Finding my passion has been on my heart lately. More than once in the last couple of weeks I’ve been asked the question “who do you want to serve in ministry?”. “Who do you have a passion to reach with the message of Christ?” I’ve been praying about it because each time I’ve been asked that question, I’ve been stumped. How can a man with a passion for service, a guy with a fire in his belly to spread the Gospel, be stumped on such a basic question?
At the moment of my salvation I knew I wanted to spend the rest of my life sharing it with others. But who?
The impact of salvation was undeniable and almost immediately colored every aspect of my life moving forward. Some things changed forever in that moment, many others have been a process of reflection, conviction, and a steadfast desire to change. But regardless of the velocity of growth, my heart was renewed and the callousness of antipathy fell away like the scales from Paul’s eyes. So changed was my vision of life and everyone in it that I felt then, and continue to now, a compulsion to share this message of hope.
The Christian life is often reduced to the so-called “fire insurance card”. This is the Christianity I once knew. Say a prayer, try your best to follow some arbitrary rules, and in-turn, stay out of hell. At various times I would either subscribe or reject it. Yet, when Christ invaded, conquered, and infused my life with himself, that whole lie became repugnant. It is a distortion, that I believe, the enemy and our own sinful and often lazy natures have perpetuated. It robs us of what a real relationship with Jesus is all about.
Christ asked his followers to leave everything and follow him. They had to turn their backs on their old selves walk in a new direction. Sure, there was much talk about a future in paradise and the agony of separation from God, but on an immediate level, there was a life changing turnaround. “Leave that, and come to this”, seems an appropriate summation. We don’t see Christ telling his followers to change first and then follow, but the process was inevitable. Spend anytime with the creator of the universe and change is bound to happen. The same is true today.
Mark Beeson often refers to the idea that if we walk in one direction we will end up at a certain destination and if we change directions, we will end up in an entirely different one. Jesus said “turn away from that path and follow me down this one”. He didn’t say “just hang out over there and come visit me every now and then”. It was radical and complete.
God craves relationship in the here and now. He is always moving and for us to be a part of that relationship, we have to be on the move with him. My heart aches for the stagnant. My stomach is sick for those who, exactly like I did, have compromised a truth full of richness for a cheap plastic version.
God’s grace is all encompassing. It is freely available for all. Nothing we can do will ever influence that. It is absolute and perfect love on every level. This gift is given in order to motivate us into relationship with Him and others. When we neglect it and fail to turn and walk with Him, it cheapens not only the gift but also our view of the giver.
We are called for radical transformation to initiate radical transformation in the world. We cannot be lukewarm and radical at the same time.
Lord, light a fire in my heart. Let that fire engulf the lukewarm areas of my life. Send your Holy Spirit to fan those flames, burn away the callouses, and reignite our desire for relationship with you. Speak to us and through us, to further your kingdom. Teach us to love as you love, give as you give, and serve as you serve.