Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Are you up for a challenge??

"If I stop pursuing Christ, I am letting our relationship deteriorate. We never grow closer to God when we just live life; it takes deliberate pursuit and attentiveness.”
-Francis Chan from “Crazy Love: Overwhelmed By A Relentless God"

Challenging yourself to grow is an incredible feat. Challenging others to grow is downright terrifying. That is what I am attempting to do in my small group tomorrow night and I’m not going to lie, I’m a bit freaked out. I’m seriously excited for the subject matter. We are challenging the group to read Francis Chan’s “Crazy Love.” I have mentioned it before and any readers should be prepared to hear lots more. I had just finished reading it right before I started writing (in Aug). I am sure this second time around God will show me things I missed before and hopefully spawn some exciting new truths in my life and those that choose to participate.

I am so passionate about this book for many reasons. The first is that it became a beacon of light for me in a very dark place. I started reading it the second week of my struggle when I began to finally realize and accept things weren’t going to go back to the way they were and I was changing so much that they couldn’t really anyway. I began to see that God was leading me to embark on a long journey and this book was the start of that road. 

The other reason I love this book was it’s ability to change they way I looked at God. So many Christian books focus mostly on how to fix your relationship with Christ (not that I’m saying that’s a bad thing), but rarely do they tell you not to go any father until you attempt to look at who God is. One thing I love about Francis Chan is that listening to him talk and reading his words, it is undeniable that he loves the Lord in this incredibly passionate way. That’s the kind of love I want to have for Him and I want to challenge my small group (comprised of all close friends and my siblings) to as well.

If it’s one thing I am learning through this time of struggle, it’s that if you go looking for God with a sincere, open heart, He is going to find you. I want this to be a life changing experience for everyone involved. Honestly, if growth is not our goal, then we have no business going on. If our only goal is to put in our weekly “Jesus time”, I think He would rather we didn’t bother. This isn’t about anything but cultivating a relationship with the Creator. I hope more than anything that is what happens here.

I anticipate tomorrow to be a somewhat difficult day (although every day is difficult for me right now). I don’t mean to be a pessimist, but hey I am and honestly I am just noting the pattern here. Anytime you present to people willingly and intentionally to build a life changing & sustaining relationship with Christ, it’s going to piss someone off and they are going to attempt to knock down your resolve.

Who knows, maybe the only one who will grow from this is me. I can’t force the change on anyone. But I want to be obedient to Christ and challenge those I love to grow. It’s not for me; I’m fighting for my life here to grow at any and all costs. I want more; I can’t go back to how I was before. But for others to choose to do the same, again, who knows. Hopefully God will stir up something in each of them. Be it catching someone else’s enthusiasm, desperate to leave the life of despair they are stuck in, or just God changing a heart through a true miracle. I don’t want this change for just me; I want to share it with the people I am closest to. I want to see it change their hearts so deeply that I have to work double time to keep up.

There is so much more to this life than the little, narrow path each of us chooses to take. I hope you see that and are on the journey to finding more. If you aren’t, I’m telling you now that the path you are on hits a dead end. Turn around now; look for God while it’s still easier. Consider picking up a copy of Francis Chan’s book. (www.crazylovebook.com). If you have some how ended up here and are interested but have no way to get a copy, please comment me your email and I will get you a copy somehow (yes I am that excited about this book that I would buy a complete stranger a copy).

I wrote yesterday about life not being what I thought it would be and letting go of the things it’s not. Well maybe we have to do the same with the way we view our relationship with God. Sitting around waiting for Him to come to you and bring His will to your doorstep is a foolish thing to do. First off, He’s here and He’s ready to take your relationship to the next level. But His will isn’t about living on the “God-led” timeline, it’s about growth. This right here is what it’s all about. 

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