Presented by Pastor Steve Shields at Curwensville Alliance on 10/29/2017
On October 8, I preached a sermon about the different between contractual faith and covenantal faith.
Contractual faith is superstitious, ritualistic, controlling, and fear-based. Covenantal faith is loving, relational, peaceful, and trust-based.
Click the image above for that podcast.
A week or so later, Kelly, a woman in the congregation, sent me this message in response to that sermon. She graciously gave me permission to share it, in the hopes that others might find what she’s found.
Today I am so thankful for your sermon the other week on responses to fear and a mechanized religion. I have often prayed out of fear and my own anxieties and rituals that I could blow your mind with. For every bad situation life brought to me or a family member, I would add that to my daily sometimes quadruple daily prayer. It became so ritualistic that at times I think I really didn’t have any other communication with Jesus.
After that Sunday at church I really started, at age 38, to talk to Jesus like a friend. Like he was right there. I have felt so much peace over the past few weeks.
Then yesterday I get that call… Mom has fallen and has broken her shoulder. Immediately I get this awful feeling, an indescribable guilt… a voice saying, “Kelly you didn’t pray for the ‘no falls” thing you always pray. Mom fell because you didn’t say it out loud. You always say that prayer and for the past 2 weeks you didn’t and this is what happens….”
I almost gave into it. In fact I immediately prayed my prayer… the hurried “dear Jesus, please protect my family from automobile accidents, any kind of accidents, murderers, burglars, rapists, stalkers, kidnappers, gunmen, and shooters. Please keep us safe from all kinds of sickness, illnesses, falls, burns, fires and storms.” Also I would add any other new anxiety that came to mind that could harm me or my family!
So I start saying this prayer that I’ve prayed since age 14 or 15 and I get to the falls part and I heard another voice. Not the Kelly voice of a kid who lives in fear and anxiety…it was a mighty voice. A voice that I have probably blocked out all of these years and missed out on… a voice of a father who can, with one touch of a hand, calm you.
He said, “I already got all of that. I have you. I have your family. Talk to me.
What? So I did. In my car I let it all out again to my friend.
I cried. I wailed.
Then I laughed. I laughed at my sad little religion that I had made, when all of this time it’s so simple. God is for me. He is for my family. He has this. He isn’t going to prevent disasters from happening.
And he will be there for when they do happen.
That first voice that Kelly heard was one she likely heard years ago from the enemy of her soul.
The podcast here speaks about who the enemy is, how he wants to damage us, and how we can stand against him.