Christian Immigration

ChristianImmigrationI use the term “God-life” a lot. I’m not sure where I picked it up. It’s a bit awkward in how it rolls off the tongue.

I think it means the life that God has called us each to live. You’re doing what you’re supposed to do. I’m doing what I’m supposed to do. And together, we all find blessing and contentment in the God-life.

Paul hit on it when he said, “Only let each person lead the life that the Lord has assigned to him, and to which God has called him. This is my rule in all the churches.”

The problem is, most of us aren’t. We don’t like life-long assignments, especially ones that are ingrained. If we drive on a road too long and too far we start looking for exit ramps. It’s too constricting. It feels too “Matrix-y”. We want to have a voice in how our life plays out. And all-too-often that voice says “no.”

Haggai states it well when he says,

“Take a good, hard look at your life. Think it over. You have spent a lot of money, but you haven’t much to show for it. You keep filling your plates, but you never get filled up. You keep drinking and drinking and drinking, but you’re always thirsty. You put on layer after layer of clothes, but you can’t get warm. And the people who work for you, what are they getting out of it? Not much – a leaky, rusted-out bucket, that’s what.” –The Message

Another version says to “consider your ways”

So consider your ways.

If God is looking at your marriage, your job, your children, your relationships, your finances, your management style, your ethics, can you hear him say, “How’s that going for you?”

If your answer is sheepish, good. Being dissatisfied with how your life is playing out is the first step towards the God-life. Your appetite has to diminish for the cumbersome world you’ve created, and it must increase for the world of God’s grace.

Then, repent.

Repentance is not an emotion. It’s not feeling sorry for your sins.

It’s a decision

Of repentance, Eugene Peterson says,

It is deciding that you have been wrong in supposing that you could manage your own life and be your own god; it is deciding that you were wrong in thinking that you had, or could get, the strength, education and training to make it on your own; it is deciding that you have been told a pack of lies about yourself and your neighbors and your world. And it’s deciding that Jesus Christ is telling you the truth.

Repentance is our permission for God to bring us home.

I spoke on this this past Sunday and I called it Christian Immigration—which in hindsight is about the most boring title possible. (Confession: I don’t title things well. If I had to write an article on the new Ferrari FF, I would probably title it, “Car”. Or if I felt creative, I would go for “Cool Car.” I’m called the Great Understater.)

If the exodus was Israel leaving their bondage and slavery and wildly inaccurate view of the God-life, then Christians have a similar exodus to partake in. Our slavery isn’t at the hands of Egyptian taskmasters, but rather in our culture’s rapacious grip on our minds and souls. We’re busy and competitive and we let the culture lull us into a self-satisfaction wrought with our own hands and a few credit cards. The American dream is to buy what you want then get stressed out in working to pay for it. And our churches have followed suit. Go, go, go. More, more, more.

Consider your ways.
Count the cost.
Change. Repent.

Seriously. Stop it.

We all feel the pull of the God-life. It’s a life lived in simple attention to God. Simple attention turns into simple obedience. Simple obedience turns into deep satisfaction.

I’m going to have a follow up to this post later this week, but I’ll hold here for now.

Before I go, let me quote a unicorn. From one of my favorite children’s book, C.S. Lewis’ The Last Battle,

“I have come home at last! This is my real country! I belong here. This is the land I have been looking for all my life, though I never knew it till now…Come further up, come further in!”

We need the voice of this unicorn in our life often. God has provided that in the form of a pastor.

If you have no pastor, I would like to submit myself to you for consideration. And while you are considering things, please consider Saverton Community Church as your home.

As always, comment and share, por favor.

Pastor Jared


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