18“The Spirit of the Lord is on me,
because he has anointed me
to preach good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners
and recovery of sight for the blind,
to release the oppressed,
This week I have a blog post talking about how Christians can be in captivity. (I accidentally posted this post that wasn’t to be here until next Friday — is there someone out there who needs it?)
How can we be set free?
Jesus is speaking in Luke 4:18 that he can set us free from captivity.
Sometimes captivity can be our own attitude about our own church. We love God and yet something in church is keeping us from worshiping like we should. Someone else’s arrogance and pride keeps us from being humble and worshiping anyway.
Church isn’t about us. Church is about Christ. (And I’m speaking to myself here more than you, I think.) And if I want someone else to get their act straight before I can worship that is about as selfish and backwards a thought as anything I’ve ever heard.
It doesn’t matter if the preacher is stuck up… what matters is if you are stuck in a rut. It doesn’t matter if the church didn’t elect you as a deacon… are you there for YOU or are you there to serve God in whatever way he sees fit.
It doesn’t matter if you don’t get enough business contacts at the church where you are… if God wants you in that church, it is His job to handle the business.
The reason that many people are only having superficial experiences in church is because they are choosing their church for superficial reasons.
God’s word cuts to the very quick where bone and marrow meet and the decision to join a church should be just as deep a decision in our bones as that.
My Aunt and Uncle moved from a huge church with an enormous youth group and felt that they were called to a small church down the road with NO youth group. It has been the greatest blessing in the world to both them and our family. Their children blossomed under the love and attention of the entire church and soon some other children came. It was exactly what their kids and their family needed.
When my grandmother died and I went to that church, I felt myself envious of the love and tenderness with which their church treated our family. It was a wonderful place and such a blessing to us all. They loved my grandmother dearly and in fact, she encouraged them to build a new church. That was her legacy, but if my aunt and Uncle had made their decision to choose a church superficially based upon the size of the youth group… they would have made the wrong decision.
Sometimes we are called to move to a different church and we’ve been where we are forever. This too would be a struggle. My family has been at the current church since it was founded and honestly, it is a struggle to stay. However, when we’ve considered leaving and even had one or two people ask us to leave at some point — God Almighty called us to that church and unless He asks us to go… we’re there.
We’ll have to be faithful. We’ll have to live. We’ll have to love. We’ll have to forgive and remember that it is not about we or me or my or us but about Him.
I have way too selfish an attitude when it comes to church… one that needs adjusting. I hope you’ll pray for me because honestly, it has been a struggle. And although I could name a thousand reasons, ultimately it comes down to the fact of my own heart and pride.
True humility won’t let someone else’s pride eradicate our humility. I guess some people even have a stiff necked humility… which isn’t humility at all, huh?
These are ponderings for which I don’t have answers but I know the ONE who does. There is one who is called to release the oppressed. And unfortunately, that is me.