Sometimes God calls us to walk easy paths. Sometimes He asks us to do something that’s really in the realm of our abilities or experiences. He allows us to stay in our comfort zone or to pursue something that isn’t necessarily a challenge for us.
And then, there are all the other times.
The times that require us to walk a narrow path. The times that He asks us to trust Him just because of Who He is. The times that He asks us to build a boat but doesn’t bring the flood for 100 years (@NoahsArk: #ThatAwkwardMomentWhen God calls you to do something audacious). The times that He says I’m going to make you a great nation but the timing is, again, a little slow. The times that He calls us out onto the water. The times that He gives us just enough instruction for today.
Those times require audacious obedience.
They require that we look ourselves in the eye and choose to be obedient despite the fact that our brains are telling us to run the other way. They require that we move beyond our comfort, our abilities, our experiences, and our who idea of Who He is to “I AM”. Those times ask us to endure ridicule or questioning glances or opinions about what’s “right” and “wrong” with our decisions.
In our culture, it’s “easy” to be a Christ follower. We don’t face persecution as many believers in other countries do. We don’t have to choose between Christ and our families in many instances. There is not a huge monumental sacrifice that we have to make to call ourselves Christ followers.
But it’s not really that simple right? Because there aren’t too many people who really walk in Christ’s teachings. I mean, what about that part where Christ tells the rich man to sell his belongings and give his money to the poor? Who wants to do that? Or Beautitudes? What is up with blessing the losers? How about challenging our concepts of who “finishes” on top? Or the idea of what constitutes pure religion? I am satisfied with the “name only” portion of my faith most days.
Because as I read those texts, I think Christ is calling us to a huge sacrifices in our culture. Our lives aren’t often threatened, but He longs for the sacrifice of our comfortable American lifestyle. I think He’s calling us away from our culture of consumption and comfort and calling us to love the poor, to comfort those in need, to love our enemies, and pray for those who will ridicule us for it. I’m not exactly sure what this looks like, but I want to live it.
If Christ has called us, isn’t it our responsibility to be living the Red Letters? This has been in the back of my mind as I feel out every form that asks why we want to adopt. It’s in the back of my mind when I think about and pray for the children I’ll be seeing in Africa this winter. I think about it when I think about all the people at our church who agreed to be child sponsors even when it was a sacrifice financially. I think about this when I read about young women who agree to leave their life in the U.S. to move to Africa to serve vulnerable and abandoned children.
There are a number of times that I’ve asked God why He’s placed us on this path. I know that neither of us have the ability to accomplish the monumental task ahead of us. But He didn’t ask me to understand. He asked me to obey.
Audacious obedience. It flies in the face of everything our culture tells us to do to follow this God-man who lived more than 2,000 years ago. But in obedience we come to know Him all the more. This loving Savior who longs for our feet to touch the water.