2.17.2009

a two-word command.

As I've been thinking about next fall some verses that have previously made an impression on me came to mind....
Matthew 4: 19-22
James 2:14-17

These verses are so convicting when it comes to action. In Matthew when Jesus calls Simon and Peter to leave and "follow me," It says they at once left their nets and followed him. He then went to James and John, calls out with the same command, their response was to immediately leave their nets and father and followed him.
They didn't ask any questions.
No questions of why, or will we be provided for, or what about our family, what about our friends, what about our way of life as we know it?

Just immediate obedience.

They did not delay in leaving everything, they dropped their occupation and their way of living in response to a two-word command. What dedication these guys had! They trusted Jesus enough to follow him, no matter what the outcome. Am I willing to do that? Am I willing to drop everything if that is what he asks of me?

Our fists are so tightly grasped it is sickening.
We hold onto a piece of paper worth thousands of dollars we so proudly call our diploma.
We grasp our 12 oz of coffee we dropped $4 on while driving in our warm car with one of 20 pairs of shoes we own on.
We drop $25 extra dollars at Target when all we really needed was a gallon of milk.

It's awful. I am as guilty as the next... I get teary eyed when I see a 10 minute video in church about children in need and nod in agreement when someone says we need to put action to our theology, yet what do I do? What does the church actually do about it?
We sit back in our soft pews, throw pocket change into the missions fund, and daydream about having an afternoon nap when the Lord is asking us to act.

James 2: 14-17
What good is it, my brothers, if a man claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save him? Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to him, "Go, I wish you well; keep warm and well fed," but does nothing about his physical needs, what good is it? In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.

The Lord clearly throws out the idea that "it's the thought that counts." No it's not. He says that only wishing well for someone is not enough, words alone invalidate my faith. Only with action is my faith in Him alive. The heartfelt tears at the sight of children being broken are good and right, but we are not called to only feel empathy, we are called to change.

He calls us to change and action with a two-word command.
Two simple words that change everything.

I pray that I can leave my plans at the door for His plans of immediate action.
You created me for a purpose, I'm not on earth to just float around.
I'm here for You.

2 comments:

  1. I think if God is calling you to very specific action in areas of poverty, sickness, and hunger it is absolutely necessary that you obey. The world does need people who will do and not just say.

    I think it is important to remember that "do"-ing does not look the same for every person. God calls some to share the wealth he has blessed them with in the form of "adopting" children by paying monthly for their needs to be met, for some it is giving the only change they can spare to their church's mission fund. For some, it may mean leaving family and friends and undeveloped plans to physically be there for children and families in other countries. For others, it is getting the education necessary to start non-profit businesses, conduct research to cure diseases, or write about people who are DO-ing in other countries so that those who are complacent are exposed to the need and the ways to help.

    Jesus' two words are by far the ultimate test of obedience but just because one person's calling doesn't look like the next doesn't mean theirs is any less legitimate. Jesus only called 12 to follow him as his personal disciples while he was on earth...not that I think he would have turned anyone away from following him...but he encountered hundreds of people and he left them where they were with what they were doing. Some turned away from him because his call was too hard. Others devoted their time to listening to him and loving him and serving him (look at Mary and Martha) but they did not follow him around. We don't know why exactly, but we also don't know that these people were being disobedient.

    Now I feel like I am just rambling. I love your insights, I love that they evoked some insights of my own. Thanks for letting me read as you process Jesus' call to follow him.

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  2. Thanks for your comments, I completely agree with you that not everyone is called to the same means of carrying out Jesus' command to follow, it's good to be reminded of that. These are just the thoughts and passions He has laid on my heart as of late, I'm excited to see where they will take me!

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