I’m Tired…Of Punking Out On Jesus
Here is a powerful quote from C.T. Studd, a Jesus-lover who followed His lead to love people in China, England, and the Congo from 1884-1931 (from the book “C.T. Studd: Cricketer and Pioneer” by Norman Grubb [p.p. 142-145]):
“Christ’s call is to feed the hungry, not the full; to save the lost, not the stiff-necked; not to call the scoffers, but sinners to repentance; not to build and furnish comfortable chapels, churches, and cathedrals at home in which to rock Christian professors to sleep by means of clever essays, stereotypled prayers and artistic musical performances, but to raise living churches of souls among the destitute, to capture [humans] from the devil’s clutches and snatch them from the very jaws of hell, to enlist and train them for Jesus, and make them into an almighty Army of God.
But this can only be accomplished by a red-hot, unconventional, unfettered Holy Ghost religion, where neither Church not State, neither man nor traditions are worshiped or preached, but only Christ and Him crucified.
Not to confess Christ by [trite little sound bites, cute little fish decals, empty singing in the pews and obligatory attendance on Sunday mornings, or trendy jewelry of crosses, repetitive Christian lingo, or fair-weather faith during times of prosperity], but by reckless sacrifice and heroism in the foremost trenches.
When in hand-to-hand conflict with the world and the devil, neat little biblical confectionary is like shooting lions with [water guns]; one needs a [person] who will let himself go and deliver the blows right and left as hard as he can hit, trusting in the Holy Spirit. It’s experience, not preaching, that hurts the devil and confounds the world…the training is not that of the schools, but of the market; it’s the hot, free heart and not the balanced head that knocks the devil out. Nothing but forked-lightning Christians will count. A lost reputation is the best degree for Christ’s service…
The difficulty is to believe that He can deign to to use such scallywags as us, but of course He wants faith and fools rather than talents and culture. All God wants is a heart; any old turnip will do for a head. So long as we are empty, all is well, for then He fills with the Holy Spirit.
The fiery baptism of the Holy Ghost will change soft, sleek Christians into hot, lively heroes for Christ, who will advance and fight and die, but not mark the time. Let us race to heaven; an accident means dashing into the arms of Jesus–such accidents are God’s choicest blessings. Don’t be a luggage train…
Some wish to live within the sound
Of Church or Chapel bell,
I want to run a Rescue Shop
Within a yard of hell.”
Wow. What can I say that C.T. Studd hasn’t already said in this quote? I am tired of settling for the American Dream; I want the Heavenly Dream, the Jesus Dream, the full life that He offers us.
I am tired of clarifying my own dreams and then combing through the Bible to find verses that support my desire to fulfill my own dreams, verses that spiritualize and stamp God’s “Seal of Approval” over all of the things that I want. Just because a goal isn’t explicitly sinful doesn’t mean that it is worthy of spending our lives to fulfill it. We have one life on earth to pour out, spend, and invest as a living thank you note to Jesus, and He didn’t die and rise again to free me from the shackles of sin so that I can religiously follow sports and zealously live as comfortable a life as I can distort Scripture to justify. THERE HAS TO BE MORE THAN THAT…
I am tired of strategizing, calculating, and expertly creating my own safety-nets in life in an effort to protect me should I fail. My Heavenly Father is the wealthiest Person in the universe, and He loves me perfectly and unconditionally; why in the world do I need a 401 (k), retirement plan, or life insurance policy? Seriously, I know it’s prudent, but I don’t want to be prudent, careful, or strategic; I want to recklessly love Jesus and the people of this world. I want to be unwise in the eyes of the world–even the eyes of the church–for the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom, and the weakness of God stronger than human strength.
I am tired of weighing the odds, calculating the statistics, hedging my bets, planning ahead, and trying to think through and prepare for every single scenario. Can’t I just let God be God? Can’t I trust myself to Him each and every moment and move and live and place my life in His capable hands?
I am tired of enjoying God’s gifts in the sovereignty of my own little life; I want to give away every gift that is given to me, not because gifts are bad, but because they’re so good that I want to bless others and share the blessing. I don’t want to have a savings account, but want to generously give God the first 10% of my income and then everything that is left over after the bills and my family’s basic needs are met. What in the world am I saving for? Retirement? A catastrophe? A rainy day? There are people all around me, today, who need help retiring, who are enduring a catastrophe, who are in a torrential downpour. That is why God has given me extra–to share. Now. Not tomorrow, not the next day, not when I’m older, but now.
I want only one Safety Net…Jesus. Everything else is just smoke and mirrors anyways.
I’m tired of trying to preserve my life, my environment, my situation, my position, my benefits, my luxuries, my status, my entitlements, and my reputation; I want to throw all of that out so I can love Jesus and every person on this planet with everything I have, unconditionally, recklessly, self-sacrificially, generously, graciously, mercifully, truthfully, gently, respectfully, honestly, genuinely, and consistently.
I don’t want to flicker; I want to burn brightly for Jesus.
I don’t want to whimper; I want to roar for Jesus.
I don’t want to drip; I want to pour for Jesus.
And I don’t want to do this safely; I want to do it dangerously, trusting that He will fulfill all of His promises in the Bible regardless of how I feel. I am tired of clinging to this rotting shell of a body as if it were made to last forever–it was not! The shell must crumble and crack so that the seed can be dangerously exposed to the elements, and in doing so rest in the cool moist soil where it will finally grow, sprout, and become all it was made to be. Why do I fix up, repair, and decorate the shell? I should be clawing my way out, not insulating and barricading myself in…
I am tired…
…but I don’t want to coast. I want to run…into Jesus’ arms, sharing His love, truth, mercy, forgiveness, and grace along the way.