This is real life.
Does God ever speak to you while washing dishes? Or doing the ordinary stuff? My mind is being flooded with images. This one was so compelling I have to share it.
Dishes are not really one of my fun activities. And I am Rather Particular with how they should be done. I like using a sponge with little abrasive bits on the one side and sponge on the other.
And I like them to last a few weeks.
Today I took a new sponge. And man, was I disappointed.
I had bought a cheap pack of sponges. Sometimes these work out ok.
Today’s sponge was thrown away straight away. It did not even make it through one wash.
It was so small in my hands, it really did not sit well.
And then it came apart as I was washing. Just started coming off, bit by bit.
This cheap sponge could never do the cleaning it is meant to do. It has no quality, cannot endure and is just rubbish, really.
For a while now, I have been praying for churches and the faith that is preached. And feeling bad for the faith that I have been living.
The compulsion today is that so many dispense a cheap gospel.
It comes apart at the smallest sign of testing, does not even wash away sins. This kind of gospel is really a panacea for the mind, not a redemption of the heart and soul.
It is a cheap replica of the Real Thing. Like an inoculation, it gives a little bit of the ‘infection’ so that one never gets The Real Thing. It comes with a few easy words and sees the sovereign LORD as a magic formula, where one speaks a few incantations every day and the magic will work to sort out the difficulties immediately.
Why this is so heavy on my heart is that I have such a compulsion in my soul that difficult times are coming. Even more difficult than what they are. I HATE that people go into churches and kill those busy with Bible Studies. My spirit grieves for those killed and severely traumatised from the Garissa attack, especially those who were in an early morning prayer meeting. It really pains me that so many are suffering in real ways for faith. But it is not the end.
We have had our first really great weather since September over the last few days. It has been glorious! I pulled out a mat, went to sit on the grass with this view and asked God to come sit beside me for us to just communicate. The sweet Holy Spirit did come. I first just relished the sounds of birds, the vivid greens and the amazing water flowing down just nearby. And the feeling came strongly. Tough times are coming. Just that. Tough times are coming.
This is where a cheap gospel is completely insufficient. It cannot endure.
When we understand what the real Gospel is all about it cannot leave us the same.
If we know that it cost God EVERYTHING, and it cost Jesus ALL, we cannot stay in our cheap comfortable lives any longer.
I do not want to go into the process endured to win our freedom. There is so much that has been said already: go and explore. Watch The Passion of the Christ. Read the Gospels. look up online.
But I do pray that you would understand. Really grasp this.
You were bought at a price; do not become slaves of human beings. 1 Corinthians 7:23.
So many churches have enslaved people to a human way of thinking. The world is so full of people looking for security, comfortable living, prosperity and nice.
These are great ideas. they feel so good.
But I do not see them being the focus of the Real Gospel. I do not even see Jesus encouraging them. Ever.
Jesus called people to give up everything and follow Him. Jesus paid with it all, giving an example for us to live like Him.
He died to save us from all our sins.
I am just starting to get that as I really meditate on it. My heart is filled with anxiety, by nature. I struggle with this in my heart and in my mind.
And I am challenged to TRUST in GOD. His Word says not to be anxious about anything. That verse really really tugs at me. It is not in my natural state to be like that.
But with God all things are possible.
A cheap Gospel says that it is ok to feel as I do, we all feel bad at times. I should just do my best.
Jesus’s blood says that is rubbish. I am to cling to Him, in all my weaknesses, and know that His grace is sufficient in my weaknesses.
My heart’s prayer is that we go beyond the cheap washes, that cannot endure.
I pray that we find the Real Gospel, that cost our Saviour ALL. When we are washed clean of ALL our sins by that blood, our lives are set free to be His image. To live His way in His world.
Life does not become easy.
But the intimacy that is ours as we depend on Him (because there really is no other option in a shaking world) far surpasses cheap thrills, wishy-washy doctrines and really is an anchor for the soul.
Living in obedience, even when things are rough, is worth it.
And cheap washing scrubs are not worth it. The expensive stuff is the only way, really.