Before I begin this article, I must give a disclaimer: I am no different than any of you. I am not writing this to you but to us. What I am about to write about is difficult for all of us. There, I’ve been totally transparent with you, now I can start the article.
I want to be totally sold out for Jesus. I want to have nothing stand in the way of complete abandon in my service to God and my glorification of Him. Because of that desire, I often think of the things in my life that could be getting in the way of my relationship with God.
Last night I was listening to an interview with John Piper where he asked the question, “If I can’t ask them to be Christians in the Sudan, then how can I ask them to be Christians here?”
He was talking about the persecution of the Christians in Sudan, and how their Christianity and ours are called to be the same. People there are being asked if they are Christians. If they say “yes”, the women are raped and killed and the men are just killed. If they deny Christ, they are allowed to live. It made me think of what we are called to here in the U.S. as Christians.
What are you being called to as a Christian? Many churches teach that if you give your life to Christ then that will make things so much better. God wants you to have that $150,000 home and two cars. He wants you to live in the suburbs and achieve the American dream. After all, weren’t the founding fathers of this country Christian?
The U.S. has been blessed by God and this is a sign that He is pleased with how we live here and how well we seek Him. Really?
As I see it, the church is much stronger in countries that are poor and persecuted than they are in lands of plenty and peace. Maybe it’s not God that has blessed this nation. Maybe God is trying to get our attention through adversity rather than luxury. Maybe it would be God’s blessing to allow this country to see another depression, or worse, invasion.
When I look at my closet, I see enough clothes to have a different outfit a day for several weeks. I eat three square meals a day. I drive wherever I want to go. I have been blessed so much. But has that really made me happier? I started to weed through some of my stuff in an attempt to downsize my collection of clothes, and I found myself sentimental with these things that are mere adornments. I found myself wondering what people would think if I wore the same outfit more than once a week.
My blessings and luxury are definitely distractions to my dedication and total abandon for God.
What about you? I was reading an article just today that said there are more people with smartphones in the U.S. than there are college graduates or people speaking more than one language. I see people in line at the soup kitchen talking on their iPhone.
We are a distracted culture. Satan is good at his job. What is it going to take to get us back to where God wants us to be? I hope we are able to weed out the distractions and idols in the camp before He send us another depression or invasion.
God doesn’t want you to achieve the American dream, He wants you to have relationship with Him and glorify Him in all you do. Can you do that through consumerism? I’m not convinced you can, but I am just as guilty as anyone of being sucked into that culture.
So let’s fight this battle together. Let’s stop being a consumer culture, and let’s start seeing how we could further the kingdom with the funds we would be saving if we weren’t spending it all on ourselves. And let’s brace ourselves for there may come a time when the genuine nature of our faith will be tested.
If this article convicts you as much as it does me, let me know at http://www.mrdobbs.org. God bless you, and if there is anything I can do for you, call me at 245-1611 or email me at email@example.com.