"Blessed is she, who has believed, that what the Lord has said to her will be accomplished." Luke 1:45

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Crazy Love ~ Lukewarm and evil sacrifices

In chapters 4 & 5 of Crazy Love by Frances Chan, he talks about lukewarm Christians, and how there really aren't any. You are a follower of Christ or you aren't. Yes, Jesus talks about the lukewarm Christian, but he talks about them in the context of vomiting them from his mouth.

That is not someone who is saved.

Now, I have heard these verses and thought about it, and thought, "I'm not lukewarm, I do love Christ";"I do want to do what he asks of me".

But how desperately am I actually searching for that directive from him?

Frances Chan puts it this way:

It's easy to fill ourselves up with other things and then give God whatever is left. Hosea 13:6 says, When I fed them, they were satisfied; when they were satisfied, they became proud; then they forgot me". God gets a scrap or two only because we feel guilty for giving him nothing. A mumbled three-minute prayer at the end of the day; when we are already half asleep. Two crumpled up dollar bills thrown as an afterthought into the church's fund for the poor. Fetch, God!

How true this is. We all know it. We all abuse the grace God provides us. But how perfectly is it summed up with those two little words he tacked on the end..."fetch, God!"

We expect God to run after whatever we decide to throw to him, and be happy with it. I was deeply convicted about this. Luckily, God wasn't done with me yet. I read on and felt God sticking me directly in the ugly places of my heart.

But when you present the blind for sacrifice, is it not evil? And when you present the lame and sick, is it not evil? Why not offer it to your governor? Would he be pleased with you? Or would he receive you kindly?" says the LORD of hosts. ~Malachi 1:8(NASB)

With the human tendency to scan over the majority of the Bible, I have missed something essential in this verse. Frances Chan puts it this way:

They assumed God was please because they had sacrificed something. God described this practice as evil. Leftovers are not merely inadequate; from God's point of view (and lest we forget, His is the only one who matters), they're evil. Let's stop calling it a "busy schedule" or "bills" or "forgetfulness". It's called evil.

Evil. When I read that it literally turned my stomach. When I am not offering God my very best, my all, the biggest sacrifice I can give, what I am offering he considers evil.

I can not tell myself that I am busy or that I am at least doing something. I am insulting God with the little that I feel up to giving, no matter how much that is. I have even caught myself in the place of knowing I wasn't doing what God wanted me to do, but since I was doing something, I felt I was fine.

Better than nothing, right?

Like I said, this book has completely messed me up in several areas.

I have been working on trying to prioritize my life correctly. I have seen Christians that try to fit God into their schedules already too-full of sports practices, time with friends, and vacations. I have seen Christians spend so much time searching for God's calling on their life that they are completely useless to him because they are not doing anything. I have seen Christians that think they are working hard for the cause of Christ, but they are only doing so to the extent that they are happy and comfortable in the position they have chosen to serve in.

I have been all of these.

I am striving now to be none of them.

I have learned to be OK when God isn't calling me to some huge act of faith. Sometimes it takes more faith to get up and keep doing the same thing than to step out and start something new and exciting.

Sometimes God is calling us to strengthen our home so that we will be capable of facing the challenges he has planned ahead.

Sometimes he calls us to spend time growing with him so that we can offer the guidance and council that another might need.

It's not always about the fabulous, exciting and dangerous life of a faithful follower of Christ.

Sometimes it is just about the life of a faithful follower. The difference is giving the very best of myself no matter where I am and what I am doing.


Shanda said...

Amen & Amen.

Tara said...

Oh so well said!!!

deb said...

brilliant. just reading through the Unwrapping posts from Chatting at the Sky.