Tuesday, October 16, 2007

A life of Comfort or Christ?

A life of Comfort or Christ?

Are they one and the same? Can a Christ follower be comfortable in life? Should they? That is the question I wrestle with as I read Hosea.

I really don’t believe God is in the business of making us comfortable, if anything, He is in the business of making us uncomfortable. Think about the prophets, the apostles, the early followers of Jesus, not to mention Jesus, Himself. Not one of them was ever made more comfortable by becoming a devoted, passionate follower of Jesus. In fact, we could easily say, life became more and more uncomfortable for each.

So . . . what is the one thing you know or think or believe God wants you to do? Now consider if God wants you to become uncomfortable, is that why you are refusing to follow God’s plan for your life?

There is a dangerous mindset among many Christians who believe God wants them to be happy and to live a very comfortable life. If that is true, then where does the CROSS fit into that thinking?

Remember we exist for HIS glory – not vice versa. When we attempt to live ins such a manner that we seek to bring glory and honor to God there will be times God calls for you and I to become very, very uncomfortable.
As I read through Hosea, this became very apparent to me. Hosea was a prophet who had what we might say a ‘good ministry going on,’ he was single and, from the outside looking in, seemed to have it all together. Then God showed up . . . and things became uncomfortable.

Take a look at Hosea 1:2-3. It reads,

2 When the LORD began to speak by Hosea, the LORD said to Hosea: " Go, take yourself a wife of harlotry And children of harlotry, For the land has committed great harlotry By departing from the LORD." 3 So he went and took Gomer the daughter of Diblaim, and she conceived and bore him a son.

Think about what God was asking Hosea to do! Think about the conversation. I believe the Bible leaves out some of the details, like this conversation taking place . . .

"Hosea, I think it is time that you get married!"


Hosea joyfully replied, "Now that’s what I’m talking about, I was wondering when You would give me some help here . . . and I’ve had my eye on this girl . . . "

"Hosea, uh, she’s not the one for you!"


"Really? Well, I guess that means you have someone else in mind. Who do you want me to marry?"

"A prostitute."

"A WHAT!!! God, seriously, come on . . . stop playing around."


"I’m not playing around Hosea. You are going to marry a prostitute."

"No way!! What will my family say?"

"Don’t worry about your family, you serve me."

"Okay . . . okay. At least tell me what her name is."

"Gomer."

"GOMER!!! God, seriously, it’s bad enough that I’m going to marry a prostitute–but GOMER? Have I sinned? What have I done to make You mad?? Go-o-o-o-o-lly, shazam God, that is a man’s name from the Andy Griffith show.


"I want to use you for my glory. . . and while I know this isn’t a decision that you would have came to on your own I want you to know that your willingness to be obedient and uncomfortable will result in thousands of lives being impacted for me."


End of conversation . . .


So . . . God asked Hosea to do something that was unthinkable, to put his reputation on the line. . . and through this a message was communicated that continues to impact lives today - - Hosea’s amazing obedience.


I ask myself, what is God asking me to do that I don’t want to do, but need to do, even though it will make me incredibly uncomfortable . . . but in the end, it will result in lives being changed and glory will come to God?


How about for you? What decisions is God asking you to make that may be uncomfortable, maybe a little, maybe a lot?


Do you need to end a relationship? Because God has something so much better, but it is not here yet.


Do you need to surrender possession and money to God. That’s never easy. We wrestle with this one because we want our own possessions and control and power, and we want to live a comfortable life in our comfortable homes. Yet, when we give away our possessions and many, cheerfully and joyfully, God may have far more in store for us than we can imagine.


Maybe God wants you to become active in a ministry, to give your time to Him. Don’t wait for the pastor (that’s me) to know what makes your world rock, what makes your heartbeat like crazy, what makes your eyes light up like fireworks . . . you get the point. Just tell me what you are passionate about.


Are you learning about your spiritual gifts? Praying? Reading the Bible? Fasting? Journaling? How will you know what God wants from you if you are not connected to Him. Remember John 15:5, if we are not connected to the vine we will bear no fruit, apart from God we can do nothing, connected to God we can change the world (The Deutsch paraphrase version).


I could go on and on, but you get the point. . .


So, . . . what is the one thing you believe God wants you to do which you are refusing because you know it will make you very uncomfortable?

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