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Customizable Christianity: Not a One Size Fits All Thing

customizable Christian

Maybe you’ve been there.  Standing in the sanctuary during worship and the gal two rows up is so moved by the Spirit that she’s weeping uncontrollably. Meanwhile behind you the local T-ball coach is shouting off key at the top of his lungs so passionately that the off key part really doesn’t matter.  He is worshiping his Creator.

But you, not so much.  You are fulfilled after worship, you know you’ve entered into the secret place and spent time with Christ but you are so awed by His presence that you can barely move.

What is wrong with you?  Why don’t you shout and sing and weep?  You aren’t doing it right?

I struggled with similar such thoughts for many years.Then I realized Christianity is not one-size-fits-all.

If you are being led by the Holy Spirit there is no right or wrong way to worship the Lord.

Sunday, for the first time that I can recall I felt to dance around the sanctuary during one of the worship songs.  I realized that I was not the only one moved to dance.  A few other ladies, some who are moved to dancing often, and some not, were also freely worshiping the Lord. I danced not because others were dancing but because I felt in my spirit to dance.  The song was about having joy, and while I wasn’t feeling particularly joyful Sunday morning my spirit wanted to dance. So dance I did.

Many Bodies, One Spirit

Maybe you’re caught off guard by the title of this post, forgive me for the catchy title though I will say, it came to me in the wee hours of the morning while changing a fussy toddler who peed through his diaper and was quite upset at being laid on the cold floor to be stripped naked and wiped down with a cold baby wipe.  “Customizable Christianity” was not something I was pondering at 3:30.  This is how I know it was from God.

We all read the same bible, albeit different versions, so how can I make a statement like “customizable Christianity”? Because God is a god of the individual.  What an amazing paradox that we are ALL created in His image yet no two of  us are alike!  We are different from our DNA to what moves us to worship and speaks to us spiritually.

Just as you may despise the taste of coffee and I burn candles that smell of mocha we are also different in our spirits.

Couldn’t that be dangerous? Isn’t that why churches have divided? Aren’t we called to unity?

Yes it could be dangerous, yes this differences probably have lead and will lead to the separation of countless churches.  Yes, we are most definitely called to unity.

But the amazing part, the saving grace in the paradox of different yet the same is the same Holy Spirit that lives in each one of us. We are individuals but the the same Holy Spirit, the Spirit of God, resides deep within us.  It is when we tap into that spirit, when we listen to it, learn from it and are led by it that we are able to be individuals, expressing our individuality and yet be in unity.

It’s how a member of our congregation can get a word from God during worship, share that word and then our pastor preach a sermon that is in essence the same thing spoken by during worship.

It’s how a member of our body can stand publicly in front of all and say “I’m struggling. I don’t see God, I don’t feel God…Where is God!?” and be loved on, ministered to and prayed to by his brothers and sisters in Christ. His spirit was struggling, but the Holy Spirit in him prompted him to take a huge step of faith and speak out.  Our spirits maybe couldn’t wait to hear the pastor’s message that day or perhaps we were preoccupied with the troubles in our own lives, but the Holy Spirit in us led us to speak into our brother’s life and offer up healing for him.

Many bodies, one Spirit.

My Gifts, Your Gifts

“Brothers and sisters, I want you to know about the gifts of the Holy Spirit. You know that at one time you were  unbelievers. You were somehow drawn away to worship statues of gods that couldn’t even speak. So I tell you that no one who is speaking with the help of God’s Spirit says, “May Jesus be cursed.” And without the help of the Holy Spirit no one can say, “Jesus is Lord.” 

There are different kinds of gifts. But they are all given by the same Spirit. There are different ways to serve. But they all come from the same Lord. There are different ways to work. But the same God makes it possible for all of us to have all those different things.

The Holy Spirit is given to each of us in a special way. That is for the good of all.  To some people the Spirit gives the message of wisdom. To others the same Spirit gives the message of knowledge. To others the same Spirit gives faith. To others that one Spirit gives gifts of healing. To others he gives the power to do miracles. To others he gives the ability to prophesy. To others he gives the ability to tell the spirits apart. To others he gives the ability to speak in different kinds of languages they had not known before. And to still others he gives the ability to explain what was said in those languages. All of the gifts are produced by one and the same Spirit. He gives them to each person, just as he decides.” ~ 1 Corinthians 12: 1-11 (emphasis mine)

In the passage above we see clearly the gifts we as believers can expect to receive and that these gifts come from one Spirit, God’s spirit, the Holy Spirit. We each have access to these gifts but that does not mean they will be made known to us, or others in the same way.

I recently realized that I hear from the Lord at what I’d call “odd” times (like 3:30 cleaning up toddler pee.) In the past I have been prompted to to mail cards of encouragement to people.  Silently blessing them, sometimes anonymously, to brighten their day and give them a word of encouragement.  You may never feel let to mail a card, you may however see visions on a daily basis as the Lord directs your day. It doesn’t matter what our normal is so long as our normal is led by the Holy Spirit.

Relationship Not Religion

We get hung up on this thing called “religion” when in reality our walk with Jesus Christ is not about a religion, a set of rules, the length of our skirts or the time we spend in the prayer closet.

Our walk with Jesus Christ is about a relationship with Him. A two-way, face to face, get to know you relationship with our brother who died on a cross to save us.  He wants to have coffee with you every morning, He wants to join you on your smoke break (and take that addiction from you too) and He wants to rock you to sleep in His arms when you can’t take another moment of mothering because you feel like a failure.

That is what you should be living for. Not checking off a box on your To Do list of “read Bible.” Oh yes, reading your Bible is important, it’s how we learn about the God we serve. Having it on your To Do list might be essential to keep you on track (it is for me sometimes) but when we want to know what He wants from us we should ask Him, face to face.

The next time you feel like you don’t measure up to the gal in the next pew, stop it! Your relationship with Christ is customized for YOU by Him just as you were customized in your mother’s womb by Him.

So tell me, what makes your walk with Christ customized?

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