If you have been reading along the past couple of months, you know that I have been praying about how God might be moving in my life and the life of my family. You know that I have waited with anticipation, frustration, excitement, and disappointment – depending on the day of the week, and sometimes even the hour in the day.
I am tired of just “doing church.” I want to see Christians “being the Church” to the world around us. I want to engage with people where they are. I have been part of the ivory tower of Christianity my entire adult life. The majority of my working life has been spent at denominational entities on the state and national levels. I speak Christian-ese fluently, and I can give you a pretty good summary of the history of the Southern Baptist Convention and our core beliefs.
And, I am finding that all of that knowledge leads to a land of not very much.
7 has been a God-ordained moment for me.
Every chapter has blown me away. Here is a woman who is railing against the machine of “the way we’ve always done it” in seven different areas – and not only is she railing, she is actively doing something about it in her own life. But it was chapter six, in which Jen tackles the excess in her life, that I began to really sense God working on my own heart.
What if we are actually called to a radical life? What if Jesus knew our Christian culture would design a lovely life template complete with all the privileges and exemptions we want, but even with that wide-spread approval, He still expected radical simplicity, radical generosity, radical obedience from those with ears to hear, eyes to see? (p. 160)
I am currently re-reading the entire book, and trying to work out exactly what God is saying for my life, but I am praying for the courage to change – even if I am the only one doing so. You see, we (meaning myself, my church, Christianity in general) have become those who “serve the saved.” We (I) don’t live a radical life of obedience. We go to church two, maybe three, times each week, get our fill, and go on our way without any thought to how our lives measure up in obedience to Christ’s commands to love our neighbors, minister to the hungry and hurting, and share the gospel with those who need to hear it.
We don’t see the New Testament church hoarding the feast for themselves, gorging, getting fatter and fatter and asking for more; more Bible studies, more sermons, more programs, classes, training, conferences, information, more feasting for us. At some point, the church stopped living the Bible and decided just to study it, culling the feast parts and whitewashing the fast parts. We are addicted to the buffet, skillfully discarding the costly discipleship required after consuming. The feast is supposed to sustain the fast, but we go back for seconds and thirds and fourths, stuffed to the brim and fat with inactivity. All this is for me. My goodness, my blessings, my privileges, my happiness, my success. Just one more plate. (p. 173)
I am tired of being a bloated and over-stuffed Christian. Pray with me as I work out what God is doing in my heart. I am longing for more of Him.