We are 18 months into this church planting journey. A journey that truly began with a broken pastor thinking and eventually crying out, “It is not supposed to be this way.” I really didn’t know how true that statement was until I was reading a great book entitled Redemption. I saw in scripture exactly what I had been feeling in my heart. It is not supposed to be this way. I was serving Christ but I had become jaded by professional ministry and looking at the church from a business perspective rather than her eternal purpose. Everything in me cried out, “It is not supposed to be this way.” Reading Redemption and the biblical account in Genesis 1,2 and 3 it clicked. In the past I had resisted the idea and declaration, it is not supposed to be this way as my own hurts and hang ups but finally I saw I was right. I was affirmed that it is truly not supposed to be this way. When God made Adam and Eve they experienced perfect shalom, which means peace. They were at peace with God, creation and each other. It was perfect the way it is supposed to be. But sin entered int the picture and radically changed everything leaving them and us to cry out, “It is not supposed to be this way.” Deep down in our hearts we know it is not supposed to be this way. Our hearts cry out for the shalom/ peace we as mankind once knew. Peace between God and man. Just reading this biblical account and taking into consideration that creation itself knows it is not supposed to be this way gives me a sense of shalom. Thanks be to God as soon as Adam and Eve knew it was not supposed to be this way God preached the first Gospel in Genesis 3:15 promising that once again we could have perfect shalom. Before we can experience it sin had to be dealt with and Jesus Christ’s arrival, life, death, burial, and resurrection defeated our three greatest enemies satan, sin, and death. Through faith in Jesus Christ we gain peace between us and God. The Bible teaches us that before we turned to Christ we were enemies of God and objects of wrath. However, through faith in Jesus Christ objects of wrath become objects of affection and we regain the shalom our hearts have been crying out for. Not yet perfect shalom not until the return of Christ but a shalom that passes all understanding even in the midst of trials and life’s storms. Our hearts cry out, “It is not supposed to be this way.” The Holy Spirit confirms it and comforts us by saying it doesn’t have to be this way and it sure doesn’t have to stay this way. Jesus can change it and restore the shalom that we seek. I know this to be true because I was done with the church proper, not God’s people just the “corporate church” which is no church at all. Just my opinion, Whatevs:) I knew it wasn’t supposed to be this way so I stepped up to the plate and out in faith and trusted Christ with the whole of my life. The shalom I felt was like nothing I’ve ever felt before. My wife and I were driving home from Ocala when we made one of the most radical and faith filled decisions we had ever made in our lives. It had the potential to break us but we looked at each other and said, “I have never felt such a peace like I feel right now.” We both laughed and cried and said, “This is amazing! There is no way we should feel this peaceful and calm right now in the midst of this storm but we do.” It was then that I knew I was right, it wasn’t supposed to be this way and God was about to show me just what it could be like. God gave my wife a saying as we planted City on a Hill Church, “We may not be everything we’re gonna be, but we are everything we’re supposed to be.” With that statement came the freedom to boldly and unapologetically say, “It is all about Jesus, it has always been about Jesus, and it will always be about Jesus.” 18 months into the journey I feel the same way. I love the church and I know we can’t change anything from the outside in it has to be changed from the inside out. Abandoning the church isn’t the answer becoming the church is the answer. My life has been one big Bible story the past 18 months and my level of peace has been at an all time high even in the face of heavy adversity God’s sovereign hand of favor, blessing and protection has rested heavily upon COAH and my life. Reading that book redemption along with the Genesis text really helped me understand the shalom I seek isn’t of this world or in this world. ore importantly it helped me to help others to see the same truth. All of creation cries out to be redeemed. Our city needs Jesus like never before. We need Jesus! To quote a Christian rapper friend of mine we need to, “Love my Jesus like old ladies playing bridge, want my Jesus like I’m gong for the fridge.” It is not supposed to be this way! Now we know it what are we going to do about it? The first step is peace between God and man through faith in Jesus Christ. The next step is living out our faith in a world full of choices. Jesus set things right and he has asked us to do the same with the help of the Holy Spirit. the next time you hear someone say, ‘it is not supposed to be this way.” Affirm them, tell them they are absolutely right and then share Jesus with them. Be encouraged!
Not the Way It Is Supposed to Be