Throughout my walk in Christ I have realized that words can be weak, that there are many talking about the coming of Christ but few that see the places He already is. For so long in my “Christian” life I saw God as an almighty powerful being (which is true). He was beyond anyone’s understanding and could not even be around the presence of evil because he was so pure (which is not Biblical). I was taught that God was only open to those who “believed” and it was our mission to bring Him to others.
For many years I walked in this world ignoring God when He came to me as a homeless man or showed up at work as a divorced man who had been dealing with alcohol abuse his whole life. I thought that the people who did not go to church were sinners and most likely did not believe in the one true God.
In all people I believe there is Jesus. A few years ago I had a revelation and I truly started seeing God, not in all the places I was taught He would be (church friends I grew up with, Sunday morning worship, etc…) but more so in the places that needed me the most. I saw God in the streets and the needy. I saw God in those who struggled and had been hurt. He was able to show Himself to me because I finally understood what He meant when he said, “What you do for the least of these you do for Me.” Jesus is in the least of these, but once we become Christians our tendency is to “clean up our act” by putting on a dressed up (often less honest) form of Godliness.
Have we forgotten that Jesus lived thirty years before He started his ministry? How often it is that we forget that Jesus was homeless? Have we also forgotten that it was the religious leaders of the day who persecuted Jesus the most? It was not in the church that we saw Jesus move. But, instead in the streets and homes of sinners. The faith that I saw in Jesus’ day was not illustrated by the Pharisees and church goers but instead by the sinners and the “non–believer’s”. I saw a Roman soldier come to Jesus and have enough faith that his daughter was healed. It was a blind man that I heard calling out Jesus’ name even when every one else was telling him to “shut up”.
The true Godly weren’t the ones that went to church and were well respected by other “godly men“. But instead, they were the ones who the religious voices of His day did not think worshiped the same God as they worshiped. The true Godly were like the Roman soldier or the out cast who ignored his peers and society in order to cry out God’s name.
Many people in the church cry out for God but are they really willing to look for Him. I have experienced God in some amazing places. But they aren’t the places my church told me to look. In Ephesians 2: starting at verse 8 it says “FOR IT IS BY GRACE YOU HAVE BEEN SAVED, THROUGH FAITH –AND THIS NOT FROM YOURSELVES, IT IS THE GIFT OF GOD–”. In so many Christians I see this gift covered up by the obligation to be “Godly”. We put on “prayer”, we put on “serving the body”, we put on “tithing”, we put on “Church going”. None of which are bad unless they hide the God-likeness God gave us.
Let us as the body of Christ release the gift God has given us rather than bury it. We are not required to go to church, pray out loud, or even “have our act together” to receive His gift. HE ALREADY GAVE IT TO US! He is a personal God who is already around us, in us, and with us. We aren’t filling a God hole we are exposing the gift that is already there. Let us look past the wall of our religion and see the greatness of God outside the box.