Wednesday, May 22, 2013

In Pursuit of the Kingdom

Following Jesus is the great adventure. Most Christians understand that. But what happens when your journey doesn't look like what your friends have come to understand as the model paradigm? What happens when your journey seems to be filled with fits and starts? What happens when Jesus calls you to a decision that makes no sense? What happens when your pursuit of Him does not take you closer to security and the American dream? What happens when He sends you to a part of the world that you know nothing about? What happens when your family begins to think you have gone off the deep end? What happens when your next step is deemed irrational by those who love you?

A friend of mine recently shared with me his call to obscurity. He is a gifted preacher with a heart for the kingdom of God. A few years ago he and his wife heard God call them away from the place everyone thought he would end up at because that's where both their families are located. But instead, God sent them in the opposite direction, to another state, further from their roots. What did they do? They obeyed and they have never regretted it.

A few weeks ago a friend of mine told me that my first priority was to my family. I know what he meant, but for some reason it did not set right with me. What could possibly be wrong with that statement? Believe it or not, everything! Jesus actually said something very different in the Sermon on the Mount. In Matthew 6:19-34 Jesus calls us to abandon all for Him and His priorities. This section of Scripture is filled with all or nothing language. The kingdom is all or nothing. The journey cannot be made in a half hearted manner.

"Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, THEN all these things will be added unto you" (6:33). What things? Food, clothing, drink (6:25 & 31). The last thing to occupy our thoughts is to be "How am I going to make it today?" The first thing is to be, "What is God up to and what role am I to play in His plan"? Seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, that's to be my preoccupation, my obsession.

Okay, but how do I get there? How do I arrive at the place where the only thing that gives me comfort is pleasing Him? Everything around me mitigates against that sort of commitment- my friends, my culture, my fears, my own desires for success. Can I even get there from here? Is anyone willing to go with me? But even more important, Are You calling me to something deeper? Are You waiting for me to get tired of the status quo? Will You become my status quo?

Help me to let go of everything that keeps me from following You.  

No comments: