and middle age women but also among some men with facial hair and professing male college students with longer hair.

    Like

  3. Darla, That professing box is so restrictive, and so many don’t even know they are in it!
    Loved all you shared and as I am in the early stages of breaking the sides of that box, I can say again how much I have appreciated reading your blog from the beginning, it’s so uplifting to know despite your struggles you have broken free.
    I just keep that thought in my heart it was not the nails that kept jesus on the cross it was the great power of love for mankind and for me!
    Thinking what you said about the girls and women starting to change and dress etc differently to what is expected, many young ones here in England dress in the hight of fashion, hair far more casual then the norm!! It’s the older generation that look on in disgust!
    But as you say it’s the motive behind the change.
    Because of my surgery leaving scars on my neck I have had short hair for 3 years, and will keep it that way as it hides the scars, and it’s liberating! I can remember sitting in the hairdressers having it cut and blow dried, feeling guilty, and thinking I would be struck down for this awful sin!! But God has shown me since it’s my heart he is interested in not my hair, many of the friends have said they would love to have their hair shorter, one very dear friend has MS, she is bent double and struggles to lift her arms up to do her hair, she had it cut, but still struggled to make it look as if it was long and tried pinning it up, it’s awful how in bondage one can get by the fear of what others would say, when God sees every part of us.
    I am starting today looking upwards to the vastness of Gods infinite Love.

    Like

    • Thank you again, Louise, for your honesty and openness. I remember the day I had my hair cut just above my shoulders and I loved how it looked but I got in the car and prayed, “Father, are you ok with this?” and immediately (it was not premeditated at all) the answer came, “Yes”. What a relief.

      Like

  4. always enjoy your posts Darla! leaving the meetings and getting past that initial time of fear of “burning in gnashing hell forever” are such ancient history for me, years of peace have been my norm for so long, I go long periods without thinking of that way of life, a whole ‘nother lifetime ago. when I do think of it I am grateful that you are there, being the light for so many still snared. Thank you!

    Like

  5. Beautifully written as usual Darla…..but what jumps from the page (for me) is that you prayed that you would not be/were not being deceived. If ever in my life I prayed earnestly and sincerely with desperation, it would have been the months during which we contemplated leaving the fellowship of the friends and workers. I was at wits end spiritually and desperate for guidance, and my prayer was like a broken record…”Am I being deceived?? Don’t let me be deceived!!”,,,,,,,God must have grown quite weary of it, but I was so desperate it was the only thing I knew how to pray at the time…..and it took a few months for me to see that what He was showing me was not that I was being deceived but that I HAD BEEN deceived!! For most of my life! To say it was shocking to realize that would be an understatement………but I finally had peace about leaving, and still do. I realize now that God always respects honest, desperate prayer, and if we will be patient for His answer to it, He will always be faithful in answering us.

    Like

    • Jane,
      I had the exact experience when I was wrestling with the decision to leave the meetings or not. God finally said to me loud and clear, “But Darla you already are deceived!” So I could fully trust Him to continue to reveal that to me.

      Like

Your comment adds interest to the conversation

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s