No Next Level Attained

Well, yesterday has come and gone. My wife and I went to worship the Lord Jesus and receive from Him (as my Pastor likes to say) “what the world could never buy…forgiveness of sins, life,  and salvation.”

We sang hymns, we confessed our sins, we received absolution, partook of the Lord’s Supper,  confessed our faith publicly in the Apostle’s Creed and recited the Lord’s Prayer together. We prayed for the world and the Church. The sermon laid us bare for putting faith in anything less than the Living God, such as political parties (or the princes of this world), and clothed us again in the White Robe of Jesus with His death and forgiveness of our foolishness. We learned, once again, that we ought render to Caesar what is Caesar’s, but we learned that God has His hand in all of it…including what Caesar does. We learned (once again) that the Triune God is actively and intimately involved in not only the goings on of this world, but in every moment of every day in our own lives.

No next levels of spirituality were attained (at least that I know of). No secrets to more Godly living were revealed. No “breakthroughs” were sited. Just the unmitigated love of Jesus Christ in His Word and sacrament for sinners…that’s all. That’s enough.

Thanks be to God that He is enough.

16 Responses

  1. Steve if you had just passed that prayer along to the other 8 people you would have attained the next level. I think what you need now is a spiritual life coach. To help you train for that next level. Now I’ll get you to the next level, I’ll train and coach you in all the spiritual disciplines you need, fasting, celibacy, sack cloth and ashes, flagellation etc. It won’t cost you much, just a few hundred a month. But don’t expect me to do these things with you. I’m a coach not a trainee. 🙂

  2. I guess it is my fault…I passed it along to nine people. I thought I’d get extra credit for the additional one…I see now it doesn’t work that way.

    Bror, thanks very much for the generous offer (only a couple of hundred a month seems quite Christian of you) but, I wasn’t really looking for guidence along the performance/sincerity end of the spectrum, but rather on the emotional/experience end.

    I’m looking for that great emotional high that I received when I first got saved at the non-denominational/Baptist church/donut shop on the corner with the great Billy Joel style piano player and motivational speakers. Man, was I ever on fire for the Lord!

    Well, since then, things have sort of slipped back into the mundane. I know they do what they can on Sunday mornings and Wed. nights to fill us with helium again..but I want a high that lasts a bit longer…you know what I mean?

  3. Steve,
    After nine months celibacy, you will have that high again believe me. Your aren’t putting enough work into it. That is the problem. Nine months of celibacy and you will be on fire for the Lord again (and hot for just about any female that walks by.)

  4. Bror,

    I don’t want to be on fire for the Lord again (that badly). I’d rather try the sack cloth for a few days and see what does for me.

    And I do know some Christians that are on fire for the Lord and are hot for any woman type female that walks by. The two are not mutally exclusive are they?

  5. Sackcloth and ashes? I thought it was all about signs and wonders, health and wealth, name it and claim it and so on and so forth…no wonder you don’t get the ‘pass on the blessing’ business…
    Isn’t pretty neat to have t deal with reality most days rather than all the weird and the wonderful doctrines and notions that make so many churches (and I use that term with reservation) ‘tick’, or fall over, roll around and just generally make the mistake of totally missing what the good news is really all about. Life here may be stumped by sin, but there’s something great about living even in this world when the Son has truly set you free!

  6. Howard,

    You are absolutely right. Many churches’ bread and butter are ‘signs’ (rating each other’s performances) and ‘wonders’ (wondering what they are doing wrong that life isn’t working out just how they had envisioned).

    The latest entry on your blog, ‘Rebel by Nature, Righteous by Force’ lays the whole thing out quite eloquently.

  7. Steve,
    “And I do know some Christians that are on fire for the Lord and are hot for any woman type female that walks by. The two are not mutally exclusive are they?”

    No, I don’t think so. I’m just glad Jesus died for all sins.

  8. Bror,

    Whew! I’m glad you reminded me that He died for ALL sins.
    I’ll make sure I’ll tell my friend with the wandering eyes, who just moved down by the beach with the girls in bikinis along with the seagulls and sunsets.

  9. Many churches’ bread and butter are ’signs’ (rating each other’s performances) and ‘wonders’ (wondering what they are doing wrong that life isn’t working out just how they had envisioned).

    Absolutely. That’s why it’s vital for us to understand that His strength is made perfect amidst our weakness, and His grace (alone) is sufficient for us.

    Thanks for the latest comment on the blog, Steve – it’s special to be walking this journey together 🙂

  10. Steve,
    Just remember to tell your friend wives are not always as forgiving as Christ. so should this said friend be married, he might want to leave the Binoculars in the truck he uses for deer hunting or what ever. I’ll leave mine at home when I come visit, said friend on the beach.

  11. Does this friend have as much fun shooting at the birds on the beach with his BB Gun, as he had shooting at the pigeons in his old back yard? I imagine the birds on the beach react much differently.

  12. Bror,

    I just spoke to my friend and he has decided to move to Bulgaria.

    He said the pigeons are nicer and the wives are more forgiving.

    He left his binoculars with me for safe keeping.

    The poor guy. I pray things turn around for him.

  13. Bulgaria almost sounds like heaven the way your friend describes it.

  14. Bror,

    If you can get past the gruel fast food joints and the female weightlifters who work for the secret police…it’s pretty nice.

  15. Oh common the gruel can’t be any worse than what McDonald’s serves up.

  16. “Oh common the gruel can’t be any worse than what McDonald’s serves up.”

    That’s what I’m talkin’ about!! Bulgarian McDonalds!

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