Wednesday, October 19, 2011

"Starving Jesus: Off the Pew, Into the World"...

  Every once in a while I have these grand moments of clarity where everything just seems to make sense and I realize that life just isn’t about me.  It’s like for that all too brief and fleeting moment I get what the writer of Ecclesiastes was saying when he penned “Meaningless Meaningless everything is meaningless” and I understand that in light of eternity the only things that really matter are the things I’ve done for God.  I guess that’s why I resonate so much with books like “Starving Jesus” by Craig Gross and JR Mahon (which I completed reading today).  Books like theirs remind me that my faith isn’t just something I talk about; it must be something I live….day in and day out….and ultimately what matters most in life is not if people like me, if I’m comfortable, if life is good for me, but rather if I gave my life…my all…for the one who gave His all for me.
  Craig and JR start a conversation in their book about the fact that the church has lost its fire…it’s full out commitment to Christ. They talk about how we are more concerned with what people think about us and the idea of offending anyone, than we are with the heart of God.   In their words…. “The church has lost its outrageous edge.  Period…  Today, outreach is safe, with nicely contained events controlled by the politically correct.  We have become a church chained to itself”!  Ouch!
  Their book is a challenge…a challenge for the church to get off their butts and start being the hands and feet of God!  They talk about how God has called us love one another, to care for the poor, to visit the sick, to feed the hungry…and that in doing so we are being the “body” of Christ.  Yet too often we sit around debating  motives, talking about how faith isn’t social service, waiting for the right moment….all the while starving “Jesus” who is out there in our neighborhoods, our work places, our lives waiting for us to show them the WAY!
  I would like to say that my life is a great example of Jesus.  That my relationship with God and my ability to walk out all that He has called me to is not hindered by anything….but that’s simply not true.  I let so many things stand in the way of the life I know I could have with God.  I let worries about what people will think of me and how things will work out hinder me.  I let fears about not being smart enough or trained enough get in the way.  I starve Jesus by making life about me…..when it truly should be all about HIM!
  But what I am learning as I continue to seek God and surrender myself to all that He is, is that God doesn’t need my great abilities, my perfect leadership, my well thought out plans….He needs my heart and my willingness to say “Yes” to Him no matter where it may lead.  God doesn’t need us…He chooses to use us and “when you act out your faith….it produces fruit that you can touch, eat and share.  From nothing stems something…this is how God gets it done”.  This is the kingdom…and this is how God can take what is so “meaningless” and turns it into abundant life!

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