Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Dont give Satan a foothold..(Building Walls)


I was listening to a song in the car today on the way to work it really just got me thinking. It’s a song by the brilliant Christian band called “Casting Crowns” and it’s called ‘Stained Glass Masquerade’.
The summary here is that we often let Satan get a foot in the door which pushes Gods work to the back and we concentrate on the negative. I lay down my thoughts here especially on what we think when we sit in church on a Sunday morning, often next to people we don’t know or have never met.
Let me paint 3 scenarios here:
1.       You walk into church and someone else is sitting in your seat. How do you react? Do you get upset because it’s ‘your’ seat. You have sat there for the last 10 years at the same service and how dare they encroach on your favourite seat! There’s 2 ways you can deal with this. You can get all upset, moan under your breath and immediately get a thought in your mind that the person is disrespectful, not caring and has done it on purpose. Or you can walk past and smile at them and sit in the seat next to them that may be open and understand that they are possibly new in the church and didn’t know that your name was engraved on that seat. You take a guess which action God would want you to take.
 
2.       After attending the same church service every week for the last few years, you have become part of a small group of friends that all sit together and chat before the service begins. Also, when you sit down and you see a person close to you that is poorly dressed, a little shabby and possibly doesn’t look like they belong there. We draw first impressions on a person, especially if we don’t know them. We may think that they shouldn’t be here or that they could have at least dressed a little neater for Gods place and OH, they didn’t smile at me when I looked at them. Disgusting! Church is for people that respect God, not a free for all place that anyone can just come and sit. Or you may think that the person doesn’t have anything else. They have been hurt; they have no-one else in their lives to share anything with. They are poor and are struggling on a daily basis to keep the stomachs full. Or they may have just struggled so much in life that they are so depressed and you can understand why they don’t smile at you when you look at them. You take a guess what God would do in the situation.

3.       Backing from Scenario 2, you sit down in church and you see a happy, smiling person next to you in church who greets you when you sit down next to them. They may even say ‘Good Morning’ to you. When you get up to worship during the church service, this person puts their hands in the air when they sing and they really look like a ‘faithful Christian’, one that you could possibly be jealous of because you don’t think that you look that enthusiastic when you sing and it looks like this person is so close to God and you are jealous of that because you are trying to compare them to you.
So let’s look at these scenarios as a collective. I based all on the words of the song by Casting Crowns (below).
Who are we to decide what a person is like, how they should dress, what they should say and do in church. We don’t like talking to people that we don’t know because they may look shabby or badly dressed or they look depressed and you don’t want anything to do with that. This is the devil getting his little foot in the door to make you “draw conclusions about people”. He wants to cause rift between you and others. Obviously, totally the opposite of what God is about.
Most people go to church for the same reason, and that is to learn and hear about God and worship Him. Some people go because they are lonely and maybe others go because they have hundreds of issues which they are struggling to deal with and would love someone to talk to or befriend. As a Christian family, we are supposed to be ONE, all together for the collective purpose.
We don’t know what is going in other people lives and we are not called to judge others on what they look like. Some people walk into a church for the first time and they are overwhelmed with people that are happy, smiling, talking to each other and displaying a close community. They feel alone and ‘out of the loop’ and then close up, build walls around their hurts and try and fit into the crowd and ‘look happy’.
As Christians, we are called to be a close knit family and look out for each other. Don’t let satan get in the door and cause a rift between want the Christian life is what He is trying to get you to do and that is to disregard people because of what they may look like.
Bless you as a community of God.
Here are the lyrics from the song by Casting Crowns. I thank them for their awesome music and especially the meaningful words. Visit their website on www.castingcrowns.com
"Stained Glass Masquerade"
Is there anyone that fails
Is there anyone that falls
Am I the only one in church today feelin' so small

Cause when I take a look around
Everybody seems so strong
I know they'll soon discover
That I don't belong

So I tuck it all away, like everything's okay
If I make them all believe it, maybe I'll believe it too
So with a painted grin, I play the part again
So everyone will see me the way that I see them

Are we happy plastic people
Under shiny plastic steeples
With walls around our weakness
And smiles to hide our pain
But if the invitation's open
To every heart that has been broken
Maybe then we close the curtain
On our stained glass masquerade

Is there anyone who's been there
Are there any hands to raise
Am I the only one who's traded
In the altar for a stage

The performance is convincing
And we know every line by heart
Only when no one is watching
Can we really fall apart

But would it set me free
If I dared to let you see
The truth behind the person
That you imagine me to be

Would your arms be open
Or would you walk away
Would the love of Jesus
Be enough to make you stay

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