Deep


Today we are on Chapter five of our online Bible study of Lisa Whittle’s book: Behind Those Eyes. Check out Lelia’s blog for more insightful and thought-provoking discussion on this chapter entitled Ms. Spirituality.

This chapter is all about that woman we all know who “is determined to show people just how spiritual she is, and she knows exactly how to go about doing just that.” (p.77)

We’ve all met this sweet, lost soul. I daresay I have been her at times. This is the one who makes us all feel inadequate in our spiritual lives just by what she does before 9 a.m.!

I know plenty of women who are busy for the Lord for the RIGHT reasons, but Lisa is quick to point out that for Ms. Spirituality, “It’s a role that is played when it is deemed necessary to impress someone, yet it holds no real depth whatsoever.” (p. 79)

After reading this chapter, I felt oddly unsettled. I must admit, I felt sorry for Ms. Spirituality. I felt we were judging her too harshly. Reading about her in this light makes her a sympathetic character to me. When in fact, the Ms. Spiritualities that I have known are far too annoying in real life for me to expend sympathy on.

What does that say about me?

I’m just as judgemental as the next person.

Think about it. Can I imagine serving God, doing my Bible study, having my quiet time, seeking, serving, loving…etc. without that sense of intimacy that is so heady, so intoxicating that it keeps me coming back for more, more, more?!

No. I cannot.

This person is to be pitied. And prayed for. And loved into a REAL relationship with her Savior.

I think these things come in stages and develop over time. That said, I have met some very young ladies who have taught me what it means to have a passionate love affair with the Lord. (read about one here).

The more my relationship with God grows, the easier I find it to leave behind the Christianese, and the usual expectations that Christians face. I love the quote from Ravi Zacharias that Lisa shares, “It is not about a ritual; it is about a relationship…”

And do you know what? The more I focus on my relationship with the Lord, the more the rituals mean to me.

Does that make sense? When our hearts are engaged, there is meaning in the tiniest of actions. As Brother Lawrence said, “ I can turn an omelet in the pan for my Lord.”

I entitled this post “Deep” because that is where we need to go to truly experience God. It’s easy for me to say, “Yeah, Yeah, Jesus died for me. Sure I believe that.” But what does that really mean to me?

If I had a flesh and blood friend who gave her life for me, wouldn’t I honor that sacrifice? Wouldn’t I do everything in my power to tell others how special that friend was? Wouldn’t I have a Deep regard for that person? Wouldn’t it change me somehow?

Our Pastor said in his sermon this week, “To be touched by the Gospel is to be changed. We cannot help being changed when we encounter Jesus Christ.”

Oh, Dear Ones! Let the transformation permeate your inward and your outward countenance! Do not let your flesh get in the way!

I struggle with this every day. But when I let go and fall into the arms of my Beautiful Lord, Oh, the joy!

Thank you again, Lisa, for stirring me.

Love to you all.

Comments

  1. says

    Laura I loved your thoughts and agree with them deeply!!

    Does this make sense? “The more I focus on my relationship with the Lord, the more the rituals mean to me.” Yes, I have experienced that as well. Pretty exciting!! And so true!

    Thanks for sharing and encouraging me!

  2. says

    It is so interesting to me to read each post and see how Ms Spirituality has touches all of our lives yet we see her from such different perspectives.

    God has truly created us individually.

    Blessings, Cindy

  3. says

    Laura,

    Yet again another perspective–this blogging/study thing is just so exciting, isn’t it??

    It is a fine balance between relationship and rituals. Rituals are not a bad thing as long as we are constantly examining what our motive is and if it adds to our relationship with God.

    Great post-I love how you described your daily life with the Lord as heady and intoxicating and wanting more, more, more! I felt like a cheerleader-yeah, yeah, yeah!!

    have a blessed day,
    Kim

  4. says

    I love what you wrote…”the more I focus on my relationship with the Lord, the more the rituals mean to me.”
    I totally agree with you, for without a relationship with Him, that’s all the other is….just a ritual. That’s sad to me too. I know way too many people who are simply acting out the rituals and have no real relationship with their heavenly Father.
    Like you said….once we know Him and abide with Him and He with us, He delights us in every part of our life.
    I am around a lot of different kinds of people and at times I fear that I don’t share enough about God because I fear people will think I’m this kind of person who was discussed in this chapter.
    One of my husband’s friends married this girl & we all began to hang out a lot and one time he told her I was “churchy” and not to say bad words in front of me or not to tell an off color joke etc.
    Growing up a preacher’s kid was great….everyone always respected me and knew where I stood as far as my values were concerned, all through my high school years.
    We have church friends, friends who don’t go to church, various kinds of people we are around these days. My prayer is that they will all see the joy of Jesus in me and not someone they think, thinks is holier than them. It gets difficult at times. Does this make sense? So, I guess what I’m trying to say is that sometimes I feel a little bit hypocritical in that maybe I don’t outwardly stand up more vocally for what I believe….just because I don’t want to be viewed as Ms. Spirituality.
    I do love Jesus with all my heart & my prayer is that others will see that in my life.
    Sorry this is so long!
    Love,
    Val
    P.S. I’ll let you know how we like our next Bible study. We start it next Mon. This is the first of Angela Thomas’ studies we’ve done.

