Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Don't blow out the flame.

Radical Faith - what is it? Faith by itself is defined as having complete trust and confidence in God and/or a strong system of religious beliefs. If we add the term radical before the word faith, wouldn't this turn plain ol' faith into an extreme trust, confidence and belief?

Like I have mentioned numerous times, I am fairly new to my faith. I am just discovering what God can do and how the whole universe seems to be linked together, squashing the idea of any mere 'coincidence'. My faith grows stronger with each passing day. 

But what about radical faith? Seems like so many of us go to church, tell those around us that we are praying for them, hold our bibles, proclaim that we are Christians. But how many actually stop and say a prayer for someone when we said that we would? And how many actually open their bibles and study them, rather than letting dust collect on the cover? And how many actually follow the principles laid out within God's word that define what a true "Christian" is? 


Let's take a look at Matthew 16:24: Then Jesus said to his disciples, "If any of you wants to be my follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross, and follow me."

Agreeing to do this is a radical step. During this period of time, the cross represented crucifixion. Therefore, Jesus was telling the disciples that if they wanted to follow Him, they had to sacrifice their lives - giving up THEIR own life to follow HIS way of life. More literally, its the ultimate commitment which includes the risk of death.  


How about that voice you hear sometimes? Perhaps its a voice in your heart that feels like a dream... telling you to do something that you otherwise wouldn't because the risk is so great? Have you ever experienced that? Maybe its a nagging feeling... 

Maybe its telling you to dedicate your time to people in a certain faraway country, or maybe its telling you to redirect your focus from what you perceive as your future to something else, or maybe its that voice that tells you to take a stand for a group that doesn't otherwise have a voice. 

Or maybe you are still trying to find your place in this world, but you know that the life you are living now isn't it. 

Either way, with most of these feelings, we encounter the chance of radical faith. I say that because they involve radical change. Its not a matter of making small sacrifices and trying to let God know you sorta-kinda-maybe-hear-him-speaking-to-you-but-you-are-much-too-comfortable-in-your-current-situation-to-give-110%. Its about picking up your cross, saying adios to your current way of life, and setting out to follow life as only God wants you to. And, yes, sometimes this can lead to having to step away from friends and family and comfort zones to immerse yourself in something far greater than you can ever imagine. 

Personally, I feel God stirring in my heart. Do I know what his plan is for my life? Not exactly. But, its coming, this I know. And I am ready to get my hands dirty, so-to-speak. I think that is why the term radical faith has been resonating with me so much lately and, unfortunately, I do not know too many people who understand what I am feeling... think about it:

Do you really feel that God's plan for the majority of us would be to act as little ants on the earth... working 9-5 jobs, attending social events, walking down a path of semi-monotonous living, all while going to church, donating to the occasional charity, and letting people know - "Hey, I'm a Christian?"  God is MUCH bigger than the little worries of our comfortable lives.

Remove life as we know it and replace it with pure love, faith and confidence. Remove what WE want to do, hear, read, socialize with (insert any verb, actually) and replace it with what HE wants. This is a tad bit of what is stirring in my heart. 

Life itself should be greater! We are supposed to take extreme faith and put it in to action... take the little flame and turn it into a raging bonfire! Let the light shine! 

"Start a fire in my soul fan the flame and make it grow so there's not doubt or denying. Let it burn so brightly that everyone around can see that its YOU, that its YOU that we need... " - Start a Fire, by Unbroken. 

Remember, God has a long history of choosing ordinary people to handle magnificent feats. God has a plan for your life. Are you listening?