*Originally posted on Sept. 3rd for RockHarbor Orange.*
Am I the only one who’s feeling really sad that our series in Acts has finished? I really like Acts. Mostly, I really like going through Acts so that I can say, “Wow, those early Christians were so awesome!” Now that our series is over, I’ve gone from awe… to anxiety. I can’t just sit back and listen to the great stories of our predecessors… oh no, now I feel like I actually have to do something with what I’ve heard. It’s incredibly inconvenient.
It’s inconvenient because inevitably, my life is going to change. Change, when Jesus is concerned, usually makes me a little less comfortable than what I’d prefer. In this case, I felt pretty uncomfortable with telling my husband that I think God wants us to change some things.
In reality, I feel pretty excited about the changes. Ok, honestly, I feel excited about the idea of the changes. But when I tell my husband about the potential changes, well, that’s just one step closer to them becoming reality.
Let me just come out and say, I feel like God is calling us to some sort of missionary work. Like, the kind where you get vaccinated, leave the comfort of your home and get your hands dirty. And if I’m honest, I’ve had this hunch since my husband and I were just engaged.
Our series through Acts has certainly been stirring-up these feelings again. I begin to feel excitement, anxiety, peace, and clarity… all at the same time.
If you’ve ever been called to something that’s going to turn your life upside down, I think you know the feelings that I’m talking about. You probably also know about the questions that begin to invade your thoughts. Mine are usually tainted with a bit of rationalization so that my world could be turned maybe a little bit sideways rather than completely upside down.
For example… I know that Jesus spoke a lot about spreading the gospel to the “ends of the earth” but I also know that I don’t have to leave my neighborhood to accomplish this. I can do mission work wherever I am planted, right? Well, I think that for some of us, this is true. We can’t all be Paul. Nomadic missionaries, willing to be be imprisoned or worse all for the sake of the gospel. That is a calling for some of us but not all of us. But it is still a calling for some of us.
While Jesus’ teachings can be implemented without leaving my hometown, I don’t want to assume that he doesn’t have something else for me. I’m currently reading the book “Interrupted” by Jen Hatmaker and her words are certainly causing me re-think the way I’ve been doing Christianity.
She is encouraging us Christians to truly DO the things that Jesus did… care for the sick, the orphans, the widows… you know, that kind of crazy stuff. She’s suggesting we model our lives after Christ.
Sometimes I feel like the only thing that differentiates me from everyone else is that I go to church on Sunday. That’s lame. I don’t want that to be the only marker of difference between me and unbelievers.
So, whatever it is, I want God to be allowed to do His work through my life. That’s right, I’m giving you permission God, to come on in with your big ol’ wrecking ball and just have your way. Maybe you’re calling me to Africa or maybe to my next-door-neighbors.
I know I’m not Paul, but I want to live my life in full abandon to God’s will just like he did. I want Jesus to be the only thing that really matters to me. So much that I would die for Him. I’m a long way away from actually being that kind of Christian, but I’m thankful to have someone like Paul as an inspiration. His story gives me hope.
- Acts 21- Paul’s Persistence (inchristalonedevotions.wordpress.com)
- VATICAN – Pope: Christian mission is not proselytisim, but spreading “the flame of faith “ (asianews.it)
- The Truth About Jesus (theneedlewgur.wordpress.com)