Sunday, April 11, 2010

A prophet came to Paul while he was visiting the disciples, telling him that if he went to Jerusalem, the very place he was about to go, that he would be bound. If I heard this news, I would like to say I would respond with reckless abandon, following God to Jerusalem where I had just been called. But a voice in the back of my head says, "Paul, you are crazy! A PROPHET just warned you of your fate. What are you doing?!?" But Paul doesn't flinch.

Acts 21: 12-14
"When we heard this, we and the people there pleaded with Paul not to go up to Jerusalem. Then Paul answered, Why are you weeping and breaking my heart? I am ready not only to be bound, but also to die in Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus." When he would not be dissuaded, we gave up and said, "The Lord's will be done."

If you don't know the story, Paul goes to Jerusalem and does what Paul does best: gets arrested, for the glory of the Lord. Even while being arrested he gives his testimony to the crowd. It is a great story, one I recommend reading. It is one that really got me thinking, what makes a man do that? Where does he get such courage, such devotion. I love the Lord, but when have I EVER shown it in such a manner? Never, and it is because I am loving the Lord, but I am loving him so comfortably that I don't ever have to give anything up. And honestly, I have met very few who have lived in this way. I have read their stories, yes. Stories of those who are following the movement of the Spirit within them. Those who are uncomfortable with the comfort of this world. Those who would stand next to Paul meaning it when they say "I am ready not only to be bound, but also to die for the name of the Lord Jesus. The Lord's will be done."

The beautiful thing about this kind of work, about this kind of action, is that it is not actually a courage or a martyrdom of our own. As humans we do not posses this kind of servant-like heart on our own. When I ask the question, what makes a man do that, go to a city where he knows he will be arrested for preaching Christ, I already know. It is not who he is, because we, as men, are selfish and weak. It has to be the work of the Spirit within us, and the work of the Spirit, the leading and prodding of the Spirit within our lives, this work is never easy. It is work that cannot be accomplished by human efforts, nor would humans wish to put their efforts into it.

"The truth is that the Spirit of the Living God is guaranteed to ask you to go somewhere or do something you wouldn't normally want or choose to do. The Spirit will lead you to the way of the cross, as He led Jesus to the cross, and that is definitely not a safe or pretty or comfortable place to be."

Francis Chan Forgotten God

So with these truths in mind, why do we look so comfortable? If we really have the Holy Spirit living inside of us, challenging us to follow the way of the cross, why do we resemble the world. Why do the paths we take go alongside those who could care less about our savior?

1 comment:

SJL8 said...

You my dear are a beautiful writer. Keep 'em coming.