Funny, add one step to this now infamous â€˜Al Goreâ€™ headliner and you have to really think about it before it makes sense. That being said, let me explain. Iâ€™m applying this to â€œChristiansâ€ who love the â€˜get outta Hell free cardâ€™ they acquire when they trust in Christ for their salvation, but hate the, â€˜in view of Godâ€™s mercy, offer yourselves as living sacrificesâ€¦â€™ part we read about in Romans 12:1. Thatâ€™s probably because we value,
- comfort over pain
- instant gratification over waiting
- going first over going last
- being served over serving others
- rich over poor
- popularity over obscurity
- front and center over backstage
- beauty over ugly
- strength over weakness
Actually, I could go on and on with this list, but in the interest of time and ADD blog readers, let me cut to the chase. Most of us value ourselves over ANYTHING and ANYONE elseâ€¦period. But God canâ€™t work with that value system. In fact, when that value system grows too pervasive, Godâ€™s Holy Spirit is quenched, and His work grinds to a halt.
Today I read a blog on my friend, Perry Nobleâ€™s site that says it best. Read on if you want to be challenged:
Pursuing Christ Or Comfort?
What is the one thing you know God wants you to doâ€“but you constantly refuse because, in order to be obedient you would have to be willing to get uncomfortable?
Go back and read that question againâ€¦and againâ€¦and again.
There is a dangerous mindset among some Christians today, you know, the one that says that God just wants me to be happy and to live a very comfortable life (uhâ€¦how exactly does THE CROSS fit into that?) When, in reading Scripture, God is very clear that we exist for HIS gloryâ€“not vice versa. AND in trying to live a life that honors Him there will be times we are asked to get incredibly uncomfortable.
This has became very real to me lately as I am in Hosea on my journey through Scripture. Hosea was a prophet, apparently had a pretty good ministry going on, was single and, from the outside looking in, seemed to have it all together. THEN God showed upâ€¦and things got uncomfortable.
Take a look at Hosea 1:2-3. Seriouslyâ€“read those verses and think about what God was asking Hosea to do! Think about itâ€¦Hosea is sitting in his study and the Lord begins to deal with himâ€¦
â€œHosea, I think it is time that you get married!â€
â€œNow thatâ€™s what Iâ€™m talking about,â€ Hosea repliedâ€¦remember, he was a single dude! â€œI was wondering when You would give me some help hereâ€¦and Iâ€™ve had my eye on this girlâ€¦â€
â€œHosea, uh, sheâ€™s not the one for you!â€
â€œReally? Wellâ€¦uhâ€¦I guess that means you have something else in mindâ€“who is it that you want me to marry?â€
â€œA WHAT!!! God, seriously, come onâ€¦stop playing around.â€
â€œIâ€™m not playing around Hosea. You are going to marry a prostitute.â€
â€œWell at least tell me what her name is.â€
â€œGOMER!!! God, seriously, itâ€™s bad enough that Iâ€™m going to marry a prostituteâ€“but GOMER? Have I sinned? What have I done to make You mad? The bloggers are going to go nuts on this one!â€
â€œWho cares what they thinkâ€“I want to use you for my gloryâ€¦and while I know this isnâ€™t a decision that you would have came to on your own I want you to know that your willingness to be obedient and uncomfortable will result in thousands of lives being impacted for me. In fact, thereâ€™s this guy named Perry who, thousands of years from now, will blog about this conversationâ€¦â€
OK, so, I just threw in that last partâ€“but I think you get the point. God asked Hosea to do something that was unthinkable, to put his reputation on the lineâ€¦and through this a message was communicated that still rocks me at my coreâ€“all because Hosea was obedient.
I am wrestling with thisâ€¦what is the Lord asking me to do that is incredibly uncomfortableâ€“but will ultimately result in HIS glory? In the past some of these decisions have beenâ€¦
- Ending a dating relationship because I knew it wasnâ€™t what God wanted. This was HARD because I was so insecureâ€“but had I not been obedient I would not have married â€˜Cretiaâ€¦and then there would be no Charisse!!! (Anyone need to break up?)
- Surrendering my money to God. This was seriously one of the TOUGHEST decisions I have ever made. I received Christ in 1990â€¦but I didnâ€™t surrender my money until 1999. I wrestled with this because I was selfish and wanted things for myself rather than truly worshiping Him with ALL that I had. (Anyone need to begin tithing?)
- Going into the ministry. I didnâ€™t want to do this. I say it all the timeâ€“I hated church and now He wanted me to work in one for the rest of my life. BUTâ€¦I could not get the thought of ministry out of my mind and knew it was what He wanted me to do. (Anyone need to change careers?)
I could go on and onâ€¦the point is for each one of us to wrestle this to the groundâ€¦What is the one thing you know God wants you to doâ€“but you constantly refuse because, in order to be obedient you would have to be willing to get uncomfortable?
Pretty prophetic in view of our â€˜divine momentâ€™ weâ€™re facing as a church right now.
Why donâ€™t you pray about what youâ€™ve just read and then ask God what He would have you do regarding our need to â€œIGNITEâ€ as a church?
I dare you!