Thursday, June 12, 2014

Jesus Called You To Be A Fundamental Extremist

What makes you get out of bed in the morning? What is your motivation to move throughout the day? What is your "joie de vivre"? I am sure the answers to these questions are as varied as the people contemplating them. But should they be? If we are Christians should not our motivation for getting out of bed be the same? We have the same Lord. We are united by the same Spirit. We live by the same Kingdom principles. We have the same mission. But do we have the same focus?

There was a point in ministry when Jesus' disciples were encouraging him to eat. Jesus responded that he had food that they did not know about. When they questioned him about someone else providing for him, Jesus replied:

"My food is to do the will of him who sent me, and to finish his work." John 4:34

Jesus said the reason he gets out of bed every morning is to do the will of his Father, to complete the work assigned to him. This is where most of us disconnect. "Having faith is fine, going to church, worshiping, even talking to friends about Jesus, but to make Jesus our reason for getting out of bed is a bit much." This is our failure to enter into the fullness of relationship and service. We don't want to get "unbalanced" or be an "extreme fundamentalist". That's funny. From my take on Jesus' instructions, the only type of followers he wants is extreme fundamentalist.

Jesus spoke of us loving Yahweh to the extreme - all of our heart, all of our mind, all of our strength. Jesus spoke about loving him to such a degree that all other love would appear to be hate. He told us that he measured our love by our obedience.

Jesus also told us that we have to love extremely. We are to love each other as he loved us and we all know that he died for us because of that love. He told us to love our enemies and to pray for those who persecute us, which he demonstrated. He told us to offer the other cheek whenever someone strikes us and he said if someone takes our coat to give him our shirt as well.

So it shouldn't surprise us to read that Jesus considered obedience to his Father's will the thing that sustained him in his day, all the way to the cross. I have experienced the same sense. I have been given some tough tasks and as long as my hand was on the plow I was amazed how much I was sustained in completing them. It is not a physical thing to be understood but a spiritual phenomena: doing the will of our Lord becomes our motivation to the point of lifting us above all circumstances that would try to haul us down.

There is plenty of mental illness these days and we are coming to better understand things like depression. It used to be that we would give some quick fix cure for feeling the "blues" but many people go beyond the "blues" and face a major problem. Jesus provides healing for this and all other things that are disorders in what Father created. On top of this, those things will never touch us again when Jesus becomes our "joie de vivre".

As society moves in the opposite direction to Yahweh and sinks further into the darkness of its rebellion, more people are going to lose their motivation, more people are going to be lost to depression, more people are going to live very confused lives. Even Christians, those who profess Jesus as Lord, will face such things if they are not "extreme fundamentalists".

It is not a matter of "putting it on" but being so surrendered to Jesus that the Spirit produces the extremes in us, so that we love as Jesus loves and serve as Jesus served. When we are this in love with Jesus then nothing else matters to us than obedience to him. This passion along with the truth of the Word is what is missing from believers today and it is a balance. You can't have passion without truth because then lies will undermine you. You can't have truth without passion because then there is no application of the truth.

I pray that we can discover what Jesus had, the sustenance found in doing the will of the one who loves us beyond measure. Then the world would really be able to see Jesus.

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