We have been on strange and unexpected church journey for almost 10 years now. We’ve experienced church in so many forms with so many different kinds of people ranging from home church to Church of Christ to Assembly, to Non-Denominational. Honestly my heart has forgotten what it feels like to be in a church home.
Regardless of what it looks like on the outside, on the inside Adam and I have done our best to follow where Jesus is going. For us, following Him requires movement. And sometimes it looks like we’re wishy washy and wandering, trying to find something perfect, but in reality we are just following where Jesus leads us.
Looking back, I see God has taught me something through this unexpected journey…
I am an achiever. Put a goal in front of me and I can’t sleep until I crush it! A couple of years ago someone introduced me to the Enneagram. It has helped me accept my personality and understand the warning signs of when I’m over doing it and moving into an unhealthy range. Mostly it’s shown me God’s amazing grace – for it’s only by that grace I am a whole person today!
That being said, I bring this type 3 achievement drive into my relationships, including my relationship with God. I want to achieve great things for Him. And if He’ll just get me started, I can take it from there. He can just sit back and be impressed! 😊
That is my baseline, natural disposition. I don’t have to psych myself up for that mindset, I wake up with it everyday and have to work at setting it straight.
Galatians 6:15 hit me this morning. “Neither circumcision nor uncircumcision means anything; what counts is a new creation.”
Because of my natural bent, I think I am valuable to people and God because of what I do. My achievements, my conquered goals, they mean something to God and earn me points in this competition of life.
In our culture today circumcision has lost it’s meaning. We don’t circumcise for the same reasons they did in the New Testament times. So I have to substitute a different word to help this verse make sense to me.
Circumcision was a part of the law, and in the Galatians, Paul is making the argument we aren’t under law anymore but under Grace. It is for freedom that Christ has set us free!
Jesus set us (ME!) free from this burden of working for God’s favor so we can bask in the truth that we are His beloved. We have His favor in Christ.
So for me, circumcision equals my working to achieve favor – my drive to do for God.
I rewrote this scripture to read: “Neither what I do nor what I don’t do means anything; what counts is a new creation.”
For an Enneagram 3 who values outward appearances and dressing them up to meet the goal, this verse challenges me to the very core. The Lord has made me a new person through Jesus Christ. He desires I be wholly His on the inside and let Him work out the outside fruit how He wishes. The goal is an inward transformation, not perfect fruit production by me.
Back to our church journey…
I want to do big things for God in the church. God has had to get me alone for so long to show me He doesn’t love me because of how I serve Him in church. He doesn’t love me because of the goals I’ve helped crush or programs I’ve helped create. He loves me because I am His and He created me to be in relationship with Himself.
I needed to learn that so that my church and service there didn’t become my identity or the goal of my faith. Through this difficult, unexpected journey, God has taught me to seek Him first and only, to focus on my inward relationship and let go how I think the end result should look.