Today, having lunch with a fellow worship team member from church, we were talking about my life a bit, and he eventually said, “Well, that seems a little radical.” My day was made. If you’ve known me a while (or even a little), you probably know how much I want to be known as someone who is radical, crazy, and overboard about Jesus. Hearing someone use that specific word to describe me today made me so happy.
But at the same time, I am starting to wonder why the goals and aspirations I have for life seem so radical. As I’ve said before, I think I’m less radical and more logical about Jesus. So here are just quickly a few of the points of my a life, a few of the conclusions I’ve come to that, honestly, don’t seem that radical to me. Let me know what you think!
James 4 says, “Now listen, you who say, ‘Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.’ Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. Instead, you ought to say, ‘If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.’” A lot of people will say, and I don’t say it’s necessarily wrong, that this means we should simply acknowledge the Lord’s ability to change our plans, and be willing. Definitely. But to me, I wonder… why don’t I just let God form my plans from the beginning? Whether He gives me a ten-year outline, or waits until the day before to give the next day’s map, I’d rather default on God’s plan that form my own and unintentionally stop listening to His voice. I’ve discovered that when you need God, you listen more. Logical. I also know that He has a plan for me (Ephesians 2:10 – “For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”). Considering that He loves me more than I love myself, and He has the power and foresight to never fail, I’d rather have His plan. Logical. So I’ve decided to intentionally need God’s plan by not forming one of my own.
I know it’s dangerous
For some, going to live in a busy, polluted, foreign city like Beijing is too dangerous. For some, living at an orphanage in a tiny Mexican village might be too dangerous. For some, heading into the rural Middle East to find an unreached people group is far too dangerous. But my question is this: is anything too dangerous when following the call of God? I mean, seriously, what’s the very worst that could happen: you die? And then you go to be with the one you’ve been telling the world about? Matthew 16:25 – “For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it.” So… losing my life for His sake and following His calling is actually saving it. Logical. So I’ve decided to follow Jesus wherever, whether it is in my own home, in a foreign city, or even in the midst of a cannibalistic people group.
Is it worth it?
This one’s about money and time. And I’m awfully inconsistent far too often. But this is my thought: we spend so much time and money on things that will be gone. Yes, gone. Wouldn’t we think it was illogical and ridiculous if someone paid a bunch of money to paint, update, and furnish a house they would inhabit peacefully for an hour, knowing it would be totally demolished after the hour was up? In the same way, it seems illogical that we give so much time and money to make lives that fit the cultural norm of comfortable or successful or happy, when this whole life will be over so soon! From everything to a $4.00 coffee (that is admittedly incredible) to a fancy car, we need to just stop and ask, “Is it worth it?” I think the answer will be easy to find; but I know personally that the ability to put it into action is much harder. Luke 12 says, “And [Jesus] told them this parable: ‘The ground of a certain rich man yielded an abundant harvest. 17 He thought to himself, ‘What shall I do? I have no place to store my crops.’ Then he said, ‘This is what I’ll do. I will tear down my barns and build bigger ones, and there I will store my surplus grain. And I’ll say to myself, ‘You have plenty of grain laid up for many years. Take life easy; eat, drink and be merry.’ But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?’” Matthew 6 reminds us, “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal.” So, we should stop spending our time and money on this that will perish with us, or even before. Instead, we should give everything we can to store up things that will never fade away. Logical. So I’m trying to start with little things, like not buying Starbucks anymore. Even after reading this, maybe that still sounds crazy and over the top. But it’s really pretty logical.
Basically, my thought is this: If being logical about Jesus means looking crazy, radical, extreme, and overboard to the world, then sign me up. I hope you’ll join me. Because I can guarantee you that every decision I’ve made based on these three ideas (and more) has left me with incredible adventures, unimaginable growth, and no regrets. Jesus loves you. Trust Him. And if you want to be crazy for Him, start by being logical about Him.