The Christians there have a strong faith, an unshakable belief that "To live is Christ, to die is gain." They have to. Many of them are turned out of their homes when they become a Christian. Many are persecuted for their faith. Churches may be burned by militant Hindus. Christians may be beaten in the streets and even in their own homes. They have truly counted the cost of following Christ.
As I spent time among them I was reminded of the Beattitudes Jesus shared in the Sermon on the Mount. The very first verse in this section of Matthew 5 says "God blesses those who recognize their need for Him, for the Kingdom of Heaven is given to them." That convicts me. How often do I truly recognize my need for God?
As I worshipped with my brothers and sisters in India God gave me a word for the American Church, the very church that Indian pastors pray for every Sunday because they say we are "uniquely positioned and resourced to win the entire world for Jesus Christ." Their belief in us is humbling to say the least, especially since I am not so certain that many of us here in America have this as our first priority.
So my post for today is to simply share with you what I feel like God is saying to us as Christians here in America. It's not an easy word. It's not going to be a popular word. You won't love to hear it, but hear it you must. As we worshiped, this is what God said.....
"Our comfort is perhaps our greatest spiritual enemy. We are not desperate for a move of the Spirit of God. Our own comfort and safety has put us into a spiritual stupor. This is dangerous territory. Our hunger is for comfort, safety, our own desires. We order our lives around these things, not around the move of the Spirit. Our longing for safety and comfort determines our priorities, which will not always line up with the promptings and movings of the Spirit.
The more we have the more we are dissatisfied. The pickier we get. The more we focus on our own needs and petty problems, the less we focus on our desperate and real need for God. When we have much, we lose our desire and desperation for God and become self-conscious, concerned more with ourselves than with God and all He is longing to do.
As long as our desire is for comfort, safety, and ease, we will have a neutered relationship with God Almighty. Our relationship will be safe, civil, insipid and ultimately powerless. Sadly, this is not the church God can use to change the world, to win people in all corners of the globe to Himself."
I want to be bold. To be courageous. To use this one life to bring God glory in amazing ways. I want my life to count for more than just having lived a safe, insipid, comfortable life when there is so much at stake. I want to long for God more than I long for a hot bath, a big meal, air conditioning or even flush toilets. I want to quit worrying about how I look and start worrying about if I am showing the love of Christ. I want to be able to say that I will obey God even when it is not convenient or safe. I want to give sacrificially so that others might know my Savior.
What do you want? I encourage you to hear from the Lord!