“Remember fall in Loganville, Mom?”
My son asked me this question on the way to school this morning. He reminisced about how he and his friends would go outside while the weather was perfectly warm and breezy and play football games. After I dropped him off, my mind wandered back to those days. The days of a three story house in Metro Atlanta, of 2.5 kids (my husband always makes up the difference), of one school 5 days a week and church on Sundays…the days that we lived the American dream. In my mind, it seems like such a simpler time. But memories rarely give the full picture of the internal conflicts that go on. We tend to remember in extremes…whether the emphasis is on good or the emphasis is on bad.
For a minute I was tempted to long for those days…tempted to let the thoughts roll on and submerge me…tempted to cry out for the easy. But before I could get very far, I remembered this…
And especially this…
My life 3 years ago was definitely easier. It was definitely the kind of life that all Americans would be comfortable with. It was definitely the stuff that American dreams are made of. But it wasn’t absolutely filled with the most joyous moments I have ever known. It didn’t make perfect and complete sense to me and fulfill something inside me that was always crying out. As a matter of fact, living the American dream, as a Christian, only brought me to one question.
“Is this IT?”
Where was the purpose? Where was the power of God? Where was the dependence on His Word for my next breath? Where was the LIFE abundantly? Because I had everything and longed for more…and even more than that I longed for PEACE. Sure enough, I had Jesus, but I lacked faith. I didn’t trust Him. I still spent so much of my time looking out for ME.
Our obedience to God into adoption was the first real steps of faith that I have ever taken. What I mean by that is for the first time in my life, I willingly (yet terrifiedly) walked forward into the unknown…into places that didn’t make sense. It felt like walking off a cliff…and trusting God to catch me.
It still does…
That’s the crazy thing about faith…about following Jesus into hard things. You get addicted fairly quickly. You can’t just go back to normal life after you have experienced the blessings of His faithfulness.
You want another promise.
You want to watch Him work AGAIN.
You want everyone else in the world to experience His glory.
You start walking up to cliffs and asking Him if He wants you to jump off.
My dear friends, please, I beg you. Do not settle for American Christianity…for American dreams. Chase the God of the Bible. The One who parted the Red Sea. The One who raised the dead. The One who turns ashes into beauty. Listen for His voice…
He’s calling YOU to that cliff.
You have been scared to obey. You are so fearful that He won’t catch you. You are perfectly fine where you are at. You don’t mind ONE BIT sitting and watching Him work in somebody else’s life.
But we need you. The Body needs your active part. The Church needs people of faith. People willing to follow whatever the cost and whatever the risk. You simply cannot live the American dream and the Kingdom Dream at the same time.
Last weekend, we visited Six Flags over Georgia. My youngest son wanted SO badly to get on the rollercoasters with his dad and brother. He kept walking away with them, but then coming back with an excuse of why he wouldn’t ride this time. He was so conflicted internally that you could see it all over his face the entire day. After the 3rd rollercoaster, I said to him, “Nathan, your mind is never going to tell you that you are ready. It will always tell you that ‘next time’ you will be ready. You are simply going to have to stop thinking and go.”
Some of you have heard from God. You keep doubting in your mind thinking “Was that really God?” and He keeps confirming “Yes, it’s me.” and you keep thinking that what He has asked you to do is too much…it’s too scary…yet you have this crazy desire to do it anyway. This conflict goes on inside you often.
YOU! Be STRONG and COURAGEOUS.
He who promised IS faithful, who will also DO IT.
Don’t miss Him.