Legalism and Me

[Cross posted from my SoulRevolution.net mini-blog. Currently on day 28 of the 60-60 Experiment.]

I want to be perfect. I want God to love me because I earned it. I want to be entitled to all kinds of good things because I worked hard and did a good job.

There is a whole lot of hurt in these wants of mine. They’re not the way the world really works. Not God’s world. God’s world is completely different. I didn’t realize that getting into this Experiment would not always be blissful. There’s some pain involved.

I have always had this attitude of – just tell me what to do and I’ll go do it. I don’t like to be corrected, so if I sense I’m doing something not right or not good enough, I want to go fix it before you can lecture me on it.

I think that’s one of the harder things about being raised in the church, and in a conservative religion. I got no real “conversion” experience. No newly discovered relationship. God’s been a very familiar and pre-set entity. His expectations are set. I wasn’t taught relationship. I have a lot to learn…

Day 19 of 60-60 Experiment

Things I have noticed so far:

  • God doesn’t butt into my life. I have to choose to be involved with him. I should stop thinking of these alarms that interrupt as an intrusion. [Ironic that my alarm is interrupting this blog post, eh?] I set my cell phone calendar to chime once an hour. Now when I hear it, I think…”God’s calling ME!” and it’s gotten a lot more personal.
  • Doing something like this puts me smack dab in the middle of spiritual warfare. It’s amazing how complicated life can get when you do something visible with God.
  • I feel immediately connected with other people who are also doing this experiment. It’s like we’re family. Oh yeah….we are! 🙂
  • I don’t get quiet with God nearly often enough. That “Be still, and know that I am God” thing is pretty important.
  • I don’t want this to end. So much so that I hope to be able to gather more people to do the book study again after I’m done this time through.

Day 10 – 60-60 Experiment

It’s been a rough couple of days.  I have been wrestling, fighting, struggling.  With God, with myself, with doubt and frustration, with anger, with fear.  Lots of white noise in my head.

I sat down for my coffee and Bible time today and was brought to this:

But now God has shown us a different way of being right in his sight – not by obeying the law but by the way promised in the Scriptures long ago.  We are made right in Go’s sight when we trust in Jesus Christ to take away our sins.  And we can be saved in this same way, no matter who we are or what we have done.
— Romans 3:21-22

I do not know why it is that I must always return to my default way of thinking…that I need to earn my place in God’s favor.  That in order to be loved and approved I must obey.

Everything in my being screams, but we MUST OBEY.  I just have many years of being warned against the “slippery slope” thinking that I run to the opposite, which is legalism.  Hateful, miserable, no hope legalism.

I want grace.  I want to have it.  I want to “get it”.   I want to really understand it.  I want to be a channel of it.  I want to fully accept it.  God help me…

Day 5 – 60-60 Experiment

There’s a lot going on in my head, in my life, in my spirit.  I have wanted to blog about it several times, but I don’t yet have the words.

This Experiment has, so far, been the most profoundly impactful thing I’ve done.  It’s bringing things to the forefront that I haven’t really dealt with yet.  It’s humbling me and refining me.  It’s also giving me a level of connection with God that I don’t know if I’ve maintained very often, but don’t want to do without.

I got a copy of Soul Reflection yesterday (Thanks, Mike!), and I can tell you this…when it’s released, I’ll be recommending it to anyone who wants to change their life.

God is good.  God is here among us.  And he’s ready for you, whenever you ask!

Day 1 – 60-60 Experiment

Wow. That’s all I can say, really. I probably won’t be posting a great deal of details about my journey. I am journaling offline. I do hope to post once in a while with any particularly impactful discoveries.

I’ve been carrying around a kitchen timer all day.  It’s amazing how fast an hour can go sometimes.  But I’m not complaining.  There’s a lot to be said for choosing to remember on an hourly basis that I am not alone – that God is RIGHT HERE all the time, ready to interact with me whenever I want/need to.

I’m still praying and looking for a few people to participate in this challenge with me.  If anyone is interested, you can click HERE to view the first two chapters of John’s book.   And if anyone is already participating in the Experiment, I would love to hear how it’s going for you!

There is no time like the present…

“For the next 60 days, try to stay in a continuous, honest conversation with God, willing to do his will moment by moment.”

SoulRevolution.net

This is the beginning of a challenge put forth by John Burke in his soon to be released book, Soul Revolution: How Imperfect People Become All God Intended.

John Burke spoke at the Leadership Summit and lodged some serious nuggets in my brain.

I missed out on being able to buy an advanced copy of his book.  🙁  Sadly, I was unaware that it had not yet hit stores, so I just figured I’d pick one up from Amazon.  It will not be shipped until October 1.

But God is moving in my mind and in my heart.  I am going to start the challenge by myself, right now.  Life’s too short, and this is too important, to put off until later.

Anyone want to join me?