I have found that often in my life I have feared that God would grow me. I wanted to grow on the outside. I wanted to become more Christlike, but I had a great inner fear. I was afraid that if I tried to really seek the Lord and beg Him for revival that He would answer my prayer. I was afraid that if I asked God to make me more like Christ that He would and that in the process I would lose the things that mattered to me in my life. I had set up all types of things that were more important to me than living as I ought. I still went to church, and read my Bible and prayed. But I did not seek God’s face.
I did not want to be a zealous Christian, just a normal Christian. There is this atmosphere in churches around the country that Christianity is not a religion of zealousness. Zealots are people that go over-board. Zealots are people that don’t know where the sensible line is to stop and do everything they can possibly do to accomplish their goal. American Christianity does not like Zealots. We like to go to church in our nice clothes. We might even like to go to church a few times a week.
Someone who actually wants to talk about the Bible at church is accepted; they are at church. But outside of church? You still want to talk about the Bible? That is starting to get on the edge.
That is starting to get a little too pushy. We don’t want to push people. We want to befriend them, and show we are like them. We want to drop hints that we go somewhere on Sunday and leave it at that. We want to allow them to come to our church where they can hear the Gospel and the Bible in the proper accepted place without anyone feeling like some line of propriety has been crossed.
Wow, how did we get here?! Did the apostles do that? Certainly the chief priests would have been fine if the apostles had only spoken of Jesus death and resurrection in the upper room. They could have hinted that they met in the room and then if people showed up they could explain why they are meeting. Bah! Where is the boldness of the Gospel? Why are we ashamed of it? As little kids we memorize Romans 1:16 yet we lose all sense of the meaning of the verse before we are a teen.
Why are we scared to hand out a tract? Why are we scared to tell someone we are going to Heaven and that Jesus saved us from sin? Because it isn’t popular? Is the Gospel supposed to be popular? They killed our Savior and He said they will persecute us. Because we will feel weird? We will feel weird about telling the greatest thing that has ever happened to us. We will feel awkward about sharing the escape from sin and Hell we have experienced. We will feel odd about sharing the joyous family we have been adopted into and the love and peace there is in Christ. Really?!
We are uncomfortable because we have forgotten about the power of the Gospel. Because we have forgotten the glory we have in Christ. But often, it is because we have not pursued all the riches we could have. Certainly the escape from sin and Hell are motive enough, but how many Christians are like I was/am? How many are afraid to grow because they don’t want to lose something never understanding that what they lose is a heavy weight and what they gain is Christ?
I began to draw an analogy here but came across this quote that I feel fits nicely instead. “In the famous battle between David and Goliath there was Goliath, the enemy to God and his people; David, the young under-sized boy; and the cowardly Jewish army. Too often American evangelicals look like a cowering army instead of a zealous David. There is opposition to God and his Word. How can we just hang our heads and give up?!” Nebraska Coach Brown http://thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/tgc/2012/04/29/is-this-evangelical-coach-out-of-bounds/
We get saved and then we act like the only thing that mattered was the escape from Hell. We don’t want to be rid of our sin. God saved us from our sin and we want to remain in it. We don’t want to grow because we are comfortable. I speak from experience. I liked my Christian life. I didn’t want to lose something that everyone around me was doing, but I wasn’t sure God would let me keep doing if I tried to grow.
God, forgive me of my sin! Oh, let me not be ashamed of the Gospel. Let me spread the good news, and be bold for my Savior. Let me not fear to grow and to change. Let me recall all you have purchased me from and detest it too much to remain in it. Set me free from the weights and the sin, and cause me to run with strength the race set before me. Search me, oh God, and know my heart. Try me, and know my thoughts and see if there be any wicked way in me. Pass me through the fire that I might come forth purified. Let me not be lukewarm, but let my light burn bright and hot for you all of my days. In the name of Jesus my Savior, Amen.