Tuesday, February 1, 2011


Isn’t that a great word/phrase? Notwithstanding holds so much content, one can hardly get one’s mind around it. I suppose it depends upon context, but then again everything depends upon context.

Paul the Apostle said, if we live by the “letter” of the law we’ll die, but if we live by the “Spirit” of the law we shall live.

I ask you: do you daily live by the letter or by the Spirit? For therein lays the most essential component of the Christian life. In 1 Corinthians 14:11, Paul is teaching about the gifts of the Spirit, specifically the gift of tongues and interpretation. But veiled beneath his words are the Words of God; the Words of the Spirit.

The Amplified Version puts it this way: “But if I do not know the force and significance” of the Words being spoken. Essentially I’m lost or like a person hearing an unknown foreign language if I don’t understand the real meaning behind the voice. The NIV puts it this way: “If then I do not grasp the meaning of what someone is saying” I’m again like a person hearing an unknown language. That means I won’t know what to order at the restaurant or how to ask where the bathroom is located.

Let’s put it this way. Either you understand the “meaning” behind what is being said by God or you don’t. There is little in between room for error. And unfortunately masses of people are getting things WRONG.

If you look at Jesus' teaching from the Sermon on the Mount, Matthew 6 and beyond, you can see that Jesus is teaching on subjects that most of His hearers are familiar with, yet they simply don’t understand the gravity or the implication of each. Or can I say they don’t know the real “meaning” behind the voice or the message. Granted it’s easy to look at Mosses and think you know what he meant when he codified the Laws for Israel in that particular century, but do you understand what God really meant, when it comes to us in the 21st Century?

Therein lays the ongoing issue: We don’t really know God. Notwithstanding our church experiences, do we really understand His meaning behind the Precepts? For as a friend of mine put it, paraphrasing his words; “living in the presence of God is more important than in the principles of God”. Now granted my friend acknowledged that God’s principles are essential and good for us, yet formulas and tables and lists of holy to-do’s or not-to-do’s are not what this thing is all about.

This thing IS about RELATIONSHIP. Without genuine relationship, we have nothing more than old dry religion. And few if ever are really turned on by formulas and tables and to-do lists (well maybe the anal retentive’s). I know I’m NOT.

So I ask you: Notwithstanding what you already know; are you ready and willing to LIVE IN HIS PRESENCE? The choice is yours, but my advice is this; avoid the formula based religion/relationship thing, because in that you’ll find nothing but “fear” and that is not where God is for this generation.

Oh wait… before you log off and call me a hairy-tick… I just want you to know that I love Proverbs 1:7 as much as the next guy, but being scared of a god who’s ready to spank you all the time IS NOT what Jesus came to reveal. As a matter of fact, we are called to fearlessly approach the “Throne of Grace” and find mercy and help in time of need.

That doesn’t sound like a scary place, but it sounds like a tender and warm place where we CAN find shelter in the time of storm.

So: Notwithstanding all your religious upbringing; God IS WAITING for you to engage in a RELATIONSHIP… Not a religion.


PS: this is the blogging you get when snow falls and I can’t go water-proof a basement.

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