I am attempting to define my relationship with God. And what it truly means to lay it all down and be a follower of Christ. That's right relationship not my religion. Webster's defines Relationship as : the state of being related or interrelated; the relation connecting or binding participants in a relationship: as a :kinship or specific instance or type of kinship; a state of affairs existing between those having relations or dealings (had a good relationship with his family); a romantic or passionate attachment. God wants to have an intimate relationship with me, a passionate attachment. But before I can even begin to define my relationship with this King of my heart, I need to understand where my faith is in Him. Is my faith more about honoring my heritage and family traditions than surrendering my heart and being interrelated with my God.
Am I a Sadducee, existing in an aristocratic state of mind and not fully understanding my role in this relationship with my King? Am I so puffed up that I cannot see or feel the true love of my Savior? Sadducees were more concerned with politics than religion/relationship. They tended to be wealthy and held powerful positions, including that of chief priests and high priest. They worked hard to keep the peace by agreeing with the decisions of Rome. The Sadducees goal was to preserve the authority of the written Word of God, especially the books of Moses. However, because of their wealth and power, they were extremely self-sufficient to the point of denying God's involvement in everyday life. There was no penalty or reward after their earthly life. How Sad....you see.
Am I the Pharisee who spends hours committing to memory the rules and regulations, saying and doing all the right things because of these guidelines? When I am memorizing scripture it is a beautiful thing. But surely it is empty without gratitude in my heart for my Savior. Religiously, the Pharisees accepted the written Word as inspired by God. But they also gave equal authority to tradition. The pharisees defended this idea by saying it went all the way back to Moses, these traditions added to God's Word, which is forbidden ( "Do not add to what I command you and do not subtract from it, but keep the commands of the LORD your God that I give you." Deuteronomy 4:2) They remained true to God's Word in reference to some doctrines. They believed that God controlled all things, yet our free will and our independent decisions contribute to the course of life. They believed in the resurrection of the dead. And they believed in an afterlife, with appropriate reward and/or punishment on an individual. The Pharisees sought to equally and strictly obey traditions along with the Old Testament. Trying to be fair... I see.
Am I able to categorize my relationship to be something outside of those two "boxes"? I want so much more than just a "religious" relationship. I believe that God is the creator of all things. I don't believe that I am just existing to exist. I know that God has set out a great purpose for my life. And I know that His love for me is greater than any love I could ever imagine. And it's more incredible than any love another individual could give to me. He is unconditional. He waits patiently for me every minute of every day. And His heart is filled with joy when I finally arrive. I pray that I grow more and more like Him. I want so much to be a reflection of Him amazing grace. I fall short. Majorly short. I want to be that follower that clings to the hem of His garment because I want to be just that close. Better yet a child, who has no fear of what people will say, do or think, that I just push through the crowd and run into his arms and allow Him to carry me.
I am so caught up in my own little world. Sometimes, I am so full of these "what about me?" moments, I forget why it is that I am here. "And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God. And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose."(Romans 8 27-28). God knows my heart better than I know my own heart. I have a growing desire to know God's heart for me more than ever. I want so much more than just a one sided....His side....relationship. I pray for the courage to surrender it ALL and allow Him to rule in my heart, mind and actions.
I'm giving you my heart, and all that is within
I lay it all down for the sake of you my King
I'm giving you my dreams, I'm laying down my rights
I'm giving up my pride for the promise of new life
And I surrender all to you, all to you
And I surrender all to you, all to you
I'm singing You this song, I'm waiting at the cross
And all the world holds dear, I count it all as loss
For the sake of knowing You for the glory of Your name
To know the lasting joy, even sharing in Your pain