Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Let's Get Radical!

Familiar. Natural. Comfortable.
I like things that are familiar to me, that feel natural, that are comfortable. Who doesn't?it makes you feel safe and secure, it isn't it fun to feel the opposite if that is it? 
Familiar. I am currently writing this in the car, headed home to Ohio from a long weekend with my family in Indiana. I loved being home in good ol Warsaw, Indiana. It's familiar to me. The back roads, downtown businesses that I used to frequent, the parks, walmart. It's like I never left it's all familiar and makes me feel safe and content.

Natural. Things that feel natural to us are things we do ever day without having to think hard about it. Driving, going potty, sleeping, waking up, brushing teeth, ect - it's all natural to us.
Comfortable. Oh to be comfortable! Many a fall or winter day you can find me on the couch, wrapped in my Colts Snuggie or in an over sized sweater, eating some good comfort food. This is how I remain comfortable. You will rarely find me walking in high heels, going into the "ghetto", driving during rush hour traffic, eating octopus - being uncomfortable. 
Here's the problem with that, in order to truly follow Christ we must abandon all that is familiar, natural, comfortable - we must live in a very uncomfortable place. Step out of the comfortable bubble and into a whole new world. Jesus calls us to do so. 
A while back my friend Marla mentioned a book she was reading. She mentioned Radical, a book by David Platt. She mentioned how it was turning her world upside down. I often hear of people being challenged by books and rarely is it me. Probably because I don't like reading and when i do I hardly ever read something challenging to my soul, I read fluff. But something inside of me made me desire to read this book. And already I'm feeling my world flip upside down and God kicking me in the behind. 
The first chapter of this book is just ripping me apart. See besides what this book is doing for/to me, my life is going through a time of great change. This summer has been a hard one on me, its been challenging to me, I am going through a growth spurt of outrageous proportions, my heart is repairing, my faith is being tested and I am leaning on God more than I ever have. So lets just say that I am on an incredible journey and I believe this book is coming into my life at the very right time.
Platt talks a lot about abandonment and radical obedience. Here I thought i was being radically obedient to Jesus, but apparently not. I thought i was living with abandon, again, not so much. In order to follow Jesus I must abandon everything, my needs, my desires, even my family. I mean whoa and ouch! 
Scared to death? Uh ya raising my hand on that one! Feeling like an utter failure? Yup I certainly fail at complete abandon. Jesus wants for me to leave "certainty for uncertainty, safety for danger, self- preservation for self-denunciation." In other words abandon myself.

"Excuse me?" I thought as I finished this chapter. "This is so not what I signed up for when I decided to follow you Jesus. Are you quite sure this is what it will take?" The truth is that "we do have to give up everything we have to follow Jesus, we do have to love Him in a way that makes our closest relationships in this world look like hate (um triple ouch here). And its entirely
possible that He will tell us to sell everything we have and give it to the poor. " oh geez, really?
So here is where I wake up and challenge myself and realize that there is more to life than my Colts Snuggie, my bed and pillow, my tv, my iPhone, my... well you get it. I need to wake up and realize the real battles that must be fought. Wake up to the sobering fact that there are far more individuals destined for a Christless eternity than a Christ-filled eternity. Am I going to believe Jesus? Am I going to obey Jesus - radically? 
Truth? I wasn't sure I wanted to continue on in this read along. I'm terrified, uncomfortable, not sure about this journey. But I'm going to try even though I am scared and I do agree with Mr. Platt when he says,
"My biggest fear, even now, is that I will hear Jesus' words and walk away, content to settle for less than radical obedience to him." 
So here I go, I'm jumping in with two feet! Because I believe what Mr. Platt says when he says,
He is something - someone - worth losing everything for. And if we walk away from the Jesus of the gospel, we walk away from eternal riches. The cost of non-discipleship is profoundly greater for us than the cost of discipleship. For when we abandon the trinkets of this world and respond to the radical invitation of Jesus, we discover the infinite treasure of knowing and experiencing him. 
Who doesn't want to experience that? I know I do...I am scared I am nervous, but the way I will get to experience Jesus really does make it worth it all to me. Because 
I want to experience him. I want to be a part of a people who delight in him...who have nothing but him. And I want to be a part of a people are are risking it all for him!
Lets get radical!  Will you join me? It's not too late at all. Just stop by Marla's blog for the details and come join us. Also, come see what other's are saying about chapter 1 - there are some deep thoughts going on over on Marla's blog! 


Shawna said...

Another challenging read is "Crazy LOVE" by Francis Chan. Reading it right now. :-) Very powerful.

I also, am not one for change. But, Lord knows we must all experience it on some levels in order to GROW!

Love you!

Ali said...

This post ROCKS! Denise, you are so real, raw, and right-on. I am so thankful to be on this journey with you. Love ya, friend.

Melissa, Multi-Tasking Mama said...

You are not the only one that is scared! Hang in there..we are all on this read along journey together

Marla Taviano said...

Let's promise each other never to wear high heels or eat octopus. :)

Seriously, this is awesome. Thank you SO much for sharing straight from your heart, friend.