There is a strange upside-down power in Christianity.
I just finished a long cool morning walk with my wife.
In these times we often talk about what we have been reading, thinking, and feeling. Today the conversation started with heavy awareness of the deep tensions in this world. Economic, civil, and even personal tensions seem to be increasing. She said she feels her heart rate rise and anxiety increase when she reads the news. Is there anyone else out there that feels like its becoming harder and harder to find your fit in this world? Have you ever wondered where are my people? Maybe you want to escape, buy a property, get off the grid and raise a family away from modern society.
GK Chesterton noted this: he said, “Jesus promised his disciples three things – that they would be completely fearless, absurdly happy, and in constant trouble.”
Anyone else not getting this? Too many of us Christians still feel afraid, discouraged, and in trouble. Ok, so we overlap with the last of Chesterton’s quote.
He is on to something though. C.S. Lewis paints an interesting picture in the book The Screwtape Letters. A Christian who works to find their comfortable fit in the world is actually experiencing the world finding its fit in them. Lewis believed that some of the most vulnerable Christians are the ones who are sitting comfortable. It’s true Satan doesn’t want us happy but he also doesn’t want us so unhappy that we are looking for a better world. What if being comfortable is the dangerous place? The place where we are most likely to turn from a heavenly focus and prioritize this temporary world. Think of it. Which Christians are most likely to quit attending church regularly, miss prayer and Bible reading, or let spiritually unhealthy habits seep in? The comfortable ones. The radically uncomfortable ones are often seeking a better world.
In Revelation 2:8-11 Jesus is sharing his heart with a church that feels very out of place in this world. The church of Smyrna feels crushed by the weight of a calloused, collapsing, angry, immoral culture. A funny thing begins to happen; the more they feel displaced the more it pushes them into their faith, while faith sinks deeper into their hearts. They long for heaven, they seek God in deeper prayer. They even prioritize gathering together and providing for each other.
And then it happens…
The more you believe and the deeper it goes into your heart, the less the world has power over you.
So, you feel displaced? Good… it may just cause you to gaze even deeper into a better world. You might just gaze so deep into it that this world begins to lose its grasp on your heart. Then, you can start to drink of the seemingly incompatible combination of fearless, happy, and in trouble.
I dare you to taste how good it is to lose your place in this world and find your place in His.
“Was I born into this world that leads to death or was I born into this death that leads to life?” -St. Augustine
- Turn your gaze to Jesus. It’s your new first priority.
- Go to Church. Find a pastor that believes the Bible is true. I do! Join us. I really believe in the power of Christ.
- Join a Discipleship group.
- Read your Bible.
- Learn to pray.
- Dream of heaven.
Honestly, I am hungry for people who really believe in Jesus, not people who are merely influenced by Christian ideals. I deeply want friendships and to worship with passionate seekers of the kingdom of God. I long for a better world. I know I am not alone…
*This is an excerpt from my personal journal.