In the footer of this blog, there are a series of quotes that have helped to shape our spiritual journey. One of them is from Oswald Chambers, and he says,
“Many of us do not go on spiritually because we prefer to choose what is right instead of relying on God to choose for us.”
There was a time in life when it was fairly easy to skate by, to choose what was right for myself. For the longest time, Christ didn’t really seem worth me losing my life. For communion, or the eucharist, or the Lord’s Supper, or whatever you want to call it, I had been given a tiny wafer and a smaller-than-a-shot-glass of grape juice to represent this Christ. He seemed small and needy. How was this little Jesus the same as the one for which Paul endured so much pain and agony? How was this little Jesus the same as the one that Peter confessed, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God”? While I confessed him, too, I sure didn’t exert myself to follow him. I didn’t rely on him to choose what was right for me.
I wanted Him to choose, though. Everything I read and wanted screamed that Christ is more and worth more, but everything I saw and experienced said otherwise. And it bothered me.
For whatever reason, it bothered me that I got paid to do what I tried to inspire others to do without pay. For whatever reason, it bothered me that churches would spend big bucks to secure a new sound system or projector or van or building or some other “thing” and then turn people away because it had “maxed out its budget for the week” to help those in need. For whatever reason, it bothered me that I kept hearing more and more about character and principles than about this Christ. For whatever reason, it bothered me that I was told to do this or not do that for the sake of God. For whatever reason, it bothered me that I embraced this mentality as what God wanted of his people, his church. But is that what God wants?
A few years ago, “what God wants” was put to the test for me. I was given a clear-cut choice to either choose for myself what was right, or to rely on God to choose. Did I really believe Christ was worth more?
I had a cushy job on staff with a church. I was making pretty decent money to play my guitar and sing and read my Bible and pray and spend time with people and serve. However, there was no sacrifice in it. There never was any real sacrifice until the day Christ said, “Move.” Then we had to decide for ourselves whether to choose what was “right” and stay in our house and church with our friends and nice cushy job or to rely on God to choose for us. Was Christ worth it?
We quit the job. We sold the house. We moved. We moved in with my parents. I worked for peanuts. I wouldn’t have chosen that as “right” for us, but it was. Why? Because God chose that. That’s what He wanted. And His Christ is more and worth more. And we saw it.
Then, God asked for more. He asked us to step out of the institutional system of church altogether. (Not easy, by the way. Especially when he asks you to keep quiet and not defend yourself against the lies, rumors, and half-truths being spread about you.) But Christ is more. And we saw it again.
Then, God wanted more. “I have more ‘Right’ for you, if you’ll only rely on Me to choose.” He asked us to forsake family and friends again for His Son. He asked us to move halfway across the country for His purpose. (Again, not easy. Especially when you live next door to family and love them dearly.) But Christ is more. And we saw it more and more.
Then, God wants more. (He just keeps going, and going, and going…) He wants His expression, His House, His Family, His Son’s Body and Bride to expand. So, He asked us to once again surrender job and security to rely on Him to choose what is right. He asked us to sell our things and move our family into a tiny camper. He asked us to rely on Him for everything. And though it hurt and was so uncomfortable, we did it. Why? Because we have seen that Christ is more and worth more.
With each choice, God showed us that His Christ is more than that tiny wafer. Every time we relied on God to choose what was right, everything we had read and wanted was coming to life! Now, what we were seeing and experiencing agreed with Paul’s encouragement to the church in Colossae:
He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things have been created through Him and for Him. He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together. He is also head of the body, the church; and He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that He Himself will come to have first place in everything. For it was the Father’s good pleasure for all the fullness to dwell in Him, and through Him to reconcile all things to Himself, having made peace through the blood of His cross; through Him, I say, whether things on earth or things in heaven. ~ Colossians 1:15-20
Whoa. That’s a little more than a tiny wafer and an ounce of grape juice. That’s a little more than just friend and saviour. That’s the kind of God worth relying on to choose what is right for my family and me. That’s the kind of God worthy of going on spiritually!
To go on spiritually is to follow His Life. The cost is pricey, and the price is costly, but He is worth it. He. Is. So. Worth. It.
Are you looking to go on spiritually? Is God asking more of you? Is He asking you to rely on Him to choose what is right? If I may offer any encouragement, please do so. Rely on Him. Allow Him to choose. He hasn’t disappointed us, and if you’re after more of Christ, too, then He won’t disappoint you, either.
He is worth it.