Do You Have Convenient Faith?
This is what we have when we welcome Jesus into parts of our lives and screen him out of others. God fits well into weddings, funerals, Christmas, and Easter for almost all Christians. Many run to Jesus when things are really bad, and praise him when things are really great. Some enjoy church nearly every Sunday, and some even carve out regular times of prayer, learning, and Christian fellowship. But what about the rest of our lives?
We face enormous pressure to be reasonable. The bible encourages us to “pray without ceasing,” but who really does that? Is it even possible? After all, who wants or needs God in every single little detail of their lives? Instead, just about everyone moves back and forth between two different realities—doing things with Jesus, and doing things on our own. Since Jesus has promised to always be there when we need him and never let us down, this is fantastically convenient. Is this a big deal? Let’s look at reasonable and convenient faith from three different perspectives:
Jesus Wants More Than Just Convenient Faith
Jesus chases us around, desperate to be our best and most intimate friend. He invites us to a salvational relationship that invades every aspect of who we are and what we do. He calls us to total immersion in love, peace, joy, and hope based on faith. He promises to be there with us when we suffer and redeem every bit of pain we feel and every mistake we make. He lived as one of us, died, and rose so that he can truly be there, not just for us but WITH us for every trail, celebration, and stupid little piece of our lives. I imagine he is puzzled and frustrated when we leave him out—just like you are when your kids make life so much tougher than it needs to be.
The Enemy Loves Convenient Faith
The enemy is happy to let us have our convenient, finite relationship with God. He is not threatened when God shows up in big ways in our lives or when we go to church, because he finds plenty of room to thrive in all of the ordinary space we screen off from God. He takes offense, and stirs us to resist, when God gets invited into our everyday challenges. You can hear him whisper and groan: “Seriously, you’re going to bother God with this little thing?” Or, “Come on. Let’s get this handled. No time for prayer right now.” Maybe even, “Jezz! The whole Jesus thing again?! You’ve got to be kidding me. These freaking pastor types are always trying to stick their bibles into your business. Come on. Just let it go for once.”
Our Children Deserve More Than Convenient Faith
What do you suppose their battle for faith is like? How much of their life is composed of the “ordinary” on their headphones, on the screens they look at, and with the “normal” people they hang around with? How easy is it for them to get lost in the world and separate God out for when they need help or it’s time to go to church. There is a multi-trillion dollar marketing industry out there, along with school, sports, and activities FILLING their lives with good things, bad things, and anything but Jesus.
How thrilled is the enemy to see you teaching them to compartmentalize God into selected parts of their lives in order to leave more room for everything else by doing that yourself? How incredibly difficult will it be for them to trust Jesus with the little things, the minute by minute things that friends share with each other, if God is only real for you when the chips are down—when it is “appropriate” and not too inconvenient?
Time to Step Up Your Faith
Be silly. Be ridiculous. Pray all the time. Invite God into every little aspect of your own life. Treat Jesus like the best friend you always want around, can always trust, and know will always help you in the best possible way. Stop leaving so much room for the enemy to fill in the level, ordinary ground surrounding the peaks and valleys of your life.
It’s not convenient. It’s not conventional. It’s not what your friends are doing. It is radical, just like the creator God who is chasing you around recklessly, willing to do anything and everything to get your attention and win your love. Stop. Slow down. Let Jesus catch you. Invite your kids to get to know their eternal best friend by acting like you already know and love Jesus here, now, today, and every day. Embrace the “inconvenience” of radical, mundane relationship with Jesus.
photo credit: KelseyyBarbara via photopin cc