Today as I sat down in the church pew and looked at what the title of today's sermon was, I instincitively let out a sigh. "Give Like Jesus". It's the beginning of the year, I thought, it's time for the annual plea for money. I was somewhat mistaken, however. Yes, an amount of it was indeed about giving financially, something that a college kid doesn't really have the luxury of doing so much. But a large part of the sermon was not just about giving money like Jesus, but giving yourself in general like Jesus. The beginning of the sermon was led by a guest speaker who was actually a missionary serving at an international Christian school in Germany. I'm not going to go into what she talked about aside from a statement that she made that hit home with me (and i'm sure will hit home with a lot of you, too). When asked how she made the decision to go into missions, she told of how she was living as most of us in America do, in intentional blindness.
Love that statement. One of Satan's best tools here in this country is comfort. Comfort can be such an evil thing. From birth we are taught to strive for the "American Dream". Graduate high school, go to college, get a job, get married, have a family, live happily ever after. How many of us are living in this intentional blindness? We know that God isn't just calling us to put money into an offering plate. We know we actually need to be in the mission field, being intentional in people's lives, investing in them so that they may know the greatest of loves. But do we? Of course not. That would be uncomfortable. That doesn't fit in our 9-5, 5 day a week work schedule (and definitely not in any of those work schedules that don't look as good as that). We can't fit that around our class schedule. It's never a good time.
Most of us don't have a clue what joy can come from being fully obedient to God, and answering that call to live beyond ourselves and our little American Dream. Look at the story of Esther. She knew she had to go before the throne of the king, her own husband, without being summoned so that the Jews might be spared. This broke a very sacred law in the culture, and she was to be executed immediately, no questions asked. However, Esther was obedient to God, despite knowing what her fate would likely be. Her life was spared, as well as the lives of thousands of Jews.
You will never experience the full extent of God's goodness, blessings, and presence unless you take that step of obedience. Saying "Yes, God" and actually doing what God tells you to do next are two completely different things. And, incase you were wondering, there will never come a time when it's comfortable to do God's will. It will always be hard, uncomfortable, taxing, maybe even financially burdensome. But I can promise you that He will never let you fall. Ever.