  5. says

    Laura,

    It sounds like you have come to a similar place as myself. I have a blog called “BE.” Being who God wants you to be and not what others perceive or expect us to be — that is the answer. The relationship is everything.

    Thank you for sharing. I love reading everyone’s perspective.

    Kristy

  6. says

    Laura,
    I really loved this post. to be so in love with Jesus that I can’t help but tell everyone about Him… to remember how much He has done for me, and to be so in love with Him that the love I have for Him out shines everything.

    I want all my actions to stem from love for Him, not the actions to stem from wanting to impress others, or wanting to keep up the right appearances.

    God bless,
    Heather

  7. says

    Your thoughts made me do my own pondering.

    I do know what you mean when you stated…The more I focus on my relationship with the Lord, the more the rituals mean to me.

  8. says

    Can I imagine serving God, doing my Bible study, having my quiet time, seeking, serving, loving…etc. without that sense of intimacy that is so heady, so intoxicating that it keeps me coming back for more, more, more?!

    That really hit me between the eyes Laura. Thank you for that friend.
    love,
    Lelia

  9. says

    Laura,
    I have finished Lisa’s book and this chapter made me squirm as well. I love your title “Deep”. It’s so easy to wear spirituality as a mantle. The facade hides hardness of heart that refuses to be pierced by a loving God.
    This chapter made me look at my reflection in the mirror and make a choice………I am with you! Let’s go to the depths! I think we will find the greatest JOY waiting for us!

    Blessings,
    Cheri

  10. says

    Oh, Laura, this is great!

    I know some ‘ms. spiritualities’, too!!
    “It’s a role that is played when it is deemed necessary to impress someone, yet it holds no real depth whatsoever.” (p. 79)

    Thank you for reminding me to grieve over her lack of true relatonship and lack of depth with Jesus! You have brought me to my knees for this one the Lord has laid on my heart.

    Also, “The more I focus on my relationship with the Lord, the more the rituals mean to me.” Can I just say…AMEN! This is me too! Praise the lord that wiping little noses, kissing boo-boos, and frying chicken can be very holy when done unto Him!

    Thank you for your beautiful insight…I am gonna have to read this book!

  11. says

    This is such a wonderful post. I, too found that as my relationship with Christ grew, and continues to grow, that the “Christianese” thing just doesn’t happen… Hallaleuah!

  12. says

    “”It is not about a ritual; it is about a relationship…”~

    These words ring so true to me. My husband and I have experienced a bit of judgment from “spiritual” people, and it hurts. Especially when we and God know where our hearts are…with Him. It’s not the “where” you worship that matters…it’s “Who” we worship that matters. But sometimes even though people “mean well” with their concern, they simply don’t understand that.

    Thank you for your encouraging words, Laura.

    God Bless,
    Amy:)

  13. says

    Like everyone else, I found your comment -“not about ritual but relationship” very appropriate! I live from event to event. IF I have nothing to anticipate, I feel down, wondering what life is about- almost adicted to exciting things life has to offer. Then one day it dawned on me – no God spoke to me “Life is not about events- it is about a relationship.” YES – a relationship with Jesus – each time I turn to Him is a big event. Thanks for the reminder-

  14. says

    Laura, this part of what you wrote “If I had a flesh and blood friend who gave her life for me, wouldn’t I honor that sacrifice? Wouldn’t I do everything in my power to tell others how special that friend was? Wouldn’t I have a Deep regard for that person? Wouldn’t it change me somehow?”

    How many times have I told people of all the nice things a friend has done for me, and nothing, nothing they ever could do would compare to what Jesus has done. And sadly how many times have I not told people what Jesus did for me.

    I enjoy your writting, and your blog. Thank you for always making me think.

    Carol

  15. says

    Laura…
    Loved your beautiful thoughts so much. Your writing expresses your heart, and it is all for Jesus. Thank you, Laura, for in turn, stirring me by this post. 🙂

    Lisa

  16. says

    Laura,

    I am just getting around to reading the post from Last week and I love the fact that we should pray for the Ms. Spiritualities we know, most of the time I am intimated by them. I also love the comment “the more I focus on my relationship with the lore, the the rituals mean to me.” I have also found that when I focus on my relationship with Jesus, the rituals are a blessing.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *