June 3, 2013 - Radical Hope

The senior pastor of the church I attend, frequently falls under criticism for his comments regarding man’s use of the resources God entrusts to him.

This concept is visualized by the image of a house turned upside down, completely upsetting our American dream of wealth and prosperity. But there is a secret in what our pastor says.

One morning recently two of the Christian radio announcers mentioned that they had read the book Radical, by David Platt. Their comments centered upon their inability, or more accurately, their unwillingness to do what Dr. Platt recommends in his book. The female of the duo stated, “I just don’t think I can do that. It’s so outside my comfort zone.”

God does not say anywhere in scripture that your “comfort zone” should be an indicator you are where He wants you to be.

It’s tough to turn your back on luxury, prestige, comfort and wealth. After all, we work hard for what we have, right? We should be able to enjoy those things without some pastor making us feel guilty about it, shouldn’t we?

To feel better about ourselves, we might suggest that Platt is off base, not following the spirit of God’s word, or being naïve in his comments about living radically in a world where non-radical is the new dream.

The problem with that approach is that it isn’t David Platt’s plan—it’s Gods.

So do we give up everything and go on the mission field? Do we sell all we have and give it to the poor and needy?

This is the sticking point for many with whom I have spoken. The arguments go something like this:

  • God blessed me with wealth, why should I give it away?
  • I earned what I have. I have the right to spend it the way I want.
  • I have a family to support. I need a savings account to provide for them.
  • God helps those who help themselves. My wealth is the result of God’s favor.
  • I can’t go on the mission field. I know others can, but not me. I just can’t.

The question remains, what then are we supposed to do?

I suggest that the most important question we should ask (that also answers the first) is—What is God telling me to do?

In the early church, many gave up everything and went to serve the poor, or were imprisoned for the sake of the Gospel, or gave their lives for the sake of His Word.

But not everyone did. Not everyone was called upon to give it all, and not everyone is now called to do so either.

That being said—some are.

The key to finding the answer is this:

  • Genuinely spend time with the Lord, giving Him a blank check with the rest of your life. Your job is to diligently determine what He is telling you personally.
  • It doesn’t matter what God is telling your friends, your coworkers in Christ, or me. It matters what He is telling you.

Your willingness to allow God to use you no matter what is essential. Your life may be turned upside down, but the ride will be incredible, and the consequences eternal.