Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Too Comfortable...

"No! Don't let it happen. Don't let me slowly creep back into ease. Don't let me become "easygoing" with my faith. Don't let me become comfortable in life."

This has been my prayer since coming home from Brazil. This life is our chance to get out of our "comfort zone" and suffer for Christ. I'm talking physically and emotionally. Now, I can say this as much as I want, but do I mean it? Am I really willing to take what will come my way when I bear myself before my King and this world? Am I willing to feed the hungry and clothe the naked? Am I willing to be wise, but not "safe"? Am I willing to give up rights to myself and give myself completely to the One who knows and loves me best?

Were we ever promised that this life would be a breeze? Were we promised that we would get a "one-way ticket to paradise" with no stops along the way? Where do we come up with these ideas? As Christians, do we let the world, culture, society influenece us more than the Word of God? God's Word says that we are sent out as a sheep in a pack of wolves. That is about the worst analogy I want to be commpared to. It's basically the position I want to steer clear of the most. A poor, helpless sheep among hungry, angry wolves who happen to love sheep sirloin the best. No good. However, this is what Jesus tells us. What do you think He could mean by it? Maybe that we will suffer, that we will face persecution, that we will forget the "comfortable" life.

Just some thoughts. Right now, I'm wanting to go minister on the streets, but part of me feels like waiting till some others can come with me. Father, please send the right people into my life. Your will be done, on earth, like it is in heaven. Amen.

14 comments:

SoccerReformer said...

Those are good prayers and desire to be sure - only be certain to remember that God has established the church as his means for establishing righteousness. There's no crime in wanting to have others with you in the work, in fact the biblical pattern is that you do this - and particularly regarding accountability and authority.

Julianne said...

Thank you, RSG. Good, solid, biblical advice.

Daniel Mann said...

Amen sister

1 Peter 4:1-2
Since therfore Christ suffered in the flesh, arm yourself with the same way of thinking, for whoever has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin, so as to live for the rest of the time in the flesh no longer for human passions but for the will of God.

I just registered for the Desiring God 2005 National Conference; "Suffering and the Sovereignity of God". I am a little hesitate to go. I feel that if I go I might jinks myself to suffer. How can I listen to a message about suffering and not aspect the message to be worked in me and thus be a doer of the word and not a hearer only?

It is funny I want the fruit that suffering produces; like a person such as Joni Eareckson Tada(she will be one of the speakers) but without the suffing.

But the fact is as Christians we are all called to suffer with Christ. For Christ gives himself to us through suffering. So the Question really is do we want Him?
To live is Christ!

We still go out on friday nights to minister on the streets, feel free to join us. I asked and told Pastor Dale that I wanted to be more involved in the Church. He told me to just do something,or start something. It would be great to have people from our own church to go out, and minister on the streets, or door to door.

Coram Deo
Daniel

Frank Martens said...

I know the feeling, I felt the same way after going to Kosova last year.

I really want to go into missions, I'm just waiting for God to provide the opportunity (and I have school bills to pay :)

Cheers!

stephen said...

You're reading my mind Jul...

I get fed up sometimes with the life I lead. When I step back and take a good look at my life, I realize what a spoiled, self-centered person I am.

Julianne said...

Daniel,

Thanks for the post. You should organize a group to meet up with the group you go with. Tel PD and he can put it in the bulletin. Get people excited about going, talk to people about it in the church. Sounds good. I don't know why I haven't gone again. God willing, Maybe I can bring some friends with me on Saturday.

Julianne said...

I mean Friday night...

Rand said...

Right now, I'm wanting to go minister on the streets, but part of me feels like waiting till some others can come with me.

Good idea... hee hee! I totally agree that you should go with someone else; the Lord, after all, sent his disciples two-by-two. Besides, the streets (depending where you are) often presents unknown dangers for a lovely woman as yourself. I will pray that the Lord raise up a faithful man/woman to help you in your endeavour.

