Archive for the ‘Hard Choice’ Category

To divide something is not necessarily difficult. It’s easy with numbers, but when it involves the heavy stuff of living like God wants…well let’s just say, it’s gonna test everything in you.

Take Psalm 86:1-11 for instance. David recognized his poor and needy heart even while working at getting it right with God. He really trusted God, talked regularly with Him and believed God was listening to him. He even concluded in verse 10 that God alone was God. But in verse 11 David asked for the unthinkable- “…give me an undivided heart.”

What really proves that you have an undivided heart? Is it that you block out a couple of hours on Sunday for God time? Or how about opening the Bible at least twice last week?

WHAT THIS MEANS: What focus in your life would your friends say is the “real you?” What do you talk about more than anything? What do you think about when you jump in bed or crawl out?

DISCIPLESHIP THOUGHT: Becoming a maturing disciple is accomplished only by relentlessly eliminating distractions that trap us in mediocrity. Check Haggai 1:7 “…Take a good. hard look at your life, think it over.” Message translation.

There is nothing worse than repeating over and over the same thinking, patterns of response or lifestyle choices that always end up leaving us defeated. We say we want it to change and we think this time we mean it but…

What is harder for you to think about changing? Consider Luke 6:1-11. The disciples having learned from their religious teachers that some things were illegal on the Sabbath, must have wondered where this was going to lead to as Jesus began to break these rules. The religious leaders were torqued about it for sure. You had to follow the rules. They were comfortable with not having to think about the “why” of these rules and just did them. It was easier to do it this way.

Jesus always disrupted the laziness of coming to conclusions without really thinking about what was really on God’s heart or what his intentions were. Jesus knew his life would be a challenge to almost everyone he met but he also knew it was the right way to do life. He longed to bring freedom to the religious and non-religious but he knew that pain would have to be introduced into the equation. He knew people would have to come to a place of wanting to know the truth more than the traditions they were following.

It is possible to have a very intimate relationship with Jesus and it is possible to have the kind of connection with other followers of Jesus that resembles a close knit family. But the pain of not having either or both must become severe before we will change our inadequate and incomplete experiences of the Christian life most of us know.

Every public place has an exit sign somewhere in case of some kind of potential danger. We don’t always look for the exit sign but we know it is there and are thankful there is a way out if there is a fire or something else that might happen to cause us to want to leave.

I find it easy to talk about following Jesus, having a radical faith or being a revolutionary like Jesus was during his day. But, I seem to always have several well marked exits just in case my lifestyle gets too challenged. If it requires “too much” financial investment, time that cuts into some ingrained routine I love, giving up my personal space, having to come clean rather than hiding a recurring thought, willing to live in a small minority with what I believe God wants my life to look like, eliminating living with “want” rather than “need” defining my purchases or requires an absolute commitment to putting others best interest ahead of mine, I too easily look for an exit.

This exit is a rationalization that more often reflects the Christian or secular culture. When I know I will probably be misunderstood by either of these groups, I can choose an exit so as to not stand out too much as radical.

In 2 Timothy 4:10 a man named Demas is mentioned as being in love with the world and abandoning Paul. Demas may have started out well but never completely made the break from the lifestyle that contradicted Paul’s and Jesus’. Their understanding of not being in love with the world seems incredibly too radical to be taken seriously thought Demas, and he saw an exit sign and went that way.

Psalm 73:25-after saying that only God mattered, David said “…nothing here on earth’s worth a second view.” The Word on the Street. What a challenging place to be in life. What a challenging trip to get there.

So, what will God have to bring into your life and mine in order to bring us to a point of making an absolute decision to live the life we were intended to live? God is always for us so he never gives up on us.

Dangerous Bonus Thought: 1 Corinthians 15:34