For eight years, I've volunteered at church that taught: Love God. Love People. Do something about it. I served both God and people as best I could and grew in my faith. It wasn't love at first sight. They weren't perfect, but they never pretended to be. They just didn't mind telling you Jesus is perfect. Truth is, there's things I don't like about it, things I would changed if I could. It's the same sort of feeling I get looking in the mirror. We might have made a mistake or two sharing the gospel. If we could have, we'd worked harder , but that only means we would have made more mistakes. I could have stayed and been forever satisfied with just the things they get right and the things I'd never ever change. I've never seen a congregation work harder at doing the impossible, trying to get church right. Whatever we've gotten wrong, I've never seen more people collectively try to advance the kngdom of God. I fell in love with the mission and the people. Including all the pastors. I'm still In love, but God has called me something new.
Somethings are easier to say than to do. Every church I've ever been around creates the most aesthetically pleasing and comfortable place it can to teach the message " get out of your comfort zone". If we are honest, all of us look for comfort in all things. Which includes, our service and worshipping of the creator. There's a wide range in styles of churches. Whether we want an old time religion, a social club, a stand up comedy routine, or a fashion show church, you'll find one spreading the gospel, or at least claiming to. You can find Pastor Noah Grace, or Reverend Prophet Bishop Pastor Grace Yasser. Right or wrong, whatever we like is available.
It doesn't have to feel good to be wrong. It's not the styles that breed a false sense of security. Don't kid yourself, some people find comfort of being miserable inside the walls of any type of church. They institute themselves there, in a flawed sense of righteousness, through a self inflicted suffering, and in a pretense of servitude. Those people's hearts offer a counterfeit worship, no matter, if an organ, or an electric guitar, plays Amazing Grace. Oh no, it's not the venue, the preaching style, or the genre of music we subscribe to that produces comfort. It's the sense of belonging to someplace more than in the service of God. I hope, wherever you worship, it's in spirit and truth.
From the first time truth connects with you spiritually, it can be uncomfortable. It shows you what you need to change. When obedience calls you to live up to two thirds of God's name and GO, it's more than comfort you sacrifice. It's home. I wish I didn't have to leave to be obedient.
A relationship with Christ is the most valuable and fulfilling experience anyone can have this side of heaven, but it isn't without adversity. The bible teaches following Jesus means we must deny ourselves, rejoice in suffering, and put others before ourselves. Unintentionally, a misconception, of always loving what God has called us to, is being communicated by God's people. To be blunt, more often than not, serving God, AKA doing something about it, ain't always fun. Hard work usually isn't, but it's rewarding. Still, the path God puts us on is never one we'd choose for ourselves. No, our choices would lead to hell. We don't even know to how great a place He is leading us.
And I will lead the blind in a way that they do not know, in paths that they have not known I will guide them. I will turn the darkness before them into light, the rough places into level ground. These are the things I do, and I do not forsake them. Isaiah 42:16
Everything God has ever asked me to do, every sacrifice, those I did or didn't, like, or understand, has ended up changing myself and others for the better. Come to think of it, Jesus didn't particularly want the cross, either.