Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Are you comfortable?


Does that word evoke a response from you? Do you like the response? Or did you cringe?

I have found that there are few things that get a response from people like discussing or proposing change. I think this is because it is in our human nature to try to get comfortable. A friend of mine so liked getting comfortable, and avoiding change, that he adopted a mantra for his way of life: "Get in a rut early."

While this may be human nature, I don't think it is the nature of God at all. And that may be one of the biggest things humanity holds against Him.

I've heard it said time and time again that God finds us where we are. That is, He doesn't require us to change and get our lives straightened out and to get all our junk cleaned up BEFORE He loves us and accepts us. No, He takes us as we are. Praise God for that!

The trouble comes in when we start to understand that He doesn't want to leave us where He found us. Se what Paul says:
So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view. Though we once regarded Christ in this way, we do so no longer. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! (2 Cor 5:16 - 17 NIV)

Perry Noble is the pastor of NewSpring Church in Anderson, SC. He has a good blog and recently posted "15 signs that you (or your church) lacks vision." Just looking at the first 4 items in Perry's list speak to the importance of change:
#15 - No one is ever challenged to radically rearrange their lives to be a part of what God is doing.

#14 - God hasn’t asked you to give something up.

#13 - Everyone in your church is perfect. (If you are truly reaching lost people then you will discover that ministry is messy.)

#12 - Nothing in regards to how you lead has changed in the past year.

You can easily take this list and move away from the church and apply it to our lives in general. What has changed in your life as a result of inviting God in? Have you given up anything or added something to your life?

I know that for me personally, this is a key part of my daily struggle. In my almost 38 years, I have found my self in rut after rut. Almost all of my own making. In my career developing software, I have often chased the goal of getting it 'just right' so that I don't have to change anything any more. In raising my kids I often get agitated because they won't do what I told them, how I told them.

For all my high ideals, I just want to get to a point of comfort where I don't have to expend much energy, physically or mentally, to enjoy my life. There are plenty of things in the world that make that hard to do. And the Lord also upsets these plans.

The Gospels are not passive in what they tell us. They are a call to action. Just like the disciples, we are called to "drop our nets" and follow. We are called to change things in our lives. Not in order to get comfortable in the world. Not in order to be accepted by a group of people. Not in order to "go along to get along."

We are called to change things in our lives because God is changing all of creation. Paul tells us about the beginning of this change:
All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men's sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. (2 Cor 5:18 - 19 NIV)

And John tells us where it is ultimately headed in Revelations:
Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away (Revelations 21:1 NIV)

He who was seated on the throne said, "I am making everything new!" (Revelations 21:5 NIV)

So now what do you think of change? I'm still scared of it at times and I still find it hard to accept or affect sometimes. And I'm praying for strength and wisdom to follow through with the changes that God is asking of me.

If you feel so inclined, please pray too.


simplyeddie said...

wow! Thanks for this, it's important for all of us to wake up to what God wants for us in our lives! This post is very similar to the latest one on my blog!