“You have your heads in your Bibles constantly because you think you’ll find eternal life there. But you miss the forest for the trees. These Scriptures are all about me ! And here I am, standing right before you, and you aren’t willing to receive from me the life you say you want.
John 5:39-40 MSG
Could you ever imagine that Jesus would warn us about having our faces in our Bibles or our bottoms in the church pews?
The truth is that it can be dangerous if our spiritual acts merely become a part of our daily religious routine.
Years ago I spent so much of my time in the church and in the Bible. My commitment was sincere and for better and sometimes for worse it consumed my life.
I was working with the youth of the church and my desire at the time was to make "full-time" ministry my career, to make it my life's work. But circumstances and reality forced me to seek secondary employement out in the "scary/dangerous" world. It was not the glorious, saintly job or future I had envisioned for myself. Actually I viewed this as a demotion, a step backwards, a lose and a waste of my time to be doing mundane work when God had better things for me to do in the ministry.
But as I began to work outside the church and socialize outside of the safety of it's "four walls" and the security of the church I realized that this is actually where Jesus was! I wasn't living my life to its fullest or allowing my life to be intertwined with others when it was limited to just those within the church.
My face was in the Bible, my bottom was in the pew but I was missing out on opportunities to see Jesus at work in the world. "Here I am, standing right before you", but you are overlooking me because your head is in the clouds, or the Bible or church, Jesus seemed to be saying to me.
This reminds me of when Jesus talked about when we are helping quench the thirst of the thirsty, giving food to the hungry, clothing the naked, giving a bed to the homeless, and visiting the sick and imprisoned, that "Whenever you did one of these things to someone overlooked or ignored, that was me—you did it to me".
It also fits in with a lyric from the band King's X that went:
"I had to run,
I had to hide,
In the world outside.
A better chance,
If God is everywhere"
If you want to see God at work in the world around you then He is out there to be found in the eyes of the hurting, the hungry and the homeless. He is present in your interactions with co-workers and He is there in the midst of your social interactions within the "four walls" wether it be a church, a restaurant, a bar or a living room.
Don't let your religion become religious, don't let your faith become a part of your routine. If it is alive and real, then take it with you wherever you go! And for goodness sake, Go! Get outside of everything that is comfortable and safe to you and experience life.
You will find God there!