7.05.2011

Obsessed with Jesus: obedience vs. status quo



This quote is particularly convicting to me, especially when read along with a few passages from scripture. I encourage you to read Luke 14:25-35; Matthew 7:13-23; 8:18-22; Revelation 3:1-6. Something that has just been eating at me and really causing me to evaluate what I am doing with my life has been this thought...

If someone who doesn't really know me well, an acquaintance, were to look at my life... would it look any different at all from the world? Would there be a difference between my life and the life of an unbeliever? If this acquaintance didn't realize that I go to church on Sunday's and say grace before meals would there be anything else to indicate that I am different? My hope and prayer is that the answer is yes. That everything in my life is affected by my relationship with Jesus Christ. But, it causes me to as a few questions (of myself, and of you)

  • Is there any difference in the way we dress because of our love for God?
  • Is there a difference in the way we spend our money because we love Jesus?
  • Is there a difference in what we watch on TV, read in books, and look at in magazines because Christ reigns in our lives? 
  • Is there a difference in the way we spend our "down time?" Are we spending time in prayer and worship with our Lord, or are we squandering away those precious moments in front of the TV or computer screen?
  • Is our "standard of living" different because we follow God's commands or are we living large with all the latest gadgets and appliances, eating like kings, dressing like royalty, and hoarding like we preparing for a hurricane while most of the rest of the world lives in extreme poverty with only the clothes on their back and no clue when their next meal will be?
I don't ask these questions in a self righteous manner because I am asking them of myself! When I do, I see that I have plenty of areas in my life that need to be changed by the Holy Spirit. I am motivated and convicted by the words Jesus spoke to the crowds that were following him,

"those of you who do not give up everything you have cannot be my disciples." Luke 14:33

I don't know all that this implies for my life but I do know one thing - everything... absolutely EVERYTHING in my life must be on the table for God to do with as He pleases and if that means He wants to take it all away, or He wants me to give it all away then so be it. John and I have been praying about this more intentionally and one thing keeps coming to our minds. When I pray about this passage I get a picture of my garage and my attic. I picture them both as they are - overflowing with "stuff" that doesn't fit or go in the house. Stuff that is not needed. Stuff that we just didn't want to get rid of but that has absolutely no purpose in our life other than taking up space. Then my mind immediately goes to a city in Ethiopia. I picture the people I met there. I picture the lowest of the low in that city sifting through the trash dump for "treasures" to sell or things to eat. I am ashamed. We have recently decided to go through everything in the garage, attic, and we will either throw it away, donate it, or sell it so we can use the money to advance the gospel throughout the nations. 

I don't tell you this to be admired or to say "look at us and what we're doing!" On the contrary, please don't look at us! We mess up daily... no, look at Jesus!! Look at what he commands and how he lived his life on earth! I tell you this to show you how far we really have to go in our walk with God, and also to share some practical ways that we can move toward obeying God's command to give up everything to follow him. 

Please watch this very short clip from a sermon Francis Chan gave. It is an incredible illustration of these truths... 

What is God showing you through this quote and the scriptures that go with it? I'd love for you to share in the comments how God is working in your life and maybe even some practical ways we can apply these truths t o our daily living...

6 comments:

Jim and April said...

I was just reading through Crazy Love again this morning, reading all the parts I underlined last time I read it and I read that exact quote you mentioned above...love it! great post!

Betsy said...

I've been following your blog for a couple of months now, and just want to say thank you for the encouragement and inspiration that your posts constantly bring. I'm 25 and single, but my heart has always (since childhood) been burning with a desire to adopt children one day. It's so helpful for me to read firsthand accounts from fellow believers about the whole process.

This post hit home for me. It's something that I've been having an internal debate about for the past year or so. Thank you for sharing! And God bless your sweet family :)

Tracy said...

Lauren, GREAT thoughts!! We are leading a small group studying Radical and I am hit with the exact same thoughts...we have to change! Thank you for sharing!

Charissa Steyn said...

Thank you for this beautiful post! I love the quote from Francis Chan. My hubby and I are in the midst of hearing from the Lord about where and what he's calling us too - it's scary, unknown, but so worth it!

carissa said...

so good. again, i must read this soon!!! i can't watch the video (no speakers) so bummer! i was just reading David and Goliath to my Hunter and thinking about how absurd David must have sounded to everyone saying he was going to kill Goliath. oh me of little faith! it's so important to please God and do things HIS way!

Ela-Aña said...

Thank you sooo much for posting this. I am brought to tears because God convicted me through this article. I realize just how selfish I can be and that I don't need most of the stuff that I think I do. I, just like a nonbeliever, have a tendency to hoard unnecessary materials and complain when things don't go my way while people in other countries don't know where their next meal is coming from. Thank you for helping to open my eyes to the sins that I am guilty of.