I realize this whole life has been a journey of discovery. We start with what we are taught. We are influenced by traditions, habits, and the limit of the revelation given around us. If you were Catholic, you grew up with a certain bias, training, and tradition. In the midst of that you were able to experience God, hopefully meet Jesus, and deal with eternal issues. Likewise, if you grew up Baptist, you came from a different perspective, but you were looking for the eternal issues as well and probably met Jesus in some form of conversion. But neither of those traditions and all others were the complete picture, the full understanding. There is so much more.
Personally, I thank God for my upbringing, the church of my youth, and the few traditions we had. The church taught me to respect the word of God. It was in this fellowship that I received my call to ministry at an early age. However, as I grew in faith and relationship with God, it became starkly clear that this church practice and doctrine, while good, was incomplete, not enough, rigid. As a teen, I began to question and look for more. Although there was some doctrine, theology, that I wanted; that was small. What was missing was the vibrancy of faith and life that I saw in scripture. Something was just missing. There was inside a call that was not being satisfied or touched. Oh, there were moments, at church camp and mostly when alone with God.
To this day we are still seekers. There resides in us an unrest, a spiritual unrest. It will not be satisfied in doctrine, a song, or a message. We will have it touched and assuaged momentarily. Like this past Sunday, it got touched, or when we hear lyrics that reach inside, it gets touched. Yet, it fades and recurs with the hunger. Our journey of discovery will continue to touch that part of us and throw us a promise of being filled. We will more readily and steadily have that in us filled regularly as we learn of Christ and this new covenant.
In the current seeking, I find the Lord focusing my attention on Jesus and what he wanted in his new covenant. I do not think we have seriously looked at the new covenant with respect to daily life. We have extolled the new covenant in its aspects of salvation by grace, but we have not fully developed the lifestyle taught and expected. We fall on his grace for salvation and then pull ourselves up and begin to control of lives with a mix of Christianize and Old Testament laws. We want the grace, but we want to judge and rule by some set of religious mandates which actually vary from church to church or denomination to denomination.
I admit that I must somehow begin to strain out the mix and match junk from the obsolete and live in the new. I admit that it takes time and often we are blind to what we really have in our practices that are not apart of the new covenant.
"There is much to be learned by seeking the face of God." This was a prophetic word given to me twice by two different people on two different nights at the same prayer altar in a little church where I was seeking direction for my life. Surprisingly, that same word still works today. I am still seeking the Lord for direction.