Monday, August 31, 2009

Faith + Hope + Love

It's the title of the latest Hillsong CD and it's more than good. It is an expression of the heart of the church and the life that it has created in people.

Today, as I stood and sang songs that have been born out of this house, with so much passion and fullness of life, all I could do was say 'thank you'. While sitting in the service, I was just struck with an incredibly deep love for this church, and for the 'house of God' on a global level. It took me back to when I was saved, at a young 17, and the church that I then called home for the next 8 years. It was then, during those first, intoxicating months of knowing Christ and His church, that I remember a deep love and passion beginning to develop in my heart.

For some reason, through the good and the bad that has happened in my 9 years of knowing Him, God has just rooted such a firm love for His house in my heart. At times I thought that I have hated it, I hated the hypocrisy and falseness that dwelled in what seemed like every corner I turned to, I hated the way the leaders treated me and didn't speak life and truth, but lies that fed my insecurity. I despised the way that we as servants, were treated more like slaves for 'his namesake' and I envied the leaders that were getting all of their hopes and dreams fulfilled when all I could see was them having the behaviour and personal skills of a six year old.

But even throughout all of the hurt and pain and what I saw, I still, for some reason believed that the church was Gods answer to a hurting humanity, and that, maybe oneday, other people would see it that way and start standing up to the responsibility that we, as Christs body, have to this dying and lost world. I thought maybe oneday, that the church would look beyond its four walls, look beyond its 'incredible' leaders, look beyond prosperity and blessing to see something so simple...a world in need of faith + hope + love.

Without faith, it is impossible to please God, without hope we have no expectation of good for the future, and without love, we lack the fundamental need of all humanity. We not only need these things, we were created to live and breathe and function out of these things.

To me, Hillsong is a place that continually challenges me to rise up and live out of this 'faith+hope+love' life, a place that has no constraints or limits to who God is and what He can do. A place that is so expectant for good to happen in my life, in the life of my friends and family, in this city and in this world. There is such an incredible atmostphere of God being BIGGER than any circumstance or situation and I love it.

I more than love it.

God doesn't just love the church, He can't, or not in the sense that we know love. If He were to love church like I love chocolate and ice-cream, then we may as well pack up and forget about it, give up. I will abandon my love for chocolate and ice-cream when I get diabetes, or when I decide that I need to eat sugar free, or when I am just bored of it. But God will not abandon His plan for His house, for His people, for His name to be exalted far above all.

See, God more than love's His church, and I think that I'm beginning to see it in a new light, in His light, and I think that I'm beginning to love it in a way that can never be explained by our word 'love', or probably ever explained. It is deep rooted, and it is profoundly breathtaking in the way that it has captured me.


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