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pontificate:

to speak or express opinions in a pompous or dogmatic way

I haven’t posted in a while. Now I’m going to Pontificate. Which means I’m going to shout at myself for a while.  Continue reading at your own risk.

These are thoughts I’ve been struggling with…conversations i’ve had with others and my own brain as I work out this idea of being a Christian in American culture.  My wife and I are facing the question: What if we sold everything?  These are some questions we’re working through:

Shouldn’t I be a good steward?

Why would you abandon your home and the security it provides for your children? God provided an awesome home, on a safe street with room to play. Why wouldn’t you be faithful in stewarding what God has given you?

Response:

The earth is the Lords and everything in it. My response to seeking to sell all is a response to the Gospel. Is the gospel real? Did Jesus really die on the cross for my sins? Did He really step out of eternity to meet me?  If so, isn’t He like the treasure in a field? If Jesus is real and the gospel is true, then that, and only that, needs to be the foundation my family is built upon.

Yes, I believe I need to be faithful with what the Lord has given me, but not at the expense of what the Lord is telling me. He is the Lord. He does whatever He pleases. If He wants me to sell our house, I’m going to lose the house either through obedience or disobedience.

I like the quote from Corie Ten Boom: “hold on to things lightly. it hurts when the Lord has to pry them from your hand.” [extreme paraphrase]

The bottom line to this question for me is security. What will change if I sell everything? Everything. What will change if I don’t? Nothing. Is my security in my family and these 4 walls, or is it in Christ?

Matthew 10:37 “Those who love their father or mother more than they love me are not worthy to be my followers. Those who love their son or daughter more than they love me are not worthy to be my followers. Whoever is not willing to carry the cross and follow me is not worthy of me. Those who try to hold on tho their lives will give up true life. Those who give up their lives for me will hold on to true life.”

You should provide for your kids

Response:

a: provide what? a big house? clothes? toys? what? more crap that will burn? It’s all going to BURN anyway!!! What am I teaching them by chasing after such things? [See Ecclesiates…it’s all meaningless; a chasing after the wind]

Matthew 6: 27″And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29 Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 30 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? 31 So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

I want to provide a testimony of faith for my children. That is more valuable than gold. I don’t want them growing up thinking that they can take God on the side along with whatever else they want. Their sole (soul) persuit needs to be Jesus. all else is rubbish.

b: Who is my provider? When I take responsibility for the ‘provision’ of my family, I’m excluding God’s. My job is to believe and to be a faithful steward over what He’s entrusted to me. More important than possessions is the proximity of my childrens’ heart to Jesus. This is so important. I really want to be a good dad. I really want to be a good provider and protector, but more important is that my kids learn to trust in Christ as their provider and father.

You should work diligently with your hands.

Essentially, calm down, be quiet, shut up.

How’s that working? Where’s the fire and passion of Love in that? How many people are receiving the grace of God by me shutting up and working diligently? I must open my mouth and declare the praises of God. That is why the Holy Spirit is given to me.

1 Cor 9:22 I have become all things to all men so that by all possible means I might save some.

Even God declares God’s glory. That’s how Glorious He is! He is Holy, He is Love, and His Spirit is given to proclaim this. If we don’t, the rocks will cry out.

Exodus 34:5 Then the LORD came down in the cloud and stood there with him and proclaimed his name, the LORD. 6 And he passed in front of Moses, proclaiming, “The LORD, the LORD, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness, 7 maintaining love to thousands, and forgiving wickedness, rebellion and sin. Yet he does not leave the guilty unpunished; he punishes the children and their children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation.”

Brother Yun says in His book “Heavenly Man”, that the American Church is set on trying to have heaven on earth. We want to bask in His Glory, but we never go out to declare it to others.. The Holy spirit is given so that we can be His witnesses. Not for our personal enjoyment. [read Acts]

What are you going to do?

This is the most common question. 

Answer:

I don’t know. that’s the point. The way I read the scriptures, none of the ‘men of faith’ in Hebrews really knew what was going on. The American Church tells me to have a plan, then act in faith towards that plan. It’s essentially Walmart’s vision adopted and spiritualized.

How did that work for Abram? Joseph? David? Peter? I don’t see any of them having a spreadsheet of to do’s. Or a 5 year, 10 year plan. What I see are people who are walking in blind obedience to their Father in Heaven. They made mistakes often, especially when trying to act or discern God’s plan.

So…my plan? My plan is to sit back and watch what God is going to do next. I know I’m supposed to say: God gave me a vision to go to India, so I’m selling everything and moving to India and working with this particular people group.

He hasn’t given me that vision. All I know is that I want to be closer to His heart. I want nothing standing in between His heart and my heart. I’m in love with Him, and I’m willing to be as reckless and take as many risks as necessary to get closer to Him. That’s my vision and that’s what I plan on doing. I believe in my core that time is running out. We cannot be passive observers or quiet church-goers anymore. For most of my generation, this is what I’ve observed as the Church’s M.O.: “live in such a way…that they will see your good works, ect” I agree. Most quote “Preach the gospel at all times, and when necessary use words”. I get that and believe there’s value in that.

Here’s the issue for me: Our culture is going to Hell. Rapidly. Watch the news and tell me you disagree. What good is it for me to be a responsible citizen and friendly at work if I never open my mouth to tell them why? I’ve lived quietly in Love for the past 7 years, and it’s resulted in exactly 1 person asking me about the peace that I have. And even when she asked, I didn’t direct her to Jesus. I believe that the Holy Spirit will be poured out in these last days SO THAT His Name will be proclaimed to all the nations. Not so I can feel better about myself. I have a job to do. That job is to press into His heart, to get His heart for the lost around me; then to go out and declare His Name and heart to those people. [great resource: http://theprojectlove.com/ ]

The beauty is that He’s in love with me, and has displayed His recklessness on the Cross. He’s in love with me and I believe smiles at my acts of obedience. I experience His joy when I act in faith. If I get it wrong, who cares? Christ is bigger than my mistake.

So, worst case scenario, we sell all and it was wrong. Our motives were wrong or we mis-heard God, or whatever. So…what? will we end up homeless? will our kids wear crappy clothes? will our teenage son reject us and be offended? I have to believe that God is for me. Whatever His will is, I want it to be done…even when I don’t see it or understand it.

Could He close the door on selling everything? Yep. I’m simply stating again that I’m open to the process. I’m open to whatever He wants. And I’m done guessing at His next move. I’m content to sit and be in Love with Him.

Psalms 131 1 My heart is not proud, O LORD, my eyes are not haughty; I do not concern myself with great matters or things too wonderful for me. 2 But I have stilled and quieted my soul; like a weaned child with its mother, like a weaned child is my soul within me.

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