Ever have one of those days? Weeks?
I know that part of it is due to the fact that I am not sitting down and having some quality time with God. I ended up getting some of that yesterday when I decided to focus on Matthew 24.
In particular I focused on this chapter of the bible in part because of some things I have been thinking about as it relates to discipleship and mission trips (part of the words God has put on my heart). I know that God has been putting it on my heart that I should be going on a mission trip, but another part of me feels I would fail miserably. Don’t get me wrong, I know that if I allow God to direct my words, I will be fine. (Notice that ugly word “if”) It’s just that I don’t feel capable. I don’t feel ready. I don’t feel like I have been a “good enough Christian” to make a difference.
I mean look at my own life – there are people in my life who I care for who don’t even believe a single word that has been written about Jesus. If I can’t open THEIR hearts, how can I open someone ELSE’S?
Then I pulled out my tried and tested excuse that my house is my mission field right now. All my friends nod their head in agreement. I hear things like “You are right Michael…” “No need to go anywhere when you have a mission right at home, Michael.” As I pray about this, I really feel that the home faith situation is probably something I should not be handling. Rather I should be allowing God to handle it through people He feels are more capable. But, I want Him to use me in this particular situation. Maybe that is why I continue to fail. In short, this isn’t something He has put in my path to do.
As I move on with this discussion with myself, I read a paragraph in one of Francis Chan’s books. He basically laid this question out there – “If you choose to obey Jesus’s call to follow, what might it cost you? My answer – my comfy life, my house, my job, and my life as I know it. My comfort zone. Wow. It immediately became obvious to me that I am holding up another god before my God.
Not fun to admit. In fact, I hate to admit this so publically, but that is the first step in figuring out the next – admitting that I am struggling with all of this.
Then I read some more. “Why is it that we see so little disciple making taking place in the church today? Do we really believe that Jesus told His early followers to make disciples but wants the twenty-first century church to do something different? None of us would claim to believe this, but somehow we have created a church culture where the paid ministers do the “ministry” and the rest of us show up, put some money in the plate, and leave feeling inspired or “fed.” We have moved so far away from Jesus’s command that many Christians don’t have a frame of reference for what disciple making looks like.”
Finally I settled on Matthew 24 – Jesus predicts the destruction of the Temple. If I care for everyone, I would be sharing with them who God really is. I should do it without hesitation. I should do it biblically. I shouldn’t be so timid. I just kept reading:
Matthew 24:14 “14 And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.” and
Matthew 24:36-41, “36 “But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son,[f] but only the Father. 37 As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. 38 For in the days before the flood, people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day Noah entered the ark; 39 and they knew nothing about what would happen until the flood came and took them all away. That is how it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. 40 Two men will be in the field; one will be taken and the other left. 41 Two women will be grinding with a hand mill; one will be taken and the other left.”
I just keep thinking – Will I be the one taken? Did I share the story with other man? The other women who wasn’t taken? Did I take it to the ends of the earth? Or, was I just one of the millions of church goers who walks away feeling inspired and “fed” only to return to my old ways and habits during the week?
These are all questions that I hope will help me grow in my faith. I am not beating myself up, rather I am using this time to grow and become a stronger, more knowledgeable Christian.
What about you? Any thoughts?