Thursday, December 18, 2008

between weep and pray

In yesterday's post I talked about Hans Rookmaaker's response to our broken world: weep, pray, think, work. I would say that I am at different points along this sequence for different parts of my life. There are some things for which I am praying, others I am thinking through, and still others toward which I am working. But there is one thing in particular I am weeping over and I need to talk about it.

The other day I had a conversation with a friend that broke my heart. I won't go into detail here, but at the end of the discussion I was left to face the reality that my friend, a professed Christian, does not love God's Word. Doesn't want to read it, doesn't want to listen to it, and certainly doesn't want to hear it preached. Something simpler please. Something broken down and easily digested. Nothing confusing or hard to pronounce.

I don't want a simple, easy God! I don't want 3 Steps to Success. I don't want to send someone else up the mountain while I sit at home with my golden calf. I want the living, breathing, holy Word of God to speak into my life every day. I need it. I'm half-dead without it.

And so I'm sad. I weep. Don't live half-dead, my friend! Don't choose the tame, made-up fairy tale god, the safe and watered-down version. The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob is scary and confusing and hard to understand... but He is also real and true and good. His Word has unfamiliar cultural references, hard-to-pronounce names, and long genealogies... but it holds life and breath and truth.

When Moses is about to die and he is giving instructions to Joshua and the Israelites, this is the last thing he says to them:

"These are not just idle words for you -- they are your life. By them you will live long in the land you are crossing the Jordan to possess." (Deuteronomy 32:47)

The Word of God in the Bible is not just idle words, to be taken or left without consequence. If we love God, we love His Word. He has not really left us another option.


Colleen Anita Hamilton said...

Haley- I am resonating with this very same problem in my life as well. Especially with people my own age.. We have been raised and brought up with how easy it is to accept Christ, how simple it is to be saved.Yes salvation is easy to accept, but no, it is not an easy and simple thing to live a Christ-filled life, seeking the word of God, hungering and thirsting for the Lord. I am having a lot of trouble accepting the "luke-warmness" of my generation.. actually, society in general. We want to have everything so easy, fast, and conveniently made... I can go on and on about this.. maybe we should just talk. But I am so sad and worried as well. We need to know the promises of our God. The warnings. The constant forgiveness over and over again, desiring to be known by Israel. How is it that we have come so far, yet remain cyclical in our sin? (we as in people in general)Wanting our golden calf and our Baal (ahah I feel so Ms. Biola right now!)but its true... I wonder if people will ever get the purpose or see the big picture of how unsatisfied and greedy we are.. This sounds so negative and mean, but we are truly in a deep whole when it comes to the desire to know God and his word for us. We are called to live by it, regard it as our life (like you said) yet we continually misinterpret, misunderstand, and misrepresent all that it holds for our lives. We pick and choose what we want to believe God on, and the rest, we assume that we simply know better. Well at least, that is how it seems when we choose our own will over the word of God. But understanding Gods will would take a deep study and devotion to knowing more about his word,his character, which is the problem we are talking about.I dunno if any of that makes sense, but yes, I agree and I weep with you.

Haley Ballast said...

thanks colleen... yes we should talk my love.

Mariah said...

I'm on the blackberry so I'll make this short and sweet - THANK YOU