Lately the Lord has been teaching me to find Him in all things. Movies, songs, billboards, and other things as well. Here is what I’m learning about myself. God is always speaking, but I am infrequently listening. David says in Psalm 16:8, “I set the Lord always before me.” The Lord has challenged me to set Him always before me. This means that I see Him in everything! Fortunately for me, I grew up in a home that was absent of the religious spirit so this was not difficult for me to receive. It’s been a glorious challenge and I have found that He is revealing Himself more and more everyday. Since I have accepted this challenge from the Lord, He has used several different means to communicate to me, including: Jack Sparrow, Blink 182’s drummer, and most recently, donkeys. Yes, you read that correctly – donkeys.
My parents were recently given two miniature donkeys to go along with their other not so miniature donkey. Something my parents have quickly found out about these two little ones is that they constantly get out! They have found any and every hole in the fence they can fit through and even some that they probably shouldn’t have been able to fit through. They have relentlessly found ways of escape. This is incredibly frustrating. As my mom began to tell me about this the other day, we both got the feeling that there was something to be learned from this escaping donkey fiasco.
Many of you are trapped in a cage by the spirit of religion. There are religious people around telling you to worship a certain way, dress a certain way, and conduct yourself in a certain way. You are stuck eating the same dead grass over and over again, only looking over the fence to see the glorious temptation of open pastures and trees. I have an announcement for you. You were born for the wilderness! You were born for adventure! You were not created to be stuck in religion’s cage. Yahweh created you to be wild but religion is trying to domesticate you. Do not allow yourself to be tamed!
Here are three things that these little donkey’s have taught me about refusing the cage of religion.
“The Father craves something wild!” – Damon Thompson
1. You will find a way if you are hungry enough.
One of the motivations for these donkeys to escape is hunger. They are tired of eating the same thing over and over again so they want to get out. If you are hungry enough, you will make a way. You will find a hole to fit through. You will find a way to feast on what your heart desires. Some of you are so hungry for the things of God but religion has told you to calm down. They have told you that you don’t need all of the extra stuff. Some of you have settled for only the small portions that a Pastor has been feeding you week after week. If you are hungry enough, you will find a way to get to the deeper things of God. You will find a way to escape the cage of religion.
2. You will find a way if you are curious enough.
There seems to be a real child-likeness in these little donkeys. There is a curiosity that is driving them into exploration. They are not content with only seeing their side of the fence. They want to discover what else is out there. Some of you desire to find out what God really has to offer. You are curious to experience God for yourself. If you are curious enough, you will find a way to explore it. You will find a way to experience what God is truly like.
God will always reward a curious explorer with enticing discovery.
3. Others will follow you.
One of the things that has been really interesting during this is that once one donkey gets out, they all want out. Once one of them finds a hole to get through, it’s almost inevitable that the others will find the same hole. Your discovery of a deeper place in God will actually blaze the trail for those who are around you. If you escape, you now have authority to provide a means of escape for others.
“We go deeper in God when we go together.” – Mike Bickle
I am talking about not settling for less than what God has to offer. I am talking about not being content with what a mere church service can offer. There is something far better on the other side of that fence. Now don’t get me wrong, I value church. You see, the fence that the donkey’s are in provide safety for them. Also, they have a guaranteed supply of food inside of that fence. Church is a good thing! But settling for only receiving from a Pastor once a week is to allow yourself to be trapped by the cage of religion.
God has so much more but you have to be willing to find a hole in the fence! You have to be willing to get to the other side in order to truly experience and encounter the Lord. We must be a people that pursue God in secret. Let us be a people that long for the wilderness, knowing that this is where Yahweh encounters His people. Remain wild. Remain peculiar. Remain in the wilderness.
“To have found God and still to pursue Him is the soul’s paradox of love.” – A.W. Tozer