Monday, February 20, 2012

Foregoing what is trendy to do what is Godly

Have you ever felt called to do something that wasn't normal in your culture? Maybe it was something small like whether or not to raise your hands in worship at church. Maybe it was something big like whether or not to homeschool your children or quit your job to become a missionary.

Different generations, churches, denominations, and regions of the country have a culture where certain things are accepted and some are not. At the church I attended in college I felt I had to dress a certain way (I believe the style could be described as boho chic, a la Sienna Miller and the Olson twins) or else I didn't fit in. I also felt that I was missing something because I didn't dance or lay on the ground in a puddle of tears during worship music. I felt so uncomfortable that I eventually started looking at other churches. What they were doing wasn't wrong; it was just a style of worship that was attractive to other young adult church attenders, so it caught on and became the norm. It wasn't wrong for me to wear jeans and a t-shirt and stand in place while worshipping either. My problem was that I lacked the courage to do what was different. You see, even in a church community it can take a lot of courage to step outside the norm.

In Ephesians 3:14, Paul kneels in prayer out of an awareness that God is doing so much in the lives of believers. His kneeling position, according to the NIV Study Bible notes, was not something people in his time commonly did. They STOOD in prayer. His kneeling posture was a symbolof his deep emotion and reverence towards God.

Even though this wasn't common in his time, it was something that Jesus himself did on occasion. In the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus "fell with his face to the ground and prayed, "My father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will." We know from an earlier verse that he also was expressing deep emotion and reverence. Paul's prayer position wasn't unbiblical. It was just uncommon.

Remember that just because something is different than your friends, your husband, or your church, it doesn't mean you shouldn't do it. Consider whether it is biblical or not. If it lines up with biblical practice and biblical wisdom, you feel led by the Holy Spirit, and you are confident enough in the Lord to deal with the consequence of looking odd, take the leap of faith!

**This is especially important if you believe others in your community, group, or church are acting unbiblically. If so, maybe the call you feel from the Holy Spirit is for you to be a modern day Martin Luther, nailing your 95 Theses to the door of your church, small group, or community. Of course this requires a much bigger leap of faith, but if you are right in your assessment of wrongdoing, have scriptural evidence, and the wisdom of Godly men and women to support you, God will be on your side.


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