Being “invited…” Not being “invited…” Bears some weight in life, doesn’t it?
I’m learning something these days about the meaning of invitation- in spiritual terms… but from my natural world in the wedding business as a Coordinator.
I get to go to TONS of weddings… One every, single weekend. But for some of these, I may just feel like a total wedding crasher. Why? (You may ask)… The reason is that for each wedding that we have here, I may or may not be the paid Coordinator. I may be part of our maintenance staff. The reason is that, I wasn’t actually invited by the hosts of the wedding.
Sometimes the difference in how it feels though, is just real.
I live in a large community of people- Fredericksburg, VA. No, it’s not a big city… but it’s a small city with a lot of “county” and in that, a lot of people who see each other at common places of gathering. This means, that we ALL have a LOT of acquaintances.
The thing that becomes challenging (for me) is when one of those people get married. I don’t know what it is, or why… but ever since I was a child, I have LOVED weddings. I think I probably wanted to be an official wedding crasher- since I was a kid as one of the only things I would do with my life. (Exaggerating slightly… but no, the sense there is strong.)
So, recently, the brother of a friend of mine got married. I’ve “known” this guy for over 10 years (as far as I can guess)… and you know what? I wasn’t on the guest list for his wedding… I was bummed. No, I didn’t go home and cry a river over it. But, my heart hurt a little. You know what I mean?
As I said before… (and stick with me, this has a MUCH deeper point to be made very soon) weddings are my passion- so to “know” someone personally and not be invited was tough. Really, it seems so childish and silly… but I’m certain that SO many of us go through this.
On the flip side… As a Coordinator, when I’m hired for my services- even if I just met the people two weeks prior to their wedding… I become part of their wedding world. This includes their stress, their organizational skills (or lack there-of), family communication dynamics, family relationship dynamics (which are always interesting), human dynamics (reading people’s body language and looking for cues). People that I just met learn my name and I get to lead them as a group for one day. It’s a pretty phenomenal thing to experience.
When a close friend gets married… I feel the joy, the passion, the beauty, the story of two lives becoming one… I take it to heart. I live it. I appreciate it. There’s a sweet, sweet feeling in celebrating major milestones with people- especially when they’re people that we hold dear. Especially in the realm of the real and important thing called “Covenant.”
So here’s where the reality of invitation comes in. .. And get ready- this is about to be deep.
In our lives, spiritually speaking… there are “things” that in a moment we can invite into our lives and allow them to “take residence” or “take leadership”…
This is called a spiritual invitation.
These can be emotions (or spirits) that lead to depression, suicidal thoughts, alcohol excess, unhealthy relationship patterns (these are SO tough to discern!!), lust, materialism, haughtiness, pride, financial irresponsibility, gluttony, homosexuality, sexual immorality (of any kind), gossip, slander, jealousy, envy (ouch, ouch, ouch… I’m convicted as I type this!)… Believe me- the LIST goes ON for a little while.
So, I use my life as a Coordinator to illustrate that in a short period of time- I can go from being a total stranger to people- to being all up in the nitty gritty of their reality. This is all done by means of legal authorization. In my world- it’s a contract. In the spiritual world it’s something a bit different.
Here’s the point. Jesus has called us to a world known as “invitation” and through this world- the greater world of “fellowship.” This is why He says that light can’t fellowship with darkness. Darkness just does’t comprehend light! Light and darkness are like oil and water… They separate and go to two opposite poles. Have you ever met someone that you thought was attractive, but just knew it couldn’t work out because there was something moving you away from that person? Like, something deep in your heart? This has to do with light and darkness.
He has given us (if you are a believer in Him and love Him)- FULL access to invite Him into our everyday reality— through His Holy Spirit (which IS Him- but the Spirit, not the physical).
When we invite His Spirit into our lives, we are able to commune with him- or talk to Him. He can take over- in every situation. We want Him to take charge. We want Him to have full control of the wheel. Not that we’re drunkards (or maybe we do and it’s time to stop), but He HAS to have control in our lives. Why?
Because He is EVERYTHING good! He is EVERYTHING wonderful. He is ABLE to do far more, exceedingly and abundantly than we could wish, think, or imagine! Why would we want to be in control of our lives, when we are SO limited in what we can do without Him? You may be an over-achiever, but you sure as HECK can’t out achieve the LIVING God.
On the flip side, if we have invited (through giving emotional or mental permission) negative thinking (manifest in any of the things I mentioned before), or “sin” into our lives… These things have legal access to control our very beings. This is bad folks. This is NOT the way you want your life to go. It will cast shadows on your life; every relationship will be harmed if not destroyed and things will not go well with you. I (just like many of you), have learned this through taking the hard road… I’ve learned this destruction- up close and personal. I’ve lost friends… I’ve lost loved ones (suicide)… And you know what? I’m worn out from it. I’m tired of it. I’ve had enough. I want all of this OUT of my life- for GOOD.
This is why obedience to God is VITAL in the Christian life. Just because you’re “saved” from hell doesn’t mean that you’re walking in a “right spirit” (as King David cried out after his fall into adultery).
Just because we’re saved from hell- doesn’t mean that we’re always walking in a right spirit.
Just because we know what’s right- doesn’t mean that we’re walking it out in the manner in which our Messiah showed us. His ministry and our ministry is mercy.
But, this is the kind of mercy that stands firm in truth- without yielding to deceptive spirits in our generation and without yielding to even ancient man-made traditions that don’t actually reflect the Jewish Messiah and His tribe. This is the kind of mercy that holds the line of “righteous judgement”… but draws a firm line in the sand- preventing condemnation- YET tells us to “Go and sin no more.”
So, I desire to urge you onto the right kind of invitation and the right kind of rejection. Let’s start rejecting these sin issues and literally closing the door for legal access- kicking Satan and our own negativity to the curb! To the person reading this now, you are the ONLY person who can do this for yourself. Holy Spirit will help you. But no-one else on this planet can help you with this (ultimately… I’m not saying they can’t walk you through it- but the conviction must come strong and it must be kept by yourself only). You have to do this on your own.
Keep choosing to close those doors and keep CHOOSING to invite ALL that is good, holy, blameless, and right into our lives- via Holy Spirit. This way, legal access and everything that we are will be able to fully reflect Him and His leadership skills. 🙂
I need Him.