Just a thought Julianne: have you ever considered evangelizing your neighbourhood through Gospel literature? It is fairly "low-risk" and quite effective. You just wake up 1-hour earlier in the morning, put your running shoes on, and drop a bible tract in every mailbox you see. These are seeds that can last A LONG TIME, and it is almost a guarantee that one of those tracts will find God's elect.

Again, that is just an idea. Sometimes, just doing these "little works" can be quite a blessing, and they can be quite effective. The key though, as in all things, is perseverance... don't quit.

Your evangelist friend,

Rand

ps: I don't know where you live, but if I'm ever down in the corner of the US you are in, I promise to take you to do some serious street evangelism with me. ;-)

Warhdsonforehds said...

I think one must be careful not to equate suffering with walking in step with God. Saying that it won't always be easy isn't the same as saying that it will always be hard.

stephen said...

I agree with what you say ward, but it is easy being a christian when we lead cushy, comfortable lives. What better to challenge our faith than to step out of our comfort zone?

Jesus' ministry wasn't all fun and happy-feely.

Think of the story in the Bible about Jesus and the rich man. Jesus said to enter the kingdom of heaven he must first sell everything he had.

Warhdsonforehds said...

I don't think its any easier being a Christian when times are good. Quite the contrary, it's a lot easier to rely on and listen to God when times are hard. It's when times are easy that we have to be mindful that our thoughts don't go astray.

That said, I don't think seeking hardship is what God is looking for. If what we are doing means that we endure hardship that is one thing, but saying "I'm not enduring hardship, I need to change what I'm doing" is something that I don't think is in line with God.

Joanna Martens said...

Julianne!
When I come up to see you from Cali we'll do some serious street evangelism! I think we'd be a great team. :-)
About your post-I just happened to share my convictions with a weathly newport beach family I babysit for. This isn't a rare thing, considering God is always putting me in an high dollar house and opening doors to share who He is with them...it's amazing how eagerly they soak it up, and the questions they have. Sometimes they just sit there and smile at me, wondering.
It's a step to put yourself out there, knowing that they probably could be thinking what kind of a freak you are, and never ask you to watch their kid again...but I'd rather have Jesus than any job. duh.
The more you let yourself be His witness, the more you become bold. Dont' be afraid to let yourself shine and spill over God's goodness (I could be just preaching to the choir-praise Him!). It's contagious, and people all around you are watching you. Always be ready in and out of season to give an answer for the Hope that is in you. Peace out girl and look to the One who will sustain you and refresh you when you need it!
luv yah! joey

Julianne said...

Rand,

I like your idea about early morning tract distribution. What are some good tracts you recommend?

Joey,

We totally have to go! I'm excited already. So, that is so neat how God has made you bold about the Gospel. Awesome!

ps-Newport? That is so funny. My dad grew up there. Small world(but, I wouldn't want to paint it!).

Rand said...

Sorry I took so long to reply Julianne... things have been busy.

My pastor has used the services of Evangelical Tract Distributors often in the past. Many/most of their tracts are Biblically sound (as in, they are NOT Arminian), and their covers are such that they attract attention. Their website (if you are interested):

http://www.evangelicaltract.com/

This being said, you may want to try this (because it's kind of fun): Why not make your own tract? Three of the tracts we are using in our Street Evangelism are "homemade". All you need in as appropriate amount of text, and then any photocopying/printing business will take care of your needs. And the great thing is that is doesn't cost that much to have it done.

One tract I particularly love was designed by my pastor. On the cover, in bold letters:

GOD, JESUS CHRIST, AND YOU.

I love it because just with the cover, the person has a decision to make: "am I going to read about God and Jesus, or will I chuck this paper away?" That's what you want in a tract. You want to have people face the topic of Eternity.

Do e-mail me if you would like to receive a copy of our homemade tracts, to see what we put together, maybe give you some ideas.

Hope this helps, and I pray the Lord will make you an effective soul winner for His honour and glory!

Later,

Rand