Sometimes I think God requires brutal honesty and candid transparency of His people. When people have the courage to be real, others can joyfully watch God’s power and transformation as He orchestrates it. This blog post is in simple obedience to what I feel God has been churning inside my heart as He continues to work on me (oh, and can I just say— I’ve got a long way to go!)
A recurring theme in the church I attend has been a call of urgency for Christians to get off the sidelines and get involved in going, serving, and living the Gospel. Being that I am a busy parent of four little ones, an entrepreneur, and I’ll admit a bit self absorbed in my own little world it’s easy for me to hear such messages and contemplate what the “bare minimum” is that would be pleasing to God. In other words, how much serving God do I need to fit in my schedule and finances to be obedient? I’ve always felt that answer is a bit relative to the individual– you know, certainly God understands my circumstances.
In recent months, God has literally been chipping away at this theory of mine. Not in so much an overwhelming sense, but quite consistently the message that has resonated is: “I don’t simply want your money, time, or any other resources you have. I want your heart. All of it. I want to consume you. I want to be your priority. I want you to put me in the rightful place as: Lord over ALL of you.”
There have been times I’ve tried to hush that persistent voice. Other times, I’ve tried to run from it…. but I know God is pursuing me to surrender fully! You see, there is a problem, a monstrous problem if the only difference between me and unbelievers is that I attend church, put money in the offering, and try to be morally responsible. Tragically, many Christians live their entire lives in this complacency without really even understanding that they are missing out on something.
The truth is one cannot impact the world until God makes them radically different. God has been convicting me that in the past the only obvious evidences of God in my life are found within the parameters of church. As the blinders continue to come off, I have become aware that my sole purpose is to bring glory to God, and sadly, I’ve wasted many years not getting the point.
I’ve had this book on my bookshelf for a few months that my mom gave me that I have intentionally been avoiding (Radical: by David Platt) My reasoning: It’s about missions and giving your life to God with reckless abandon. I actually didn’t want to read it. Honestly, I’ve been one of those Christians that really doesn’t have a huge heart towards missions and would rather be wrapped up in my little bubble in the United States. I try to do the minimal giving to the poor, especially on the holidays when I realize how fortunate I am in light of the poverty even surrounding us in the U.S. You know Toys for Tots, serve for Thanksgiving meals, etc, etc. But when you talk about poverty around the world, starving children, human trafficking, people living without clean water, preventable diseases, etc– I have found it is easier to look the other direction. You know, pretend they don’t exist and stay unattached emotionally to limit my responsibility and obligations for such occurrences globally.
Well, after my husband came home last Sunday asking me if I’d consider a missions trip he is taking in November, I decided I’d read the book. I haven’t been able to put it down! I actually took it to one of my races this weekend to read while waiting on my award post race, and a girl in her twenties approached me and said, “That book…..will wreck you…” She then proceeded to tell me a beautiful story about how after she read it two years ago God gave her a heart for people internationally, she took a few short term trips, and is now moving next month to Ecuador for two years!
As I sat there after she left, I smiled. You know, honestly, if I’m going to be wrecked, I’d rather be wrecked for Jesus more then anything this world can offer me! And, the truth is, this world, this American culture is wrecking all of us. We easily become consumed with possessions, our own family, dreams and desires, chasing money and consequently waste our precious years of life on earth selfishly. Our culture distracts us all from our God given purpose on a daily basis. So as I sat there I said, “Okay God…go ahead and wreck me. Seriously, wreck me for You!”
This book has been an amazing no-nonsense, no excuses slap to the face for me (only half done as I write this) I have never felt so convicted from anything I’ve read besides the Bible itself. Now, let me mention, that I don’t necessarily agree with some of the extreme examples in the book, but I can tell you, I wholeheartedly see where much of my attitude has been so incredibly wrong. God has just literally broke my heart over it the past few days! My eyes have been opened wide to what a fool I’ve been! Seriously….. Real seriously.
Now, I still don’t know if I’ll be going on that missions trip or not…only God knows. There are many practical reservations I have about timing, especially with our kids, businesses, and the concerns of both parents being gone at the same time. However, I can say, my “yes” is genuinely on the table for a short term trip though and soon. If not this upcoming one, hopefully I’ll have the opportunity within the next 12 months. I know God is doing some phenomenal in my heart and I am willing to be: Radically wrecked.