Monday, September 3, 2007

Am I building a relationship with God?

I'm reading a great book right now. It's "The Naked Church" by Wayne Jacobsen. (His unbelievably great website, Lifestream, is right here.) It's been really convicting and challenging for me. I've mentioned before that one of my spiritual life goals is to develop a first-hand faith. A faith where I see God at work in my life, and the lives of people around me.

Jacobsen talks a lot about developing intimacy with God. He talks about the normal Christian life as one where we actively hear His voice and depend on Him for everything. Sadly, this isn't true in my life, or in many lives of the Christians I know. But it seems that it was more normal among Christians in Bible times.

Instead, we depend on everything else. We look to preachers, churches, disciplines, anything except God Himself.

The thing that bothers me most is this: if intimacy with God is the norm for Christianity, what does that say about me? What does that say about the church in America, where over 70% of people attending church don't expect to encounter God during the service? It must break God's heart that I'm so far from what He wants to be in my life.

It's times like this that I'm really thankful that God loves me in spite of what I am...


Nerak said...

You are going to LOVE that book but while you're reading it, go to and order a copy of "So, You Don't Want to Go to Church Anymore" by Jake Colsen. Amazing. You'll love it. It is the natural next thing to read after Naked Church. Jake is just a pen name for Wayne and another guy. Just to encourage you, there is life after these disillusioning church situations. But do read that book before you make any other "church moves". Another great one is "Living With Jesus Today" by Juan Ortiz (out of print but available from Amazon used.)

Karen from Michigan

Richard J said...

Thanks, Karen. (nerak, I love it!) I actually read parts of the Jake Colsen book before it was published. Wayne was putting chapters up on the 'net for a while. It's really good. I don't know why I haven't read the whole thing.

The Naked Church has been encouraging and challenging for me...definitely the book I needed right now. I feel blessed in a way. I'm disillusioned with the church, but not with God. He's not let me down. He's still calling into deeper relationship with Him. My church experience has only strengthened my desire to find a real Christian life.

Thanks for the encouraging words...