I came across an interesting article a few days ago addressing how today’s Christian is supposed to respond in our very modern and profoundly immoral world. It was a wise take on the notion of obedience , from a point of view that I could relate to. Fresh out of high school, I had one thing in mind. I wanted to be warrior. I wanted to be a planet shaker. I wanted to change the world because there were just so many things going wrong!
-POTUS and SCOTUS are making risky decisions that seemingly may have negative effects on our lives daily with misinterpretations of the laws
-Christian faith is being mocked daily
-The political atmosphere had created a negative effect on the conversations, citizens should be having
-Joblessness is a serious problem. Poverty is real and healthcare is waaay too expensive…
-Two words. College. Funds .
– Billion dollar debt that keeps on growing.. and growing…
– And last but not least my friends were acting like they had no clue.
They were too busy hopping to Britney Spears to care. I thought the world was falling apart and it was going to bust wide open! So…um yeah I had a fire, but instead it wasn’t for God –it was more like anger. I was angry that things were getting out of control. I had to do something. I had to change something…anything…I had this image of myself being so radical! I finally understood why people were storming the streets in protest everywhere. I understood the urgency that filled my ears each morning about the country going virtually god-less.
I knew enough about history that there were certainly lessons to be learned and if the changes were possible they would need to become more evident. I , a citizen of this country was going to do just that. I was going to change their minds. My first year in school I was very verbal, in my discussion boards and with my professors and fellow students. I remember sitting in church with a friend, and we had started debating something right there in sanctuary. Afterwards the preacher started to talk, but I wasn’t listening. I was angry that this guy just hadn’t seen my point on the issue.
The kicker here is that pastor started talking about the call. What we as Christians were actually responsible for.
16 Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. 17 When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. 18 Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
I had made several attempts to get people saved. In fact, there’s one experience that comes to mind, I was a senior in highschool and I had this urge to change the world so coincidentally a conversation had started about the afterlife, and death the point of going to church and right in the middle of everything the conversation had taken a sharp left turn to a discussion about being reincarnated into animals after death. I lost them, I thought. It bothered me so much, I cried because I thought I had let God down. So to make up for my mistake, I had taken subjects to win arguments for next time, I wanted a debate. I wanted a fight.
I had to make them see that they were wrong.
I had to make them see I am right.
I had to make them listen…
I had to get them to agree…
Are you seeing anything there? All of these “I ” statements. I was putting the responsibility of change on myself, on me and my abilities. I remember one day I was watching the news and I was in quite the tirade, my loving sister made the comment, “You know they can’t hear you right? I mean you are getting so worked up about these things keep in mind that it’s not heaven here you know?”
How was I suppose to respond to that? Its annoying when someone can correct you and shut you up just as quickly, isn’t it?
Since then, yes I have gained understanding on the issue and it has not blown out my passion for God. But it has renewed my thinking on the subject, what God wants from me specifically and how my passion may actually play out in my talents or gifts. I’ve learned to give my attention to things in prayer. Understanding who owns the universe, who can move a king’s heart or who knows the number of hairs on my head…understanding who had his hand on my heart and allowing for him to have control of my mind.
Anyway the point here is one thing, the big P word. P-R-I-D-E
Even though I had good intentions, in wanting to be obedient to God, my response had revealed that I had the wrong thinking. The reason why I felt so burdened with the situation is because I thought talking to people about God, would somehow make me validated in some way. I was competitive, unaware and passionate. I thought it was performance based, a big ‘ol race. I thought the burden was on me to get these people to see my point which I thought was God based and to prove why I was right…and the danger of thinking this way is that if I was right, then everyone was wrong and that almost gave me a right to judge them in a way. ….
Ah there it is. It’s about control.
After I graduated I did get the mission trip, after scrounging up money and preparing myself to go and I was pleasantly surprised. I was with like-minded people , being led by other youths and I loved it. I got a chance to meet other people. When we were out in the street ministering it wasn’t just with standing somewhere preaching or debating loudly it was through expression.
We expressed the love of God through fixing a woman’s yard, it brought her to tears.
We expressed the love of God through buying a man lunch from Burger King.
We expressed the love of God through praying for woman in the hospital and listening to her story inspired by her faith.
I finally understood it all. I was responsible for the message but not for the saving. The heart is a mysterious thing often opened in mysterious ways. For some it may be receiving Christ into their heart right away or multiple appeals being made to a person over a long period of time. Let God do the work, he is big enough and way more qualified to deal with a person’s heart, not me.
The link to the article is here:
The article concluded with this response:
“I found this very encouraging. God does not need us. When faced with this monstrous evil rising in our nation, God does not depend on us to stop it. He does not leave it in our hands or stand by helplessly as we struggle on our own. As the Scriptures above so clearly state, He is the one in control, and Him alone.
So in light of this, why are we called to obey? Why do we even bother? The answer is incredibly simple. “If you love Me, keep My commandments.” John 14:15
Obedience equals love. We obey God because we love God. Not because we need to solve the world’s problems, and not because there is this great emergency. We obey God in wartime just as we obey God in peace. Out of love for Him.”
– Jordan Chamblee, The Stand
The point of obedience:
Not because we get special awards.
Not because we get good ratings
But because we love him.
Word of the Day:
“The God who made the world and all things in it, since He is Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in temples made with hands; nor is He served by human hands, as though He needed anything, since He Himself gives to all people life and breath and all things.”(Acts 17:24, 25)