"LUKEWARM PEOPLE are moved by stories about people who do radical things for Christ, yet they do not act. They assume such action is for "extreme" Christians, not average ones. Lukewarm people call "radical" what Jesus expected of all His followers." p. 71
I think we've all been there at some point in our lives. Maybe we've listened to a missionary share his experiences on the mission field, or heard about a woman that walked away from the riches of corporate America in order to follow Christ. The examples are endless. There are a lot of people in this world that have done "radical" things because of their faith in Jesus. But, it begs to question what we consider to be radical. When I looked the word up in Webster's Dictionary, I found two definitions of interest. One of the definitions is representative of what many of us have come to understand, or interpret, as being radical: extreme. However, what I found incredibly fascinating was that the very first definition was this: of or from the root or roots; going to the foundation or source of something; basic. Well now, isn't... that... interesting! I don't think I need to connect the dots here.
Many people look at my life right now and think that I'm a little radical. And if I'm honest, I'd have to admit that a few years ago, I would've looked at the decisions my husband and I are making now and probably think the same thing. But here's the difference: the reason I would have thought it was radical then is because I was no where near as close to God as I am now. Scripture says that as we draw near to Him, He draws near to us. As this happens we are transformed. My life is proof of this. I used to think that I had to do "radical" things in order for God to move in me... like I had to prove something. And without exception, every time, it felt unnatural, forced, insincere. And I'm sure that it came across the same way. But, over the past year, I have worked really hard to completely submit myself to God's will... which isn't easy at times. But He has not forsaken me. He has held me in His precious hands and molded me in a way that has forever changed how I think, how I speak, how I respond...who I am.
Last night I did something I didn't think I would ever do in a million years. A friend of mine and I are leading a Bible study this summer. The concept of the study is that we look at what Scripture says about our identity in Christ; who we really are as followers as Christ. Then we literally take it to the streets. We met with one of the elders of our church and he sort of showed us the ropes. He walked around with us, meeting people in one of the most undesirable locations in Portland... a lot of drugs, a lot of crime, a lot of lost souls. We met a man from Darfur and prayed with him...right on the street. We met another couple that didn't want us to pray with them right there...but told us it was okay to pray for them as they walked away... and we did. Then we came across this guy in his 30's, standing on his doorstep. We started talking to him and about 30 minutes later, we were still talking to him, and by that time his roommate was involved in the conversation... a conversation about God. These guys weren't Christians, but they were still willing to talk and that's what we did. It wasn't about standing on a street corner with my Bible, talking about the rapture...which I'm ashamed to admit was what I always associated with "street ministry." This was about connecting with people. It was about truly believing, for the first time in my life, that what God has done for me, is worth being shared with other people...not out of duty or obligation, but out of a genuine desire to love others.
This morning, I was listening to a podcast while running at the gym. I wanted to share a segment of that with you today. It starts at 19:18...and I'd like for you to go all the way to 25:42. Pay special attention to what he says at 21:20. (And by all means, watch the whole sermon in its entirety, if you want!)
His Faithful Servant~