Brutal Beautiful Truth of Radical Faith

10:11 AMHeather

She was two-years-old.  I can't remember the original offense, but I can remember her little piggy tail framed face as she stood by the train table.  Hands on her hips.  Determined.  My cousin, Abby, was visiting from Canada and stood nearby my daughter.  As I reprimanded my little darling for that original offense, she talked back.  I told her she needed to go to her room to cool off.  Her response makes me laugh now...but boy, at that moment, my emotions were much different.  In a high spirited, sassy attitude, she stood with those hands on those hips, and then suddenly snapped her fingers back and forth as she said, "Oh no, you DID-ENT!"  I was dumbfounded.  I glanced at Abby who was stifling a laugh at this little outburst.  I repeated my command to go to her room, and she screamed "I hate you!" as she ran to obey.

Yep.  I was incredulous.  Surprised.  Sort of a pit in my stomach at what just happened here.   Did she really say THAT?

This is essentially how I felt Sunday night watching the introductory video session for David Platt's Radical:  Small Group StudyI had this sudden urge to snap my fingers back and forth at the screen at what was being said, and respond with a sassy, "Oh no, you DID-ENT."

Oh, yes he did.  David Platt went there.  Calling out our mediocre lukewarm version of Christianity here in America.  Calling us out individually for selling out to some pretty little faith that demands little of us.  Calling out to the church to get real about our faith.  To get radical.  To hear the brutal beautiful truth of radical faith.

I didn't want to hear, yet I did.  I wanted to want to respond with an absolute affirmative to really get down and dirty with living out this faith in a way that most Americans would call ludicrous.  I wanted to want to be willing to leave father and mother, security and familiarity and all creature comforts to whatever Christ calls us to do as we follow Him.   Yet wanting to want to was about as close as I could muster to be willing to do whatever it takes.

David Platt does not mince words.  But then again, Jesus didn't.  Jesus said in Matthew 10:37-38, "The person who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me; the person who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me.  And whoever does not take up his cross and follow Me is not worthy of Me."  Oh no, he DID-ENT?  Oh, yes he did.

And, I felt called out, humbled, challenged, and honestly--a bit nervous.  The first fill-in-the-blank on the viewer guide is this:
We need to ask the question, Have we ever really come to Jesus on His terms?  Do we compartamentalize our faith to be some pretty little package of church attendance most Sundays, maybe a quick prayer here and there, and a pretty much moral life?  Do we boil Jesus down to how it works best for us, turning to him like some Santa Claus or Last Ditch Effort when needed?  Otherwise, a rather pleasant thought we believe in?  

Or, have I ever really gut checked to the point of saying that I want to love him so much that my love for my children and husband seem like hate in comparison?  Have I ever really sold out to Him with exclusive loyalty, counting all costs and giving all efforts for the cause of Christ?  Am I willing to surrender it all for His sake?  Or do I approach obedience to Christ begrudgingly like a burden rather than a privilege motivated by my love for him?

Glimpse of GRACE:  Whew.  The brutal beautiful truth of a radical faith asks itself this question every day.  Is Christ the one for whom my heart beats every day in all I do?  Christ pointed out that we are to count the costs.  A builder doesn't build half-way and then realize he can't finish the job.  But, America is full of believers with half-built buildings of faith.  A warrior doesn't run into battle without calculating his resources and assessing the enemy.  But, church pews are full of regular attenders who are losing some battle daily because they aren't approaching their faith with a war-time mentality.  

Convicting, isn't it?  And, if you're like me, uncomfortable to hear and to contemplate.  So what do we do with that?  If you want to join me in pressing forward to wherever this might lead, here is where I plan to start.  

I'm standing on this favorite verse to pray as I seek to have a radical faith.  "I do believe!  Help my unbelief!"  Mark 9:24

And, in tandem, well aware of my affinity for the easy way that requires not so much, I'm going to fall back on this promise as I pray.  "Jesus looked at them and said, 'With man this is impossible, but not with God; all things are possible with God."  Mark 10:27

I don't know about you, but I am amazed by the grace of a Radical Father who calls me to a radical faith, and then meets me where I am in my shortcomings to provide the belief and to make a way for me, if I will just take the first step.

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