There are things God is telling me to do, but I am not doing them. I rationalize, negotiate, and flat out ignore. That is a hard thing to type. I feel like a fraud and hypocrite.
In my New Testament class full of 8th graders, we tried to make a list of what we could do for Advent this morning; what we would sacrifice, or spend time on, or clear from our schedule to really focus on the anticipation of the birth of our Savior.
They are great kids, but they didn't take it very seriously. I was a little taken aback.
"You really aren't willing to do anything mildly inconvenient for the One who saved you?" I asked.
"What if Jesus came and said, 'You know, I have the power to save these people, but I'm not going to. It will be hard and painful and inconvenient. I’m pretty comfortable right here in heaven.'" I asked.
"For less than a month - Advent, Dec 3-Dec 24 -- are you not willing to do anything different to prepare for the birth of Jesus?" I asked. "He DIED for you," I reminded them.
Little, easy things were shouted out. Big things were shouted out...then quickly rescinded.
Are they really this unwilling to do even the smallest thing for Jesus? I wondered. Are they so sucked into the culture and status quo that they can't even take this seriously? Do they think that little of the magnitude of what it meant for God to come in Flesh to die for us...to SAVE US?
But here I sit hours later. Convicted. I'm the one unwilling to step into scary obedience. I'm the one unwilling to be a little uncomfortable or inconvenienced or sacrificial. And anything I would or could even do pales in comparison to what Jesus came to do.
I'm taking a long hard look inside today. I’m praying hard about it. I’m asking God for help me to be brave...to use Advent as a launching point for steps God has been telling me to take for some time now.
Are you in the same boat? If so, I’m praying for you too!
God, give me the courage and will to do what I know You want me to do. What I know I need to do. What will be in my best interest, like everything You ask of me...even if it seems painful and impossible now.