The Worship Quote of the Week for (02/08/2000):

Religious Activity or Desire for God
Today's WORSHIP QUOTE (a little longer than usual) speaks of the significant
difference between religious activity and a real communion with God. The
authors include a poignant quote from C. S. Lewis.

There comes a place on our spiritual journey where renewed religious activity
is of no use whatsoever. It is the place where God holds out his hand and
asks us to give up our lovers and come live with him in a much more personal
way. It is the place of relational intimacy that Satan lured Adam and Eve
away from so long ago in the Garden of Eden. We are both drawn to it and fear
it. Part of us would rather return to Scripture memorization, or Bible study,
or service - anything that would save us from the unknowns of walking with
God. We are partly convinced our life is elsewhere. We are deceived.

"We are half-hearted creatures," says Lewis in THE WEIGHT OF GLORY, "fooling
around with drink and sex and ambition [and religious effort] when infinite
joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies
in a slum because he can't imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at
the sea. We are far too easily pleased."

. . . . At some point in our Christian journey, we all stand at the edge of
those geographies where our heart has been satisfied by less-wild lovers,
whether they be those of competence and order or those of indulgence. If we
listen to our heart again, perhaps for the first time in a while, it tells us
how weary we are of the familiar and the indulgent.

We find ourselves once again at the intersection with the road that is the
way of the heart. We look down it once more to see what appears to be the
looming abyss between the lovers we have known and the mysterious call of
Christ, which we now realize is coming from the other side. Jesus appears to
be holding out his hand to us even as he calls us. He tells us he will
provide a bridge over the chasm if we will abide in him. We hear his words,
but such language is strange to us, sounding like the dialects of many who
have used us or consumed us and then left us along the highway, exposed and
alone. We pull back. Many of us return to Vanity Fair and mortgage our heart
to purchase more of what is religiously or materially familiar.

A few of us arouse our spirit and take a step toward the chasm. . . .

- Brent Curtis & John Eldredge, in THE SACRED ROMANCE: DRAWING CLOSER TO THE
HEART OF GOD, Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1997, p.137-138.

[I was REALLY challenged and encouraged by this book.]

Have a great week,

Chip Stam
Pastor of Worship and Music
Chapel Hill Bible Church
Chapel Hill, North Carolina