My dear friend Carly is so fun to be around, is so full of life and takes her relationship with God very seriously saying things like, "I want a comfort zone of faith that is constantly violated." She is a woman whose maturity in her understanding our roles vs purpose is evident.
I have found that there are not many people who push you to live more radically for Jesus and when those people come around, they are like diamonds in the rough. They help you store up treasure in heaven at the expense of your flesh reactively biting thier head off. They love. They push you toward greatness even when the repercussions to themself might be large. Carly is one of those people. She loves Jesus more than life itself.
My husband left for the middle east yesterday morning to bring the gospel to a country where less than 1% of the population understands the gospel. Last night we had a phone call of someone telling us that perhaps the risk is too great. It would be awful to be widowed with 3 kids under 3.5. But isn't it up to God to decide? Whether Austin goes or stays, his life is not really in his hands. Is it not better to die doing the very thing God is passionate about rather than padding a safe little bubble of imaginary safety.
Risking for God's glory is not foolishness, it is a beautiful reliance upon His providence. It is leaving room for God to come through.
Esther, the widow that gave out of her poverty (Luke 21:4), the widow who gave Elijah her last piece of bread (1 Kings 17:7-24), Jonathan and his armor-bearer taking on the Philistine army by themselves (1 Sam. 14) and so many others took huge risks for God's glory and left room for God to come through.
To risk for God's glory is right.
When I read the book Radial by David Platt it was like a big balloon was about to burst inside me. All the things I was thinking but put into words that actually made sense. Exciting and challenging. He says things like, "The most glorious reason you exist is for the proclamation of the glory of God to the ends of the world. And it's more than having a nice life."
and "We are giving in to the dangerous temptation to take the Jesus of the Bible and twist Him into a version of Jesus we are more comfortable with. We are molding Jesus into our image...This is the unavoidable conclusion of Matthew 10. To everyone wanting a safe, untroubled, comfortable life free from danger, stay away from Jesus."
When we leave room for God it allows Him to show Himself great.
Ok. So really, how does this radical-ness happen in our hearts? Because if we are honest, we realize that anything good doesn't come from us. And a heart-change like this, a willingness to have our comfort zone violated is not something we can produce in ourselves.
Just as a fruit doesn't grow because it tries real hard but because it yields itself to the vine, so must we. Recognize that we can't... but that God can and ask Him to do it in us. And as we keep our attention, our gaze fixed on the Lord, He does it. We become what we are gazing at. "Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God." 12:2
Sweet Carly says, "God is so faithful beyond our willingness." Let's not rob God opportunities to show off. When we get to heaven, I doubt we are going to say, "man, wish I wouldn't have risked so much to glorify God."
What would it look like for you to leave room for God to show up? How are you leaving room for Him to show off?