Sunday, September 25, 2016

Unusual Beliefs --> Unpredictable Results

     I was talking today with a friend, and we were discussing a David Platt quote along the lines of it being impossible to truly identify with Jesus and call yourself His without being a disciple of His. We've discussed before on this blog about Jesus' call to radical abandonment in Matthew 10 and Luke 9 and 14 especially, and so a quote like that only more bluntly sums up what we've said before.

     But in speaking with her, I was at a loss to explain what I meant at one point and finally blurted out a phrase, which we adjusted later to more accurately sum up our thought. It got me thinking all day... that the sum of the gospel, for me right now at least, comes down to "unusual beliefs that will lead to unpredictable results."

     As I process again and again (as I think we should constantly) the gospel and the words of Jesus and how they should shape and lead my life, I'm realize that what I believe is unusual and at odds from what is normal and acceptable. It's not common to say that God has claim to your life that overcomes affection, logic, and desire. It's not accepted or in many circles even acceptable to say that God owns you, that you're no longer your own, that God's foremost goal is not your happiness but your sanctification and His glorification.

     These are unusual beliefs and claims, claims that are uncomfortable to read and even less comfortable to try to get a grasp on and apply practically in our lives. It takes a major paradigm shift in order to see the world through the light of the words of Jesus in His word, and to grasp what it truly means to follow Him and identify with Him.

     These are unusual beliefs, even uncomfortable beliefs, that really threaten so many deep-seated ideas about God and even myself. But what's even more unsettling than the beliefs themselves is that I have no idea where these ideas will lead or where they will drop me at. Looking forward, beliefs such as that God rules over my life and His commands and direction are far more important than my dreams, plans, or comforts can be disconcerting.

     To realize that Jesus' call for one's life surpasses your comfort zone and maybe your dreams or desires or maybe just where you feel safe can be scary. At a minimum, it rips the safety net from beneath you and shoves you into an uncharted ocean with an unpredictable destination. You're scared to take the next step... and at the same time, you know you'll never be satisfied until you do. You're scared to death of what comes next, but you know you'll never know peace where you are.

      Unusual beliefs that lead to unpredictable results. A bit scary, mm? A little daunting, when you think about it? But doesn't it make sense? That if Jesus is really worth losing my life for, giving everything for, then He should be worth following to an unpredictable future? If Jesus' worth is what we say it is, then our response should be whole and unfettered devotion to Him, even if it means leaving predictability behind.

      He is worth it. His call, to a radical obedience, is worth it, because He is worth it. And that is the knowledge that propels us to hold Him, when weighed in the balances against all relationships, all dreams, and all desires, to be greater than all.

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