Thursday, January 25, 2007

"Asleep in the Light"

Apologies for the delay in posting a new entry on this blog. I've been pondering a great deal lately, but the vast majority of that is simply not suitable for the content of this blog. However, there are a few brief comments I'd like to make.

As an aside before I begin, I'd simply like to note that this blog will shortly be hosted on my own personal website, though there's nothing yet to see there (I'm currently designing it). Don't worry, this link should still direct you there, even once the transfer has been made. I think you'll enjoy the look of the new website, though the look of this blog will remain the same, at least initially.

The first is simply on the notion of serving God. We were challenged tonight by our speaker at Paradigm to consider what giving our all really means. This is something I've been praying about a great deal recently. He noted that, while not all of us are called to go overseas, all of us are called to go. Among the many principles God has been working in my heart in the last several months, one is precisely that notion that we are all called to go. Too frequently I hear members of the church use the excuse that they simply "aren't called" to go; or that they witness with "relational evangelism." Don't get me wrong: I'm all for relational evangelism, and I'm also well aware that some people aren't called to go overseas. However, when relational evangelism becomes an excuse for laziness or fear when it comes to sharing the gospel - and that happens a lot in evangelical circles today - then it is inappropriate. Of course, true relational evangelism takes a lot of courage; what is being referenced in this case is typically instead a sort of institutionalized apathy that people can now label relational evangelism though it in fact bears no relationship to the real thing. That saddens me, and it breaks my heart.

There is an old Keith Green song titled "Asleep in the Light," and I think he hits it on the head when he notes that the church has been given so much, but - despite the overwhelming needs right in front of us - all too often Christians can't even get out of bed (metaphorically speaking), much less go share the Gospel. This apathy disgusts me, and it disgusts me the more so because I see it very strongly in myself. I have to consciously discipline myself to be active in sharing my faith with those around me, because if I am not, I simply don't. I have to discipline myself to actively pray for those who need salvation; for revival to come; for the effectiveness of missionaries on the field; for financial needs to be met; for God to be revealing Himself to peoples who don't know Him. If I don't actively pursue all of those, I simply don't do them. I'm lazy. So is almost all of the rest of my generation. As Dr. Strauss wisely put it to me a few days ago, "Your generation understands the need, but is too attached to its material comforts." He's right, and he was also right when he later noted that his generation is much the same. We want people saved - but not if it requires our being uncomfortable, certainly not if it requires true hardship or (heaven forbid, we say!) persecution or death. Truly, ours is a fearful generation.

And that attachment to the material expresses itself in many ways. We do not give financially, either. Every missionary effort in the world could be fully funded, and every starving person fed, and every naked person clothed, if the American evangelical church tithed, and the money was used wisely, rather than for the material aggrandizement of the congregations in question. The fact that that does not happen should break our hearts. It should break my heart, and while it sometimes does, it sometimes doesn't, and that too breaks my heart. Jesus Christ gave His all. He deserved our all even before that; how much more so now? We need to be willing to sacrifice everything, up to and including our lives, our friends and family, and all our desires, for the sake of His glory, for the sake of making Him known to the nations.

Another thing I've been led to meditate on of late is the overwhelming supremacy of Christ's actions as compared to any other event in all our history. It is so very easy to become comfortable with the notion of all that Christianity entails. Yet if one stops to truly consider the reality of what happened 2000 years ago... it ought to drop us on our face, to be honest. Most of the time, we breeze right by it, as if it were of little consequence. But God Almighty became a man, lived on this earth, suffered, and died the most inhumane and painful death imaginable, culminating with His separation from Himself as the ultimate punishment for our sins. For my sins. And the fact that I can think on that without having the overwhelming desire to simply prostrate myself before God tells me just how fallen I still am. When we truly stop to consider the incredible magnitude of what He has accomplished, we cannot but be humbled. It is only as we come to that point of true humility by understanding our own worthlessness and His worthiness - and that He has granted us that worthiness - that we begin to truly be able to know Him and the magnificence of all He has done.

It is my prayer that as you think about any and all of what I've written, that you will be challenged at least a little in your faith, and that you'll have an ever-increasing desire to pursue God wholly, laying down everything of yourself for Him. I pray His blessings and His peace be with you all.

- Chris

1 comment:

  1. I appreciate how your heart peeks through your posts.

    I'm struck by similarities between your views and mine.

    I see these various blogs which seem to be women of faith holding each other up, connecting in web rings and chatting with each other...

    We men tend to have solitary blogs.

    I'm not suggesting men should do what women do... It is just an observation.

    But is seems lately I have come across a few Christian men, bloggers, who have some things to say.

    I suppose it's time men stand up. Too often the women are the spiritual leaders.

    Well... I'm rambling. My coffee is done now and I'm off to the church to pray.

    I liked reading this post.


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