We continue to work to downsize our firmly middle class American life. God has revealed to our hearts the wastefulness and selfishness of our lifestyle. Things just accumulate. Life rolls on and memories and stuff pile up around us. So I spend time each week sorting through the things in my home. I am slowly but surely eliminating what we possess. Lightening our load so that we may be more useful to God’s kingdom.
This is certainly a season of preparation and waiting. Waiting for our next orders. Waiting for God to show us when to move and what we are to do next. Preparing our bodies, our hearts and our home for His use.
I have noticed that we have become very comfortable in this house. Over our 26 years of marriage, we’ve lived in this house longer than any other residence. It in many ways has become home. Yet, should the Lord call us out of it, I know that I must be willing and ready to follow Him.
Comfortable Christianity is the equivalent of lukewarm Christianity.
I had a discussion recently with a friend of mine who served with me on a short term mission trip this month. She stated that for our brothers and sisters in Christ who have much less than we have, and who suffer more than we do, they seem to have a deeper walk with Jesus than we have. Their faith is firm and their joy is deep. She reminded us that our faith grows most when we are in seasons of affliction and trial. Yet often, we do our best to avoid such seasons.
I was reading in 1 Corinthians this week where the apostles willingly followed Jesus into such seasons:
For I think that God has exhibited us apostles as last of all, like men sentenced to death, because we have become a spectacle to the world, to angels, and to men. We are fools for Christ’s sake, but you are wise in Christ. We are weak, but you are strong. You are held in honor, but we in disrepute. To the present hour we hunger and thirst, we are poorly dressed and buffeted and homeless, and we labor, working with our own hands. When reviled, we bless; when persecuted, we endure; when slandered, we entreat. We have become, and are still, like the scum of the world, the refuse of all things. (1 Corinthians 4:9-13 ESV)
Now who in their right mind would volunteer for that?! Those of us who truly follow after Jesus Christ!
Each of us who receives a call from God, must be willing to obey that call, regardless of the cost to ourselves. This is on the surface a scary proposition, but in reality, walking in obedience brings blessings of a sort that the world does not recognize! And walking in disobedience causes us to walk out from under the umbrella of protection that God offers to those who walk closely with Him.
The bottom line question is, “What do you want?” Your own way or God’s way? His way is always better in the end.
I want that deeper walk, that deeper joy. I choose Christ over stuff; blessing over disobedience.
Lord forgive me for my past decisions that so selfishly centered on my wants. Help me to let go of these things that weigh me down so that I can take up Your best for my life. Reveal more of Yourself to me so that I may share it with others and walk into even deeper waters of faith for Your glory! Amen.
What is God preparing you to do? What are you willing to let go of in order to follow Him?
Listen well. Be ready and willing. Be encouraged. Press on.