Throughout my next six months in Spain, I will be updating you with the growth, healing and desire that is taking place in my heart… this is the beginning of that journey.
Before I dive in, let me start by saying that I do not think everyone needs to escape to a different country in order to realign their lives/relationships/faith, but I believe I did.
The book that I am currently reading is Crazy Love, written by a pastor out of southern California named Francis Chan. Here is an excerpt from a prayer that I wrote at the end of the chapter I read today, which was titled, “Serving Leftovers to a Holy God”: Forgive me for being halfassed in my movements and halfhearted in my intentions. Burn in me a fire that is not quenched by money, food, relationships, opportunity, laziness or pain, but refine me to trust that You will supply my need!
On top of this prayer and my confessed forgiveness to the Lord, please let me confess and ask forgiveness to you, my family, friends and peers… So many of you are supportive of my vision[s], dream[s] and calling[s] and I am sorry that I have halfassed and halfheartedly pursued my ability to impact a community. Laziness has overcome me, along w/ a cheapened expression of praise and obedience to the God who created me, gifted me and saved me. If I am honest with you and myself, a large portion of my laziness is due to pride in my gifts and abilities, because I know I able that tends to be enough, which is pathetic and disgraceful.
The one thing that Chan wrote, which spurred this prayer and personal examination is this: “Following Christ isn’t something that can be done halfheartedly or on the side. It is not a label we can display when it is useful. It must be central to everything we do and are.”
In the middle of this chapter, Chan encouraged his readers to put down Crazy Love and explore the Gospels in order to read and experience Jesus’ seriousness when it comes to those who claim to be united with Him. Within chapter 12 of the book of Mark, the religious leaders [pharisees] are trying to catch Jesus in a trap regarding taxes [for full context read Mark 12:13-17] and as the pharisees approach Him [Jesus], one of the men says, “Teacher, we know that you are true and do not care about anyone’s opinion. For you are not swayed by appearances, but truly teach the way of God.” The thing that struck me about this expression is that the religious man who is speaking is lying, not because the statement is false, but because he is trying to flatter Jesus in order to sway His answer. The arrogant pharisee is telling Jesus things that are true about Himself, something that all Christians are guilty at one time or another… We blow smoke up Jesus’ hind end in order try and sway His answer to our prayer or direction for our lives [before you try to cover your nose w/ brown and act holy, think about this… the times that you [and I] have proclaimed true, glorifying statements about our Savior in hopes that He would work something in our favor].
I would really like to focus on this statement that the arrogant, pompous, religious leader makes…
Teacher, we know that you are true and do not care about anyone’s opinion. For you are not swayed by appearances, but truly teach the way of God.
Even in their ignorance, they hit the nail on the head… And this is my God! So many of us put on the facade of “not caring about anyone’s opinion”, and really it is the opinion of others that drives our lives, clothing, material possessions, “faith”, extra curricular activities, etc… Dang, am I guilty of this. As I stated in the beginning, I do not think that everyone needs to be extracted from their daily lives in order to experience what I am experiencing in regards to clarity, however, I believe that God did pick me up and move me from everything comfortable in order to place my heart and eyes on the things that are glorifying to Him, and to that I say, Thank you, Lord… for caring more about my heart than You do my comfort.
I hope you were able to see yourself in my confession… dive in to the Good News and read for yourself what Jesus wants from our lives, not your church, friend group, denomination, ministry, etc… but what Jesus wants from us and you will gladly find that He is jealous for our attention and wants ALL of us. The Creator and Savior of your soul longs for you… yes, YOU.
The title of my blog is Live.Pray.Cuss.Fight.Talk.Heal.Love and I will be experiencing and sharing all of these with you over the next six months. Thank you for living along side of me.