So I began to understand something more fully today. This train of thought occurred to me as I read “The Insanity of God” by Nik Ripken. In the book he shares how the last message a Christian Russian gave to his family before he died was Revelations 2:10. Basically, “be faithful, even unto death”. That was his life’s message and he was martyred for that less than a few weeks after. I just broke down when I realized how far my life is from that. These people lived and breathed scripture and songs of worship. At a conference they could recite several books of the Bible and hundreds of songs by memory. This kept Christianity going during intense communist persecution around the world and still does in China. True Christianity has always been persecuted like this somewhere in the world. The reason of course why it seems Christians aren’t persecuted in some places is likely because they haven’t warranted it. They just don’t seem that Christian. But enough general talk, back to me since this is my blog lol.
I have struggled consistently my entire life with being focused and faithful with the mundane tasks that God has given me. I have been immature and ungrateful with where God has placed me and with how He is working in my life most of the time. Specifically in my daily battle for intimacy with God and living by the Spirit I have failed probably 95% of the time. That is terrible. I have failed for so long I mostly accept it and it doesn’t normally bother me anymore except when I realize I don’t have very much fruit in my life. Then I blame God. However, today I realized that I have called myself many things but most often and dear to my heart is child of God/kingdom worker. I have wanted to please God and be successful in order to feel better about myself. I long to be a more important part of the larger movement God is doing in the world right now! But the thing is I haven’t often thought of myself as a warrior/soldier. If I feel I should take up that role it is only temporarily to help someone else or to keep myself from getting into too much trouble. I have disgust in myself when I think of how terrible it would be if I had to be in the army. Focused, disciplined, obedient, hard working and unquestioningly faithful. I picture that being terrible! What a cramp on my style and freedom. However, I am in an army. God’s army. And I have been letting everyone down around me by not taking up my sword. If I was in a real army an behaved like I do I would be known as the cocky, arrogant, rebellious newb that thinks he is running the place and is a hero but in reality is just putting the lives of those around him and the mission at risk.
Now most of the time these real heroes are made it seems to me to be through external pressure. However, I believe a small number have overcome their flesh nature through vision for something motivating. Many people achieve all these character traits for the purpose of going through college with top grades. I don’t want to have to change my life to have all the external forces motivating me but would like to try and set an example in finding a compelling enough vision that will enable me to consistently define myself first as a dearly loved child of God, then as a warrior knight/soldier completely sold on the mission and leadership. God please forgive me for showing up to the battle so late and unprepared. Please discipline me and reveal to me your vision for my life that will transform my mindset.
ps I believe the first part of this vision came yesterday as I read Romans. Two things really stood out to me. First, I am like pharaoh in that it is God’s mercies that have chosen me to reveal His power and to proclaim His name through all the earth. It just so happens that it is God’s grace to me that I have been given Jesus’s righteousness so that it will be God’s redemptive message proclaiming His power in my life and not His wrath like with pharaoh. Second, I need to “lead, with diligence”. That word diligence in Romans 12:8 means “quickly obeying what the Lord reveals is His priority”. This is profound for how I am wired for efficiency and speed. It also goes exactly with the army theme above. Let’s see where this leads over the next month…