I used to be radical.
What happened? Where did it go?
I used to be hungry… I used to be thirsty… I used to long for nothing more than the presence of God.
As we close the books on 2013, I have been spending time reflecting on the year. I have seen a slow yet noticeable shift in my heart and my time. There has been a shift towards things of this world and away from devotion to the one and only God.
As a Christian, this frightens me. Not an unhealthy fear. But a fear of the Lord. The fear of where I might land if I don’t right the ship. If I don’t redirect myself. If I don’t get back on course. As a pastor, I am ashamed to write this. I am a spiritual leader. But my personal leadership cannot be bypassed in the leading of others. It is foundational, essential.
I used to be radical. As a younger leader, I know the importance of leading by example. And therefore before I fall, I must stand up tall and say I have been slowly going the wrong way. I want to be clear that I am not speaking in terms of sin or an abandonment of time spent with God, praying, or reading scripture. I am speaking in terms of just a slight ease away from the things of God, a slight ease away from spiritual things and a slow bent towards worldliness and comfort. I repent from my worldliness and I turn toward more and more godliness.
I used to be radical. Even as I write this, I feel led to begin to make excuses. However that is what got me where I am. Justification for the small tiptoes towards the television, the couch, more and more relaxation and less vigorous devotion. I am determined… I am resolute in the fact that 2014 will be characterized by my greatest increase in devotion to God and in a deeper desire for the things of God. I am resolute in my call toward radical devotion. I am resolute in my desire for more and more godliness. I am resolute that 2014 will not be like 2013.
I dub 2014 the year of passionate pursuit of the prince of peace aka “The year of the radical.”
However this resolution cannot be where it truly starts. This resolution must be the preface…the beginning before the beginning. Calling on God in prayer and engaging Holy Spirit within me is chapter 1.
I am not answering the call to a pharisaical lifestyle, but a life not unlike Daniel. One that is marked by devotion to Christ.
I used to be radical. I remember there was a time that I was so desperate for Jesus that NOTHING else mattered. I don’t want to go back to that time but in returning to my first love I want to progress to a time where because of my desperate devotion to Christ, everything matters.
Jesus only matters more.
Jesus > finances.
Jesus > comfort.
Jesus > family issues.
Jesus > opinions of others.
For the radical, Jesus is greater than all. I know in thought this has always been true since I began following Him almost 6 years ago. However, as I look at 2013 I don’t think my actions and heart set would prove that out. That changes now.
Here’s to making 2014 the year of the radical.
Feel like I do in some way? Comment and let me know a bit of your struggle or agree with me that 2014 will be your year of radical revival.
NOTE: At Torch Church, the weekend I am writing this post, we begin a sermon series discussing the dangers in overzealous devotion to God, one that lacks connection to Christ and His Spirit entitled, “CAGE FIGHTER.” In our fierce pursuits, let’s never forget that it is not a mission we pursue but a man: Jesus.