Sunday, February 26, 2017

Let's Get Uncomfortable, Church.

I've been called a lot of things in my life, but today I am going to focus on a select few in the same category (or we could be here all night...ha!). Let's go with "obsessive" or "over the top" or "extreme." 

But you see, while those are generally meant in a negative way, I no longer view them that way. You see, I spent 8 months learning to love myself, and, more importantly, learning to see myself as Christ sees me. So instead of clinging to those words that have been said to me in my past, I now know that I am extremely passionate and that is just part of who I am. I cannot do anything half-heartedly. 

Now, I have learned to say "no" when I need to and I have learned my own limitations and how to take that passion and channel it into the avenues that God calls me to. Nevertheless, my personality remains one that is "all-in" and I hold strongly to my convictions. The funny thing is, when I embraced myself as being passionate, I noticed that I started to hear that word more than those previously mentioned. God purposely created a passionate heart within me. It may come off as radical or extreme to some, but I'm okay with that. 

You see, Christ died a horrible death on a cross for me. Despite my countless mistakes and all of the times that hatred, resent, dishonesty, and so many other things have found themselves in my passionate heart, He still gave His life for me. That in and of itself is pretty radical. And I have this radical belief that to give Him anything less than all of my life, my heart, my soul, and my passion would mean that I wasted the time He has graciously given me here on earth. I can think of nothing worse than to one day reach the end of my life and think that I spent my life as an armchair activist who never stood to my feet to go.

Here's the thing, church. It's easy to become an armchair activist in the day and age of social media. It's easy and much more comfortable to sit behind the screen of a computer or phone and say we believe all of these things and say that we care, but if that's all you do, you are wasting your time. I'm sorry to be blunt, but at this point in my life, I've stopped wasting time beating around the bush. I also don't want to reach the end of my life and look back to think "well I had a lot of fun and I really enjoyed my life" and that be the end of it. Because quite frankly, who cares how much fun I had, how great of a mom I was, how much I enjoyed my life if I did not actively work to advance the kingdom of Christ. Those things are great and I am not knocking that at all - we have a lot of fun at our house - but when life revolves around self-gratification for someone who claims to follow Christ, a point has to come where priorities must be evaluated.

Here's the thing...following Christ...truly following Him is going to require sacrifice. It's going to take faith and trust. It means that people will think you are radical or extreme. They will criticize you for various reasons. They'll try to talk you out of the things that Christ has called you to do. One thing I have learned as a momma, is that for our family to follow Christ, our family has to make sacrifices. And let me be honest...it's not easy for me to make a decision that means my daughters will have to sacrifice even when I know God is calling me to it. My natural momma instinct is to give them the world and never make them sacrifice a thing. But that's not Biblical.

The truth is, it's not easy. The truth is that I have thought about calling it quits on some things this week that I knew God was calling me to. But I know it's no coincidence that we had Global Impact Celebration at our church this week where we work to encourage missionaries, but wind up being more encouraged by them. And then on Friday, God blew me away by going above and beyond anything I dreamed of to provide for needs and to confirm some paths for our family.
In Matthew 28:19, Jesus says: "Therefore, go and make disciples of all nations."

Let me emphasize that word "go." We hear it a lot, I know, but I want you to really think about that word and what it means. He didn't say to sit around and wait for hurting hearts to come to you. He didn't say to hang out in your recliner behind a screen and hope someone else does the work. He said GO.  That doesn't necessarily mean He has called you to international missions, but maybe He has. But what it definitely means is that if you claim Christ and you claim to know and follow Him, you are absolutely called to actively serve other people somewhere. Whether you go to China or you go to the homeless shelter in your city or wherever God has placed you and burdened your heart, you are called to go. If you don't know where God wants you to serve, get on your knees and ask Him to burden your heart because I promise you He will. But don't take that step unless you are willing to stand to your feet and go where He burdens your heart to go.

Church, we have to stop being lazy. We have to stop waiting and assuming that someone else will do the work. We have to stop looking out only for ourselves because that's less risky. We have to go and serve and tell and that's going to call for sacrifice and vulnerability. Don't think you're too messy. I'm the girl in the Southern Baptist Church covered in tattoos who has quite a messy story to tell. Here's one thing I know for sure: God takes messes and turns them into ministries. You just have to be willing to go.

Let's get uncomfortable, church.
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