Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Doing the right thing is always advised. We teach children to do the right thing and hope they will do it. Most of us want to do the right thing, just sometimes we get confused about what that is. Today's obsession starting point brings this into focus. Francis Chan offers "Obsessed people are more concerned with obeying God than doing what is expected or fulfilling the status quo. A person who is obsessed with Jesus will do things that don't always make sense in terms of success or wealth on this earth. As Martin Luther put it, There are two days on my calendar: this day and that day""

The drive to do what is right is often laden with self interest, either yours or someone who is advising you. A friend of mine once said the status quo is never neutral, it is always carefully crafted and protected by people's self interest. Persons who are obsessed with Jesus decide what is the right thing to do with a much different filter. Expectation and status quo while a force to be reckoned with, are not what determine their course of action. The very voice and call of God is what determines what is right.

Here is where the fun begins. The suicide bomber sincerely believes they have heard from God to go about their business. The Christians of the Crusades felt they were doing what the voice of God was calling. So how do we go about determining the voice of God. Well lets agree there is not the space or time here to even begin to develop that. The very abbreviated version is found The Sermon on The Mount, the section we have codified as the Lord's Prayer. Repeatedly we ask God to help us to yield to what God would want on earth, more than what we want. "Thy will be done, thy kingdom come on earth as it is in heaven."

There are those moments when we clearly know God is calling us. If we are wondering whether to help the person we walk by who needs help, we do not need a long discernment process, simply help. It is more complicated when decades if not centuries have gone into carefully crafting a current status quo reality. We may hear the voice of God calling us to be the agent of change, but this is one we need to be sure of. Why? Because the cost is great both to the organization and to the individuals involved. People obsessed with Jesus Christ count the cost, seek after God for confirmation, not once but repeatedly. Then they act. There is the difference of the obsessed and the not, action. Obsessed people do not allow expectations and status quo keep them from pursuing God.

In the world of the church when we allow expectation and status quo to eat us up the results are tragic. In the end we end up with a nice church that does some good things, but is nothing more than a social club with crosses. Over time the status quo becomes entrenched, and any attempt to break from it it treated as not only an all out rebellion of the church, but against the very work of God. The end game here is death. Not of the body of Christ, not even the gated of Hades will prevail there, but local and institutionally the church will die. The organization which was initiated to represent the heights of freedom in Christ, will die imprisoned to the status quo of what has always been.

The way we avoid this fate is for there to be a rise of people obsessed with Jesus. Great moves of God begin when people decide to completely, and totally sell out to God through Jesus Christ. I wonder what would happen if today was the day that marked the gathering of the obsessed? What if today was the day we looked back upon and said that was the day everything changed? that was the day people obsessed with Jesus Christ began to walk in that way? I wonder?

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