I have been chewing on these thoughts for some time now. Perhaps years, but the stirring inside me to articulate what I am feeling about what I am seeing has come to a spilling over point and you get to read all about it!
Many moons ago I left the church after having been deeply wounded and burned out with the whole thing. I wrestled with God about there being more. I grew up in a Charismatic, Spirit Filled church and felt as though we had some sort of elevated knowledge and experience with God that other denominations or churches had not yet come to. On one hand there was so much doctrine on grace and freedom yet I found myself bound by fear. I didn’t realize it at the time. I just knew there had to be more to the story.
In my 20s I thought I knew most everything there was to know in serving God. How arrogant! What I knew really well were limitations and boxes. But wait! Spirit filled churches don’t put God in a box! Yes we do.
We assemble those boxes with fear and good intentions.
I can see God has been so good to unwind the threads of fear in my own theology and reveal His vastness where I once saw limitations. He continues to do so even now.
I recently listened to a Facebook live where Matt Beckenham was talking about the Feasting Table. (Ps 23:5, Is 25:6) God invites us to the table to nourish us and heal us. His analogy reminded me of my first Thanksgiving dinner in Tulsa. I was invited to a family’s home where they had prepared a holiday feast. As I’m sure we all do, I stood before the table to assess the assortment of food. I then began to load up my plate with my favorite, familiar foods. Turkey and cranberry sauce are always a must for me. I pass over the salad and the sweet potato casserole topped with toasted marshmallows and red hots. You heard that right, red hot candies. Offensive! Who does that?
We do this too as we approach God’s Feasting Table. We load our plate with familiar doctrine and theology and churchy opinions. My church’s casserole is superior to that church’s food over there. And this dish here, that can’t even be God! Why is it even on the table? Many times we reject dishes on God’s feasting table because it is in the wrong baking pan or it is too green or is topped with red hot candies.
God is calling us to belly up.
We argue, “but if I eat that dish I could be deceived!” or “If I try it the devil might make me ill!” or “what if that dish was meant for demon worship!” or “It looks a lot like some pagan thing I saw on National Geographic!”
Ya’ll. God is vast. God is the creator. God is a redeeming God. The devil may take God’s good creation and twist it into something ugly, but be careful! Don’t put God in that box we label “unredeemable”. We often do this for one of two reasons: It can come out of a place of wanting to honor God, but we reject anything that doesn’t look like what we experience in our western church culture. It can also come out of fear. For a number of years I was always looking for that demon behind every bush. What a horrible way to live a Christian life.
We willing give up territory to the enemy because we
wrongly believe its too far gone.
Is anyone or anything too far gone for God’s redeeming grace?
In the book of Acts Paul the Apostle quoted pagan philosophers to reach the Athenians who had many gods. His purpose was not to glorify or worship the gods but to aid in the understanding of the Gospel. It reminds me of one of my current church’s values. “We will do anything short of sin to reach people who don’t know Christ.” Paul believed God could redeem pagan poetry to bring people to Jesus.
Perhaps you have been avoiding a food on the Feasting Table or rejected it altogether. Psalm 34:8 says, “Taste and see that the Lord is good!”
Today, if this rings a bell in your spirit, ask God to show you a food on his Feasting Table that you need to taste. It could be the very thing you’ve been missing that will nourish your soul and heal you body.