Sunday, June 24, 2007

Live Like We Believe

Most Americans over the past few decades (at least middle and upper class citizens for sure) have grown too comfortable with life in general. We hold strong convictions and beliefs; but when it comes right down to it, are these convictions really important to us.

In the days of the pioneers men and women worked hard. They often spent their days working tirelessly on tasks they did not enjoy. The men slaved away to make a home for their family to live in, and then worked and toiled trying to produce food from the sometimes stubborn land. The women spent long hours making clothing, food, and other necessities for their families. Sometimes they had to be extremely creative to provide for the needs of those around them. Why? Why would these people voluntarily subject themselves to rough conditions? Because they believed in something. They had a picture of what their family needed, what would ultimately give them what was best, and they stopped at nothing to reach that goal.

There are stories of people in the Bible like Paul and Abraham who stopped at nothing to serve their Lord. Paul went on many journeys, suffered persecution and imprisonment time and again, why? Because he truly believed in the gospel message. Abraham was willing to take his son Isaac to the alter and sacrifice him as God had asked. Why? Because he believed that God is a God that keeps His word. God had promised that Abraham would have enumerable offspring through Isaac, and He believed what God said.

So often we live like we believe until it gets hard. We talk about the importance of health or losing weight...until we have to put into practice some things that are difficult. We talk about the importance of family and friends, and we mean it...until we have to sacrifice things we don't want to, or we have to put forth more effort than we desired. We tout the significance of investing our money and recognizing that it's God's...until that means we can't have the latest thing. We easily admit the importance of making sacrifices for God...unless that means we actually have to work harder or do something we don't like, or step out of our box to fulfill that calling. We easily talk with other Christians about the importance of living our lives for God first, and we truly believe that...until God's plans don't match with ours, or until He asks us to do something hard, or if He asks us to let go of something we don't want to.

My question is this: Why don't we live like we truly believe? We live in an age of ideals and opinions. Everyone has strong opinions and can talk-it-up like you wouldn't believe, but we fail to step out of our zone of comfort, we fail to ask God to help us to do what is difficult, we fail to trust Him implicitly, and we live like we believe as long as it's easy. I don't want to live like that anymore.

"And [Jesus] was saying to them all, 'If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross daily and follow Me. For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake, he is the one who will save it...'"
~Luke 9:24-25
What do you believe in?

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