Monday, October 26, 2009

The Idol of Comfort

Because my comfort would prefer for me to be numb and avoid the impending birth of who I was born to become. C.S. Lewis Song - Brooke Fraser
We live in a culture that pursues the idol of comfort. Comfort at the expense of conformation. Conformation to the only one worth conforming to, Jesus.
We would rather conform to the world than conform to the image of our Savior.
"Why is this?" I believe that conforming to Jesus will ultimately cost us our comfort. Comfort that we pursue and believe is right around the corner if only we had the right circumstances, children, house, husband, job, church, relationships, money, security, accomplishments. But even when we get the things that we have trusted in to bring us comfort we are left hollow, empty and confused.
We conform to the world and the ideas of this world so we can feel comfortable in the world, when in reality, the Lord has told us not to conform any longer to the things of this world but to be TRANSFORMED by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect. Romans 12:2.
Let me unpack this verse for a moment. We are not to conform to the world because we are to be transformed to be more like Christ. How do we become more like Christ?We become more like Christ by the renewing of our minds in the Word of God. It is by the Word of God we are able to discern what the Lord's will is for our lives. His will takes us out of our comfort zone and ultimately transforms us to be good, acceptable and perfect. When we are in the Word of God our spiritual eyes and ears will be opened and His glorious light will shine into the dark recesses of our heart and reveal within us the things He desires to change. This dear one will bring discomfort. We, as children of God, will have to slay the idol of comfort and press through with full assurance that He who began a good work within you will see it through to completion. Confessing the sin that resides in the dark recesses of our heart and allowing the God of all comfort to comfort us so that we too can comfort others with the same comfort we ourselves have received.
It is the idol of comfort that threatens the process of transformation. It is when we pursue the idol of comfort at the expense of God's transforming work we become threatened by the feeling of being uncomfortable. Instead of being comforted, by the God of all comfort, we retreat and run to avoid the cleansing process that must take place. This cleansing process is also known as repentance. We would rather feel nothing at all than to feel the pain, loss and necessary change which comes from living a life of Godly sorrow and repentance.
If in fact, we allow ourselves to feel and our eyes to be open to the spiritual condition of this country, it just might propel us to do something about it. It will bring an inconvenience to our comfort. It will bring an overwhelming desire and a sense of urgency to reach out to a dying, desolate and lost world. It will make us uncomfortable in this world and the sin that is prevalent. It will cause something within us to stir and will bring us to our knees in prayer for a vision for our life and desperately wanting Him to use us for whatever His purpose. It will bring us to a place where we long to see Him, eagerly anticipating His return, for our eyes will be fixed on things above and not on earthly things. We will become more aware of the eternal and less aware of the temporal.
Are you pursing comfort at any cost? Are you bowing down to the idol of comfort at the expense of God's transforming work within you? Are you comfortable or comforted?

Because my comfort would prefer for me to be numb and avoid the impending birth of who I was born to become. C.S. Lewis Song - Brooke Fraser

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

The Darkest Hour of Night

It's been awhile, hasn't it? Life has gotten busy and in the midst of the busyness I have lost my footing and focus. I have allowed everyday life to soak up my creativity and steal away precious moments with my God. Life has gotten louder and in the brief moments of silence my fears have screamed at me.
I have been honest with you in previous posts that I struggle with fear. A fear of things that I can not see. I have also mentioned in the post, Fear of Things Unseen, that fear is a form of worship, for what I fear will be what I will eventually bow down to. If it is a fear of the spirit world, I will give the enemy power over my life that is not due him. And if I'm fearing all the evil in the world than I am in fact denying that, He who lives in me is greater than he who is in the world and I am worshiping and giving power to the enemy of the Living God.
If it is fear of pain, which I also struggle with, then I will keep myself from situations that will result in me feeling uncomfortable or pain. I will build up a wall around my heart to keep from feeling anything at all. I am praying about writing more about this in the weeks to come in a post entitled, Tearing Down the Walls.
I want to share with you what I have been wrestling with so that you can be encouraged to stand firm on the promises of God in the midst of all that we see taking place within our country and in the world. I personally feel a sense of urgency and a call to repentance for our Salvation is about to break forth like the dawn but just as the darkest hour of night is right before dawn, I feel like our darkest hour is yet to come. We need to be praying for strength to endure the darkest hour of night and praying that we will not fear man but will fear God. Praying that our house will not be broken into during this dark hour of night and that when the thief comes we will be found faithful and sensible. For Jesus' words in Matthew 24:42-46 are to the expecting and the unsuspecting servants, "Therefore, be on the alert for you do not know which day your Lord is coming. But be sure of this, that if the head of the house had known at what time of the night the thief was coming, he would have been on the alert and would not have allowed his house to be broken into. For this reason you also must be ready; for the Son of Man is coming at an hour when you do not think He will. Who then is the faithful and sensible slave whom his master put in charge of his household to give them their food at the proper time? Blessed is that slave whom his master finds so doing when he comes."
What is the coming of Christ compared to? The coming of Christ is compared to as a thief that comes in the night. A thief that comes to the expecting and the unsuspecting. A thief that comes in the darkest hour of night when mockers are mocking and following after their own lusts. 2 Peter 3:3. An hour when the faithful are working and watching for His glorious appearing.
Who is the faithful servant? The faithful servant, according to Jesus, is the servant who is watching, waiting and working. A servant whom is feeding the household of God, the church with spiritual food and nourishment. The servant who goes into the dark places and allows the Lord's brilliant light of Salvation to break forth like the dawn to people who are walking in darkness. We must have a heart to bring the light of the world into the dark places of humanity and not be ashamed of the gospel and of Him who opens eyes that are blind and ears so that they can hear. It is only in the name of Jesus that the light breaks forth like the dawn. It is during the darkest hour of night that our light shines the brightest. It is the light of Christ that exposes sin for the sake of freedom and brings people out of the darkness and into His glorious light.
I'm watching, waiting and working.....