Please keep me from being the spork of the Christian world–trying to be things I clearly am not–having a faith which rises up only a percentage of the time–but, most of the time, collapses, snaps, and can’t even pick up a mouthful of potato salad. God, forgive me when I’m ok with a plastic faith, happy in all its mass produced, synthetic glory. Lord, I don’t wanna be a spork!
I want my faith to be real.
And faith which is real, is faith which is honest— about the painful or embarrassing places, about the ugly which make us cold, which drifts us from the heart of God– the places which could easily turn us into willing participants in our own destruction.
While Jeremiah had no context for a spork, he was instructed by God to point out to Israel what might lead them away to captivity. We get a glimpse in Jeremiah 4:14
“O Jerusalem, wash your heart clean of wickedness so that you may be saved. How long shall your evil schemes lodge within you?”
To date, I have not seen this on a coffee mug. There are no inspirational memes about this verse or any other calling people to face the evil within. A scheme is a plan. It’s not something a Christian backs up into. It has been devised, and in this case, it is lodged, stuck deep in the people of God.
When I press into this verse, I notice a few things:
Some of them look real churchy, but aren’t Truth. Some of them look like my own personal agenda. Evil schemes in a Christian’s life don’t prance around moaning with a long tail and a horror movie face. They can look like purity. Manipulation looking like unconditional love. Or pride dressed up like service. But they’re really sporks. Imitation Krab meat. God, help me have the eyes to see what needs to be surgically removed, so that my heart is pure, and the only plans in there are the ones which line up with Your Will.
Next, I notice God’s grace, even in this verse.
This is not about sticking our nose in our mistakes, it is “so that we may be saved”. So that we can stop self destructing. So that we can have a faith which is mountain moving. So that when my pride seeks to take over a situation, it is a momentary lapse, not allowed to develop into a well devised scheme. Later in Jeremiah 7:3, God commands His people to “Amend your ways and your doings, and let me dwell with you in this place.” God doesn’t call us to repentance for the sake of repentance. He does it so that we can be in a right relationship with Him.
That is freeing to me, and worth asking God what needs out of my heart.
I don’t want to lower my standards when it comes to having faith. If You can speak to wind and waves–If you can part waters and let blind people see again, then I believe You can protect me from myself. Help me not to lower my standards and be OK with plasticky faith. Empty me of everything which isn’t Your will, so that I can share Your real love, not just a glimpse of it, with a world hungry for You.