Have you ever felt really convicted about something? You know that feeling you get when you read or hear something that just makes your stomach drop because you know that you’re being called to do something different. Well I’ve been getting that message for the past few weeks and I love/hate that feeling. The sinful part of me hates that I am called to grow deeper and press in to God more but my spiritual side is excited to be growing!
I believe that God speaks to us in the way best for us. I happen to be a more visual learner and an avid reader so I gain a lot of insight from the written word. Other friends are more auditory and sometimes “hear a verse”, etc. I have been focusing on growing more and as a result have branched out my reading. I stumbled across The Circle Maker by Mark Batterson and it challenged my prayer life. I believe in the power of the prayer but it’s one of my weaker areas. This book stretched me and got me thinking about ensuring my praying life aligned with God’s will. Then I discovered David Platt’s Radical, which has turned my world upside down. I couldn’t get enough of the book. It talked about how the American dream competes with what how we’re actually called to live. What have you always wanted? What dream are you chasing?
I chased the American dream once. Dollar signs in my eyes led to an eighty-hour work week, promotions, an ulcer, strained relationships and bone deep fatigue. God called me to surrender that and I found myself giving up the corporate life to teach English in South Korea. I expected to feel regret and experience ridicule and I did a little bit. I regretted spending so much time on work that never ended. I had a few people who thought I was nuts to pack up and go but most people thought it was amazing. Most people don’t want to be in the rat race – they want out but they’re not willing to give up the lifestyle. I’d be lying if I told you it didn’t hurt but God is so good and always provides.
I decided after reading this book that I wasn’t doing enough so I decided to go on a social media and television/hulu/Netflix fast for thirty days. It’s kind of sad how much I miss watching television. With time on my hands I read more (this is all in addition to the Bible which should be our sole source of truth) and discovered this neat guy called Francis Chan. And he talked about giving up things and truly practicing what we read in the Bible.
I was getting uncomfortable. How about you? Then I remembered this quote:
And it really made me think. People talk about Satan but we don’t really talk about his strategies. If you’re lukewarm and not on fire for the Lord and living out your faith, then Satan’s not too worried about you. He just needs to make sure you stay comfortable. You see, it’s when we’re comfortable that’s when we settle. It’s when we’re comfortable that no one call tell who are Christians and who aren’t. It’s when we’re comfortable that we just skim along. We might go to church and read our Bible, post a FaceBook status about being #blessed and pray but we’re not going to actually do anything. We don’t want to be pushy so we’re not going to talk about Jesus with any nonbelievers. We don’t want anyone labeling us intolerant. We’re not going to tithe because times are tough, or if we do, it’s the 10% and not a penny more. God understands. And He does but that doesn’t mean He approves.
Would someone looking at you know that you’re a Christian? Probably not. What if they heard your words? Do you sound any different from a nonbeliever? What about your relationships with people – do they look any different? What about your giving habits?
If we’re honest most of us have areas that we need to improve upon. I don’t want to live the American dream if it conflicts with God’s teachings. If He calls us to take care of the widows and the orphans and the poor, I am going to figure out where I can help. If He calls us to serve and put others first, I am going to do my best to follow that because I’ve learned that what I really want is to serve God.
What area of your life do you think you need to change? What have you always wanted and does it conflict or complement your faith? Do you have any suggestions on how we can grow more like Christ in such a worldly place? Please comment below. As always, we love hearing from you! ❤