(Well, here it is - the blog that I've been trying to post since Friday. It's been a wild last couple of days because of the sitemeter problem. I miss my sitemeter but it will just have to wait a while before I feel comfortable about re-installing it. I'm just glad to have gotten my blog back. Anyway, back to the topic of this post.)
A few weeks ago, while sitting in the Sunday morning service, a man spoke who was part of a missions organization. He was excitedly sharing and saying that God is working throughout the world. Well, I got excited too. Of course, I know he was talking about missions and missionaries but my thoughts immediately went to blogging and the internet.
What an exciting medium the internet is for a growing number of free believers who are sharing freedom with others. Tim Kiser in a comment on my Learning to Give Out in the Wild post spoke about a "grassroots movement of freedom." What a marvelous description of what our Daddy is doing! I see it as a group of interconnected circles that are going around the world.
I'm fairly new to this world of blogging. It was only in October or November of last year that I connected with my first blogger, Joel of Grace Roots. That led to connections with other bloggers and, in January, I started my own blog. Since then, I've been introduced to a growing number of bloggers. It's exciting to find new blogs that have been set up by people who are eager to speak and share this wonderful message of God's grace and freedom.
While in religion, we came to believe that there was only one acceptable way to serve God and to share our faith. It could only be done through a local church that was headed by a pastor. The only other alternative was to work for a "para-church" organization with the approval of "your" pastor.
While I'm sure this method has been helpful for some, for others it's been the same as being in a cage. We've been told what we could say and what we couldn't say. We've been told what we could do and what we couldn't do. And, we've been told where we should spend our time and money. Although we followed these rules as best we could, some of us have felt trapped and we've strained against the bars believing that there had to be more than this.
This grassroots movement of freedom is growing and spreading. As more and more people come to understand the message of grace, they are leaving the confines of religion and venturing out into the wild of freedom. Tracy over at The Best Parts has posted an excellent blog describing this life of freedom. She quoted a scripture that I believe beautifully describes the church that is coming out into freedom.
"And you will go out and leap like calves released from the stall." (Malachi 4:2b)
What a glorious picture of the joy and excitement as believers are freed from their stalls! I see much of this joy and excitement spilling over into the blogs that I've been reading. We've been held back for so long that now that we're free, this wonderful message of Father's grace has to come out and it's coming out in the form of blogging.
Jesus is building his church. There was a season during which the institutional groups were in the forefront and I don't believe we should despise those groups. While it's true that the religion that tends to pervade them prevented us from coming into the fullness of life in Christ, these groups have been the nursery that protected us while we were infants in the faith.
However, many of us have come to realize that it's now time to leave the security of the nursery and venture out into the wild with Jesus. While this may seem to be a place of danger and insecurity, Jesus has promised that the Holy Spirit will be there to help us navigate through this unknown territory.
What excites me is that I see an ever increasing number of believers who have followed Jesus out into the wild. At times, it may appear as though we're few when compared to the total number of believers throughout the world. However, as more and more believers leave religion, I see the church that Jesus is building becoming a reality. No longer bound by religion, we're more and more being changed into the image of our Father. Now, like the wind, we're free to follow the desires that he has placed on our hearts. (Psalm 37:4)
"The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit." (John 3:8)