On Friday, I posted about how easy we have it in the U.S. and most other developed countries. Our idea of persecution is when the courts don’t allow a U.K. couple to adopt because they won’t tell their kid that being gay is an acceptable lifestyle or people shunning us because of our beliefs. The idea of being dragged out of our homes and beheaded sounds like a nightmare. I think this lack of persecution is one of the things that keeps many people from taking their Christianity seriously.
But it’s not the only thing. Most of the Christians I know, myself included, haven’t really attempted much for God. I’ve written a few books, but my marketing efforts have been half-hearted at best. I’ve spoken a few times to small church groups, but haven’t really pursued bringing any message before the church as a whole. And a lot of my friends go to church, go to lunch afterward, hang out the rest of the day, then live a very normal life Monday through Friday. They may refrain from hooking up on dates or smoking pot or lying, but their lives and mine are easy. Try to live a standard life with God at our side to help us when we need Him, but don’t rock the boat. Don’t ask Him for growth, don’t ask Him for help on a daily basis to shine as lights in the darkness, and certainly don’t ask Him for a calling so big that you can’t possibly do it without Him.
What if we did?
What if, when we woke up, our first thought was a prayer that our day would have at least one situation that we can’t make it through in God’s way without Him? What if we were to pray for a peace that passes all understanding, knowing full well that the exhibition of such a peace would require us being in such a situation that the peace makes no sense?
What if we weren’t satisfied with living the same lives, with the same goals and just a few less sins, as those who aren’t Christians?
I know that not everyone is called to make the same splash that Billy Graham has had. Not everyone will write the next “Crazy Love”. Yet how many are called to make more of an impact than they have? How many could be used by God, even to the extent Billy Graham and Francis Chan have, if they would only give up their own ends for God’s purpose? And, calling aside, how much stronger could everyone’s faith be (and the church as a whole be) if they were to pray for opportunities to grow their faith?
Veterans can vouch that being in a foxhole with someone creates a strong bond in most cases. When your life is in their hands and vice versa, when you face the enemy together, camaraderie is natural. Would the church likewise grow stronger if we were to pray that God would send each other opportunities to grow? Or if we were to share our struggles with our brothers and sisters so they can pray for us and we for them?
What if the weaknesses of our Christianity and our church could be solved by simply praying that God helps us do something harder for Him?
A week or two ago, I challenged people to pray for growth in their lives. This is a similar challenge: to pray that God would give you a calling you can’t accomplish without Him. It may not have a major impact in your eyes; it may only touch one person and even then, you might not see the results. But I believe only half the purpose of any calling is to help others; the other half is to grow closer to God yourself. What if that was our top priority? Our Christianity would certainly get harder, but it would finally be a Christianity worth having.