Monday, 13 August 2012

why radical life?

During the lecture phase of my Discipleship Training School we daily had incredible speakers teaching us about a variety of topics. Some of which were:
God's Nature and Character.
God's Intention for Individuals, Peoples and Creation.
God'w Redemption: Sin and the Cross.
God's Family: His Children & His Church.
God's World: His Call & His Commission.

But one of my many favourites was being challenged by Jeff Waalkes to "live a life of radical obedience". This was week 2. It became a theme for the rest of our school. And became a personal pursuit for me.

Its so easy to become caught-up in the mundane. And even easier to think that is what Christianity is. That maybe, following God is boring, because:
"we have to be good"
"we have to follow the rules"
"we cant' be controversial... because that could cause offense, and people may not want to be a Christian then"
"what I really want to do, is not Christian enough, and God wouldn't approve because its not being a insert ideal Christian career here."

But the incredible thing that we must remember, is who God is. He gives us the grace we need and the help we need to "be good" through the fruits of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23) that we have every access to, because the Holy Spirit lives within us. We don't need to worry about "the rules" because the law was fulfilled on the cross. The only "rule" we have is to LOVE (Galatians 5:14).

Frankly, being controversial comes with the call. Jesus was super-controversial. He was constantly being confronted by the religious leaders of the time, who were infuriated by the freedom He was teaching. Paul says in Colossians 1:25:
"I have become its [the church] servant by the commission God gave me to present to you the word of God in its fullness."
The word of God is controversial to the world that we live in. Because the world we live in, is a fallen world. God's word is everything that is good and perfect, so when you act and speak from the Word, it creates change, and not everyone is going to like it! But we all are commissioned to present the fullness of God's word. So go ahead. I (and more importantly, God) give you permission to be controversial. As long as everything we do follows our only "be good" rule, which is to do everything in LOVE. 

Now the last 'concern' we have, is that God doesn't want us to 'live the dream'. That is a horribly large lie. God knows you. Perfectly. He made you. He knows, and placed the deepest desires of your heart, IN your heart. 
1 Chronicles 28:9"And you, my son Solomon, acknowledge the God of your father, and serve him with wholehearted devotion and with a willing mind, for the LORD searches every heart and understands every desire and every thought. If you seek him, he will be found by you; but if you forsake him, he will reject you forever."
Psalm 20:4
"May he give you the desire of your heart and make all your plans succeed."
Psalm 37:4
"Take delight in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart."
Psalm 40:8
"I desire to do your will, my God; your law is within my heart."
Do you see? God wants to give you the desires of your heart, and He knows what they are. It says he "searches every heart and understands every desire and thought." He cares. His request? "Take delight in the Lord." And there is a bonus here! If you trust in God's will, that He only ever has the very best for you, knowing your desires (because remember, He searches them out) than you naturally desire to do His will. His will is perfect, and it only brings the best about in your life!  
And we know that in all things God works together with those who love Him to bring about what is good with those who have been called according to His purpose. - Romans 8:28
So, radical obedience. Right? The questions I discussed, at least for me, are the questions that can keep me from being obedient to God. They all stem from a lack of trust in Him, and belief in His character. I could have said them this way instead:
"Jesus dying on the cross did not fulfill the law. I still have to."
"I have to perform for God, or else He won't like me anymore."
"I'm more afraid of what people think about me, than doing what God tells me to."
"God doesn't love me enough to give me my heart's desire. He will test me by putting me in situations I don't like."

Being radically obedient, means that when God says "go", I go. When He says "stay" I stay. When He says "wait" I wait. etc. 
But my response, is not just in response to a command. Its a response, out of love knowing that He loves me and has the best for me. That by responding to His will, only the best things for me will happen. That makes life exciting!!! I get the gaurantee, that only the best things, determined by the creator of the Universe, will happen in my life. IF I obey.

Think about it. 

Then? Just say "yes".

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