"With Blood On My Hands"
There are many subconscious thoughts that restrict God's hand in my heart. They come automatically, they have been there for so long that I don't remember how they even started.
Why do I fence God in? Or is it fencing Him out? In this plentiful culture of "dignity", this suburban Christianity, is God confined behind a cute picket fence? He has to fit in with our lifestyle, not change it. Nothing too "radical", too "extreme", too...different. The Bible says to be different. We think this applies to the "sinful lifestyle", but isn't this style of luxury, comfort, ease, of normal just as sinful? I am not different. I am fitting in to the "good" society: moral, polite, average people. Oh, I've been convicted about it, but eloquent preachers with 3-point sermons have come up with differences and reassurances such as 'God never said we aren't allowed to have nice things', 'God has richly blessed us', or 'God has given us all things to enjoy'. How far have I gone to call my own wants, covetousness, and desires- blessings? God's true blessings are so, so much more than that.
We consume our idolized money with our own covetousness and call it "blessings". No.
We cannot lie down and become average, decent, respectable people. We've adopted this world's standards as our own. What am I going to say to Christ when I stand before Him? How will I excuse my squandering on those little things I thought He wouldn't mind, or notice? A soul could have been saved, a nation in darkness touched, but we wanted that car, that movie, that game, that book, that computer, that house, that nice thing.
"Was it worth it?" He may ask, and oh, how ashamed and heartbroken I will be, while that nice thing burns up before my very eyes.
And my time, my limited time! How I waste it, recklessly throw it away on my own lusts, yes, on my lusts.
Again, up come those defences- 'God isn't against our having a good time, as long as it's not sinful', 'God knows we are human and need to relax, etc.', I rehearse them in my mind every time I feel the twinge, the stab, the still small voice that interrupts my thoughts.
Oh...when I reach heaven. What will I say when I look into His eyes?
My problem is... I want both. God, a relationship with Him, His blessings, His love, His grace...and a comfy, enjoyable, normal life. God without demands. God without sacrifice. God without persecution.
I am a decent, likable person. I don't get trapped in the "bad" sins that moral people of the world condemn. But my heart has been trapped by the mediocre life, money stored up for that rainy day, ideals, ambitions, luxury items, and Kodak moments. Not too different, I blend right in.
We faithfully attend church, read our Bibles, give tithes, but we still are not completely dead to Self, not totally abandoned in the love of God. We prosper in this country with food, money, extra nice things, and we are quite content to keep it that way. We hear about starving children, suicide bombers, and MIA Christians in restricted countries, but we say a prayer and move on.
I am in the grip of my ideal life and calling it God's will, that uncomfortable notion of giving all to Jesus watered down through interpretations and mega church preachers that roll out devotionals like a weekly newspaper.
Faithful Christians, we support our church, pray, run a program, maybe even witness, yet we fit God into a scheduled time slot, and as soon as that time slot is up, we stop communication. We focus our minds on the many tasks at hand, not including God.
We say that the command to 'pray without ceasing' doesn't literally means continual communication with God, but is merely a statement of how important to God prayer is.
Where is my extreme devotion? The Church once had it, centuries ago. Did nations really become more civilized and stop persecuting Christians, or did we become more civilized so that they didn't need to?
Where is my passion, zeal, dedication, love, life? Am I so lost in God that I would die for Him- or live?
This world is looking for purpose, faith, answers, something worth living and dying for. What am I showing them? My lifestyle speaks a loud testimony making my words ineffective as of now. My desires and comforts, social reputation, status, and pleasures take precedence over my Lord. I live the luxurious, comfortable lifestyle that unbelievers live as well, but mine has God tacked on top, while around the world people die of disease, famine, starvation, and no hope. Small wonder we are scorned when we try to witness. Not necessarily because of Jesus. It's because my testimony drowns out my words, shouting for all the world to hear what truly matters in my heart. If I truly loved Jesus with all my being, wouldn't that make me extreme?
If a stranger took a bullet for you, if a person you hated or didn't even know died right in front of your eyes to save you, wouldn't that drastically change the way you thought and lived, the way you treated others?
Yet...I have this, and I go on as normal, unaffected. Sure I say thank you, but I know others are dying the same death I was pulled from, and I go on, comfy.
Perhaps I have a few more standards, good things I do, etc.
So it is written with the pen of our good Christian lives the saddest event this world has ever seen. A group of people holding a truth in them, a secret that could save the world, and hiding it, because they are actually selfish. They don't have time. They don't care. They push those disturbing thoughts away and go on with shopping, having tea, earning money, or whatever they are doing.
We give ourselves to our moral, decent desires that may not physically hurt anyone now, but through an example of unbelief and lukewarm devotion, give over this world to an irreversible death.