Exploring the move from the deconstruction of our religious faith to our reconstruction creates the need to replace old habits with new spiritual practices.
For many, this journey entails walking away from Church-as-we-know-it (CAWKI) because we’re asked to leave because of our new ‘heretical’ thoughts, because we know Jesus has more than this for us or even just because we no longer share much in common with those Christians around us who aren’t seeing the paradigm shift God has initiated.
Whatever the reason that leads us to leave the traditional model of Church, the question is ‘now what’?
As an alcoholic needs to replace their activity of drinking with something more positive, a former church-going Christian needs to replace that act of church attendance with something new that empowers them to respond to God and find another level of freedom, life, and joy.
Letting go of church as we know it
For those who find themselves outside of CAWKI and yet have a greater yearning for connection with the Trinity, there must be an intentional initiative to create new patterns of spirituality to replace the old patterns of religion. This may take some time. The default will always be with the familiar (right or wrong) like the attending of meetings on a Sunday morning because for many years that is what we did and were taught was essential. Wonderfully we can now allow Holy Spirit to show us a new way (which is actually the ancient way we have lost being recovered from obscurity).
To engage with His new paradigm it is essential to shift from having meetings “about” God to experiencing encounters “with” God.
God intends and longs for us more to be much more experiential and much less religious in our following of Jesus.
Let’s allow Him to redevelop our sense of wonder, awe and mystery. Let’s not default any longer to the mindset fixated on “knowing”. It’s so liberating that we can take comfort in not knowing all the answers. (Of course, we don’t anyway).
Good habits and rhythms that can help us redevelop our sense of wonder and reposition us to a new mindset for experiencing the Divine are vital and lead us to greater spiritual maturity and health.
Such practices have the potential to place us in a posture of receiving and experiencing God on an entirely new level. Some of these will be more effective for some than for others. We all need to take time to develop our discipline in practicing these experiences that facilitate drawing us into a deeper awareness of God.
As we begin to create new spiritual practices, our awareness of God and our connection with Jesus will become more and more natural for us. Eventually, our experience will be an automatic shift from a physical reality to a spiritual one with apparently very little effort. We exist in both realities while we are on Earth but what is so badly out of kilter is the dominance of the physical over the spiritual when we are designed to live the opposite way round. We are meant to view our physical existence through the lens of a spiritual reality, not vice versa.
Creating new habits
Remember, everyone will have a different way of connecting with God and it’s massively helpful to find that! The goal is to create new habits of connection with God that replace the tired old religious ones we once found so necessary and that now resonates with us so little.
Learn to wait for Him, to listen to Him. Sometimes speaking directly to Father, Jesus and/or Holy Spirit and other times simply sit and experience His company in total silence, just basking in His presence, alone or with others.
It’s really quite extraordinary where and when you can encounter God! A spirit interaction with God can be shoveling horse poo (happened to me), walking by the river, gardening, engaging with music, journaling or driving the car (and many more). I’m talking about ongoing, authentic, dynamic connection and exchange in our spirit with God that brings revelation, perception and that results in transformation.
Are you hungry for this? In His love and desire to be close to you, God generates that hunger in us because it’s His deepest longing that we would ‘know Him’ intimately 24/7, in the highs, the lows, the mundane and the exceptional really it is!