As this year began, there was a restless stirring in my soul. I couldn’t put a name to it, or identify a precise reason for it. There was just this vague knowing that God was about to do something. So I waited and prayed. The prayer that seemed to spring from my heart unbidden, with a life of it’s own, was “Lord, what do I lack?”
The days turned into weeks, and yet there was no answer. Still there was the question, “Lord, what do I lack?” As truly as the Scriptures say that He will be found by those who seek Him, He did indeed send the answer. It started with an email I received. (You can read it here)
As I read about the daily life of these believers, I was cut to the heart. I had evaluated my walk with God by comparing my life with other believers that I knew. But my error suddenly seemed so clear as I sensed the Lord saying “why have you assumed the American church is the proper standard of measure?”
I began to review my spiritual life and saw how I had bought into American church culture as normal and acceptable to God. How about this phrase……God understands that you don’t have time to pray. After all, you have:
– a demanding job
– family responsibilities
– too much drama right now
Not only have I believed this, that God would just accept whatever I felt like giving Him based on how comfortable it was for me, but I had told this to other people. But is this the way He reveals Himself in the Bible?
He didn’t tell Abraham, “I understand how important Isaac is to you. A good father should love his son intensely.” No. He said “put him on the altar and kill him.”
No gods before Me. He still means that. He still wants those Isaacs on the altar. Some of them He will give back to us. But others He will require us to plunge the knife into. The choice is His.
David said, I will not offer to the Lord that which cost me nothing. (2 Samuel 24:24). My discipleship has cost me very little.
I don’t want American Christianity. I want radical, authentic Biblical Christianity. Discipleship is being redefined in my life. It is a journey into reality. I expect that it will be revolutionary.
And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers. Then fear came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were done through the apostles. Now all who believed were together, and had all things in common, and sold their possessions and goods, and divided them among all, as anyone had need.
So continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they ate their food with gladness and simplicity of heart, praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved. Acts 2:42-47
This is so true! God wants everything to be cleared from our hearts except for Him.
You on fire Jesus freak you….. go get’em girl!
I love 2 Sam. 24:24 because it reminds me that although salvation is free, discipleship comes with a tall price. I like that you mention how sometimes God gives our Issacs back to us, but ultimately that choice is His. The challenge for us is to put Issac on the altar as if the grace and mercy of God weren’t even an option. Put Issac there to die and if God returns Him so be it, but if we put Issac there expecting God to spare us we defy the meaning of surrender (“relinquish possession or control over”).
edit to last sentence: Put Issac there to die and if God returns Him so be it, but if we put Issac there expecting God to give him back to us we defy the meaning of surrender (”relinquish possession or control over”).