Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Following Jesus is an Action Verb

“Don’t strive, just rest in the Lord.” “Just trust God, he’ll bring whatever is best for you.” “Ninety percent of life is just showing up.” “Life is a journey—enjoy the ride.” These are some of the things we’ve been taught over the last few decades—just lay back and everything will take care of itself, que sera sera. But this fatalism, these do-nothing attitudes, though they sound good aren’t supported by the Bible. Let me be clear, I am in no way suggesting that we can earn our salvation! However, following Jesus is intended to be active not passive!

The New Testament urges us to seek, pursue, ask, persist, press on, run the race, run to win, have enough faith to move mountains, bother, pester, train hard, wrestle in prayer, love the Lord with everything we’ve got! It gives us as examples, a woman who pressed through the crowd to touch Jesus’ clothes so that she could be healed, a Gentile woman who wouldn’t take no for an answer to healing for her daughter, friends of a paralyzed man who took a roof off a house to get him to Jesus and blind men who wouldn’t shut up until they got Jesus’ attention! Jesus gave us parables of a woman who searched relentlessly for her coin, a shepherd who wasn’t satisfied with just 99, a man who knocked and knocked--bugging the daylights out of his neighbor until he got the bread he needed and a widow who bothered an unrighteous judge so much that he gave in before she drove him crazy—can’t you just see his eyeballs rolling?

We’ve gotten confused along the way and thought we weren’t supposed to run after things in the Kingdom but what Jesus said don’t run after was food and drink and clothes because pagans run after those. But somehow we think we’re supposed to run after jobs, education, careers, money…

From the days of John the Baptist until now, the kingdom of heaven has been forcefully advancing, and forceful men lay hold of it. Matthew 11:12

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