Lessons in Holiness – Part 3

January 23, 2017 at 10:31 pm (Remodeling the Mind, Thoughts to Ponder, WSGD Newes)

Paula entered the Shiloh room. Checking again the paper in her hand, confirming this was the room the teens meet in. The usual timidity of being new rang little bells in her head and tapped her stomach. Closing her eyes, she prayed:

Abba, I’m Yours. You have already welcomed and accepted me. Now help me be solid in these Truths! 

Paula walked in. Three boys immediately turned their heads towards her. Their cell phones getting a small break from their attention. As she walked deeper into the room she could see they were playing some video game. A tall man, maybe 10 years older than she began to walk towards her. (The leader, she surmised)

“Hello there, I’m Mark, the teen administrator. Who might you be?”

“Paula, I’m new.” She replied

“Oh, wonderful, tonight we have several things to choose from. Take a stroll around and see what strikes you as fun. Sundays are more formal with a worship and teaching, but tonight we like to give a space of spiritual invitation in everyday things, fellowship and worship. There’s a place to do homework and read or relax over there. There is a movie, God’s Not Dead, over there.  And a general sitting area over here, that you can just hang and fellowship. We’ll wrap up with worship around 7:15. Feel free to ask any questions.” Mark smiled

“Okay.” Paula began to walk around to get a feel for what she’d like. 

As usual, the size up ensued. Heads turned, whispers exchanged, obligatory smiles, some genuine, some just unreadable, some already full of assessment. She smiled, willing the invitation of the Lord to shine from it. There were a few girls and two guys in the homework area. Round tables with pencils and calculators in the center along with some scrap paper gave the ambience of study. 

She then turned towards the TV area. A good dozen girls and guys sat on theater couches, the movie previews already rolling. Popcorn and sodas lined a table along the side wall. 

Having already walked into what she assumed to be the “hang out” area. She observed four gals and the three guys in various chairs and couches, with lamps and end tables, set up much like an oversized living room. 

Instantly the Bible she held felt like a third wheel in her spirit. It seemed everyone had left theirs at home or in the car. Feeling welcome here all the sudden felt like school instead of church. Paula found a corner by the restroom to contemplate her choices. Mark must have noticed her reticence as he moved to engage her again. She slipped into the ladies room. 

Lord, this does not feel like Your house of worship and fellowship. I think I’d rather go to the adult service. What do You want me to do?

Go where you find Me, Child.

The answer was so instantaneous and somewhat vague, Paula stood there waiting for more. 

Ummm, Lord, You are everywhere. A little more help here, please. 

Where your heart is, there your treasure will be, Child.

Paula smiled. She knew. She stepped out of the restroom and began to head towards the exit. 

Mark called out to her and she turned. 

“Leaving us already, is everything okay?” Mark asked, concern lined his eyes. Yet, Paula perceived a deeper conviction had began to work in him. 

She smiled. “Yes, I think I’ll go to the adult service tonight. No offense, but all these things I can do anywhere else or at home. I often get labeled as snobbish, but honestly I really want to fellowship with my peers and learn more about God at church. I’m not often a very good fit for teen programs sometimes. It’s my stuff though, I’m often told I’m too serious for my age. Tonight though, I really want to pull my heart towards the Lord, let Him teach me about Him and worship Him. I don’t feel I’ll be able to do that with the choices here. I promise to come Sunday again. Thanks.” Without hesitation Paula exited the Shiloh room and headed towards the main sanctuary. Sure in her position in Christ, and ready for all He may have for her here at this church in the future. The enemy attempted to question every aspect of her choice and words, picking at her, telling her “she should have…” cloaked in spiritual condemnation. Yet, the more she obeyed and ask the Lord to rebuke His enemy, the peace of His presence surrounded her. 

“Praise God to whom all blessings floooww…praise Him all creatures here beeelow….the voices of the people in song flowed out from the sanctuary, inviting, loving, living, calling as Paula neared the entrance. Tears began to fill her eyes. She loved to hear God worshiped with many voices raised as one. She walked into the sanctuary, her Bible feeling like a best friend. 

♡Grace and peace in the Messiah, Yeshua♡


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