Today, I’m met with the realization of the current condition of my heart and faith after viewing a powerful video (I’ll share it at the bottom of this).
I LIVE for my cushy comfortable lifestyle. I strive daily to keep it that way. It’s easy. I haven’t had to face persecution for my faith and belief in Jesus Christ, not really. I haven’t had to face REAL difficulty. I haven’t had to fear for my life. I haven’t had to be bold for Christ in the face of severe criticism or censure.
I may be bold in my writing, but would I be so bold if I had to actually speak to or love someone who hates me for my faith? Would I LIVE for Jesus in that moment and give up my life, or would I deny Him for my comfort and “physical needs”? My actions currently say the latter. I’d like to think I would be so bold… and I get passionate about my God when I speak to or of Him… but when I have to face something so terrifying, what would I actually do?
I live in a country where the majority of Christians just have a goal to live out the American dream. The desire and goal of our hearts are typically to get married, perhaps have a few kids, maybe a dog and cat, settle down in a decent house – with a stable job, stay out of debt. Take it a few steps further and we likely get involved in a church, serve our community, tithe regularly, and maybe start a ministry. Nothing necessarily wrong with this picture, per say. Jesus doesn’t demand a task list of specific ways you HAVE to serve Him – but He does demand our lives. But it actually says in Micah 6:8:
And in Ecclesiastes 12:13:
So this is not a debate of how a Christian should perform or look or act, every individual who has a personal relationship with Christ will live differently according to His will and guidance. I think I’m just having an Ecclesiastes kind of day though – ‘everything is meaningless’. Realizing I’ve got this “lifestyle” of mine all wrong. Wishing I could throw out all my comforts and “cush”, but fearing the very thought of it at the same time. Exposure of my heart condition… do I trust God or not? It can only be one or the other, no middle ground.
Every single day there are brother and sisters of mine who are put to death, imprisoned, shamed, beaten, and abused because they decided to follow Jesus. And I get discouraged over my puny circumstances? Every day there’s a brother or sister who might be in fear of their very life, but they choose to remain bold for their Savior and surrender to Him despite this fear… and I live in fear that someone might take something I say the wrong way, or fear that I can’t do something, or my friends may turn their back on me, or I worry about my circumstances instead of surrendering and trusting my Father… or or etc. etc.?
The true stories of believers who loved Jesus so much that they risked their life for Him and died, are beyond just “inspirational”… I’m shaken and convicted to my core, and exposed for what I really am.
I can write a good game and write a good story… a lot of people say I write well. If you’ve noticed though, my writing has gotten a bit “dark” lately and spastic, not even connecting well – or maybe that’s just me. There’s a lot going on within me. But I don’t want to just write well or express my heart in writing well.
I want to follow Jesus Christ WELL – live WELL according to HIS will (not mine), boldly, uncompromising, devoted love-slave (‘well done good and faithful servant)… I have decided to follow Jesus, no turning back. Even to face criticism, persecution, and death. I don’t know what that would even look like… so many others do though, and I take my Jesus for granted because I haven’t faced that yet. If I shrink back now because of minor discomfort, what would I do if I had to face real discomfort – persecution? If I struggle now to trust God with my life, what would I do if I had to face death because of my faith?
This can’t be a matter of my will anymore… or my desire to follow Jesus… I have to transition – forget ME, and let the Holy Spirit dwell here in my heart and life – there’s no other way for me to “control” my life and be bold. I would fail and shrink back if I am relying on my desire alone to serve Jesus. My writing this can’t sustain me or make me bold, my “personality” is the complete opposite of bold and uncompromising – so I can’t even rely on that to bring me through if I were to face death… everything I thought I once knew about my relationship with Jesus is being shifted, a breaking is occurring in my heart and I can’t control (praise God!) where it’s going. A lot of what I write doesn’t even make sense to me anymore and a lot of what’s going on doesn’t either.
All I know is this… that I can only rely on Jesus Christ and the cross. I read something in My Utmost for His Highest yesterday…
I shared that with my brother and confessed this as well – I have been so fixated on my ‘own whiteness’ for so long, interested in the ‘supposed purity’ of my own character, that I’ve abandoned Jesus for my own pursuits of pseudo-holiness. Forgetting the only perfect Person and only way to life and freedom.
So although a lot of my writing now may not make a whole lot of sense to me (or whoever may read this), for the first time in my life – God is doing something that I cannot fully explain or express. It’s something I cannot control, and I have to rely fully upon the Man that I am pursuing and surrendering my heart and life to. I’m brooding on the Cross of Christ more and more each day as a result – I have to!
Enough of my tangents though… this is one long blog, so if you made it this far – Congratulations! I would give you a high five if I could. :)
Please watch the video below.