Today, we wrapped up our discussion on comfort with some challenging thoughts. Here are the slides from today … Comfort must fall (last)
Before I dive into summary comments, Eddie Curran stopped me this morning and told me that those in the Middle East who observe America say that “Comfort is Satan’s lullaby” for Americans. This far better describes what we are dealing with in this giant. American’s crave comfort. I crave comfort. My whole life seems to be about my comfort. And as I look back over my past 30 years, I am convicted by just how “blanketed” I’ve been by my lust for comfort. Life has a way of doing that to you which is precisely what our enemy is trying to lure us into through this giant.
This is hard stuff. Convicting. Every single day, in almost every way, comfort comes at you pleading for your embrace. It can be nice cars, luxury vacations, a fully funded retirement … or … it can be far more subtle, far more diabolical. Far deeper in the recesses of our hearts. We live our lives with all sorts of rationalizations and justifications for our “secure” life.
I remind you of what Brennan Manning said in his book, The Furious Longing of God …
Jesus Christ has irreparably changed the world. When preached purely, His Word exalts, frightens, shocks, and forces us to reassess our whole life. The gospel breaks our train of thought, shatters our comfort, and cracks open our capsule truths. The flashing spirit of Jesus Christ breaks new paths everywhere. His sentences stand like quivering swords of flame because He did not come to bring peace, but a revolution. The gospel is not a children’s fairy tale, but rather a cutting-edge, rolling-thunder, convulsive earthquake in the world of the human spirit.
It is jarring indeed to learn that what through in His passion and death is meant for us too: that the invitation He extends is “Don’t weep for Me! Join Me!” The life He has planned for Christians is a life much like He lived. He was not poor that we might be rich. He was not mocked that we might be honored. He was not laughed at so that we could be lauded.
And in that regard, I read a letter from Carrie Strickland at TruthSpring/Highland Community Church. I encourage you to read this. Carrie and Rob Strickland followed God’s call and moved into the North Highland neighborhood 11 years ago. They have poured their life out into that community and raised their small children on a street where gun fire is the norm. The fruit of their labor isn’t instantaneous. It is a long, slow process of living out God’s call in a very tough place with very broken people. I loved Carrie’s candor about her frustration in the labor and how God asked her, “Whose story is this Carrie; Mine or yours?” Here is the letter > Scan0109
Jesus is calling us out of comfort. He didn’t suffer that we might be blanketed in luxury. He poured out and calls us to the same. Examine your heart. Check yourself every single time you reach for your wallet. What is it you are attempting to buy here with this purchase? Is it the “thing” or is it something deeper? Is it comfort?
Perhaps it is time to turn your life upside down so you can WAKE UP and realize that time is fleeting and God has called you to SO MUCH MORE than this comfortable life you’ve craved.