Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Radical? Ridiculous? Or Real?

I am sitting at the precipice of something absolutely other-worldy and completely beyond myself.

This is one of those moments that seem surreal and outside of me.

It feels like my whole life has been leading up to this.

No punch line coming. This is real.

I have themes that keep popping up in my life, and despite my best efforts to skirt around certain lessons or themes, God keeps bringing them to the forefront.

The themes lately: Obedience and Trust.

And the colossal thesis of these themes is that I lack about 99% in both of these areas.

I'm good when I'm comfortable. Right?

When everything is going my way, it's cool.

When there is resistance and things aren't skipping along nicely, I fret and panic, and worry.

And then I show that I am absolutely not trusting God.

It comes down to way more than "I battle anxiety". It's a deeper root called Distrust.

Also obedience.

Which makes me think of a dog or a naughty child.

I guess you could compare me to either.

I tend to be a rule follower by nature, but only so long as those rules don't interfere too much with what I want to do.

There is an area of my life that I have absolutely held back from God. I know that's a riot considering that God doesn't need my permission for anything.

But God does want me to be on board and He wants a willful heart.

He wants relationship with me.

And I have struggled for years to hand this certain part of my life over, give it completely to Him and allow Him to give me peace about it.

The funny thing with God is that He gives you peace that no one understands (until they experience it themselves), but you have to make the first move. You have to ask for that peace and make yourself vulnerable to receiving it.

I think about it this way: if I'm not thirsty, someone handing me a glass of water won't be that important. But, if I run a marathon in 90 degree weather, you better believe I'm going to want and need that water. I will grab it hungrily and gulp it down, savoring every single second it dribbles down my dry, parched throat.

And pigging backing on my own analogy, not only will I need it at the end of the marathon, I will most definitely need it along the way at every water stop. I can't expect to complete 26.2 miles without becoming sick or getting injured if I don't pace myself and accept water all along the route.

That's like God's peace. You don't need it (or appreciate it) until you need it. And He freely gives it all along the path of your life, of whatever the situation you are in.

But...only after you begin the journey, or the race.

So, today, I am taking that first step.

I've kicked at the dirt with this idea for a few years now. I've dipped my toe in the surf, but never  really committed.

This time I am.

I have had so many things brought to my attention to ignore it anymore.

I am all in.

I have recently given God permission to take over my whole life. I've told Him that He can have what is already His. Isn't that big of me?

Like Toby Mac says in his song "Steal My Show":

If You wanna steal my show, I'll sit back and watch You go
If You got somethin' to say, go on and take it away
Need You to steal my show, can't wait to watch You go
So take it away

I had already made this decision to branch out and live radically, put my money where my mouth is, but it wasn't until I listened to the tear strained words of a broken woman as she struggled to say that she was willing to go where God wanted her to be, even if meant her heart broke. Even if it meant a part of her was torn it two.

To say that was inspiring is a vast understatement.

Even though she sat there in her broken state, I was envious of her and her amazing, out-of-this-world devotion and dedication. She actually spoke and lived the words, "Not my will by Yours be done."

And I was moved. Terribly moved.

She's letting God steal her show. She had plans and dreams and in an instant, her life was irrevocably changed.

So, I'm letting God steal my show. Whatever that may mean and however that may look.

I anticipate it will show up in subtle ways at first. I don't necessarily foresee being asked to shave my head and move to Zimbabwe, but you never know. If that is the case, I pray and hope that my first and only response is, "Okay!"

Do you feel a tug at your heart? Do you feel like you've held back certain parts of your life from God?

Do you profess to be or want to be a sold-out Believer?

Then join me in praying for courage. And insight. And wisdom. And support.

If you choose this path, there will be many who just don't get it. Some will smile and nod politely. Others will say. "Don't you think that's a little too much?" and others will hold back nothing as they tell you how organized religion and the "church" is hypocritical and the greatest cause of oppression and brokenness in the world all you need is to be a good person and treat other the way you want to be treated..."

That will hurt and sting and make me cringe and probably even cry, but I know going in that Jesus warned we would be persecuted because of choosing to follow Him. Really follow Him.

This goes beyond going to church on Sunday, tithing my 10%, not cursing, teaching a class at church, or all the other surface things that we think ALONE make us good Christians.

ALONE none of those things mean anything.

But in conjunction with a heart that genuinely wants to serve and a willingness to be lead and to lead, a readiness to drop everything or give up anything that He asks me too--that leads down the narrow path. The path to life.

That is terrifying.

But even more terrifying is going through life sitting on my lukewarm fence and teaching my kids by example to do the same.

I welcome your prayers. And I definitely, definitely welcome you on this journey if you're feeling called.

No matter who we are, no matter what we do
Every day we can choose to say ...


My life
My friends
My heart
It's all Yours, God
Take it away
My dreams
My fears
My family
My career
Take it away
Take it away
It's all Yours, God
Take it away
Take it away
It's You I wanna live for

~Toby Mac

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