Well, well, well... it's 11:19 in the evening, which means I have at least 40 minutes left to type and publish and post a 500-word article if I want to be consistent for the Mr. Goins' 31-day challenge...
...Consistent, at least according to my own standards. One of the rules states that if you miss a day, you make up for it the next day.
Should I be bothered? Not really. I have a lot on my mind, and it's a pleasant thing to know that a little push can get it all transferred from my head to this blog.
Around half an hour ago, the TV was tuned in to HBO - and 'Priest', starring Paul Bettany, that was on. One line struck me - His vow states, 'To go against the church is to go against God.'
As I watched, I thought to myself, the place where the lead role lived in reminded me of Midgar in Final Fantasy VII - set in a futuristic, steampunk theme, the 'priests' seemed to be more than just pious, and the 'church' in this movie isn't a distinguishable structure of its own in a city - it looked like the church was the city itself. I could hear people who watched the movie ridiculing me for stating the obvious - "What tipped you off, that the place was called Cathedral City?"
Anyway, what I chose to remember to write about was one line that was repeatedly stated - as the priests' vow, as the parting line of the upper-ranked monsignors to the priests, as a credo, a slogan announced in every corner of the religious metropolis - "To go against the Church is to go against God."
"To go against the Church is to go against God."
It's 12:07 in the morning now. I didn't make 500 words yesterday, and I guess to continue with this is to make up for that day. Drat.
Or should I just take a deep breath, and thank God for life and the will to keep on going, even if my mind is being bombarded with accusations of me of failing to keep up with this challenge? This seems to be one of those moments where it's very apparent that someone down there hates me, and is really working double time to ensure that we are not focused on the fact that Someone up there loves me so much more.
This 'Someone' is the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, the God who freed Israel of the Egyptians, the God who, in His perfect timing, sent salvation, complete redemption, not only to them but the whole world through Jesus Christ.
Anyway, going back. For one to say, 'To go against the Church is to go against God' - I'll say it straight, this is what God meant by taking His name in vain.
Let me just say that God is truly indescribable, and uncontainable. Indescribable in the sense that there are not enough words in every language to fully describe the greatness and magnificence of our Heavenly Father. He is THE God of the plains and the mountains, the sun and the moon, the waters and the skies - He is God over ALL. Consequently, He cannot be contained in the sense that nothing we can craft, no idols we create can ever fully project His absolute glory, power and wisdom.
People may say that not just in the movies, but in real life - 'To go against the Church is to go against God', 'To go against the priest, pastor, witch doctor... is to go against God', 'To not give to this evangelist or politician is to go against God.' When someone says this, he or she is ultimately saying "God isn't God, He's just stronger than us. WE call the shots and we can tell Him to get back at you for not doing what we say!"
But God is far more than just leverage! He is the creator of all that is! He is our Father, our loving, kind, merciful Father! And He loves you (and each and every other person) so much, that He gave everything just for you to have a relationship with Him! He did all the work because He loves you!
How long are you going to rely on yourself to gain what you can never earn? How long are you going to use God as a leverage before you actually see that all along, He really has been watching you - but not as a cosmic bookkeeper, but as a loving Father?
I said I had a lot in my head, but right now, every paragraph is being painstakingly squeezed out. There's something to this topic that's subjecting me to all sorts of distractions, but I'm just glad that Mr. Goins so graciously said that it doesn't have to be all perfect, and all I have to do is write - even in these non-denominational challenges, the glory of God is seen through His grace demonstrated through leaders.
And, thank God, that's probably the point of me bringing up that line from Priest. It isn't fear that gets people going - no, even in the hardest of hearts, even in the most twisted of moralities in the most powerful of people, it is the glory of God, the grace of God that truly inspires people for the best, before, during, and after an achievement.
The control that fear presents is temporary. The grace of our Heavenly Father is eternal, and though this dying world rejects that fact, deep down in the heart of every single man, woman and child, we know that we need His grace - and nothing in this world - no one religion, no denominations, no people, no other entities can bring you anywhere close to this grace, for ALL have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.
We need His grace. Are you having a hard time realizing the idea of God's grace? Know that grace and truth came through One. Grace is a person. Grace is Jesus Christ. And we need Him. We ALL need Him.
Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household.
To God be all the glory and praise.
email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
May the Lord bless you and keep you. May the Lord make His face shine on you and be gracious to you. May the Lord lift His countenance upon you and give you His Shalom. - Numbers 6:24-26