HT: Rebecca Kasparek
I think that fellow Anabaptist blogger, Drew G.I. Hart makes a great point in his recent article called: The Will of God – More Abstractions so we can avoid following Jesus. He says:
People wrestle constantly over whether they are aligned with God’s will’. This is the most sacred of tasks for many people. If one can be sure they are walking in the will of God, all is well. And so we try to ‘discern’. We try to discern if the church we are currently attending is the right one to feed us and our faith. We try to discern if that someone special is ‘the One’ for us. We try to discern if a particular ministry opportunity is what God is calling us to. If someone asks us to commit to help serve others because we are capable of doing so, first we need to pray about it. We pray about it because we need to know if it is in God’s will for our lives.
Many of us get this. And to be clear, we all NEED to seek the will of God. But, sometimes this can become an excuse. A way out of doing the things in Scripture that are clear…. obvious… and mandatory (even if in an invitational tone). He says the following about what happens when some Christians “hear God’s will:”
Following this logic, people amazingly tend to hear from God through the Spirit. The Spirit just so happens to lead most people into living lives that are self centered, apathetic, and in pursuit of the American Dream.
Wow. This hits many of us right in the proverbial face…. Why? Because it is so true so often at various levels, admittedly, at times in my life. The comfort and ease of the American Dream is well, comfortable and always seducing to the imagination.
Drew goes on to bring this argument to its important peak:
What I am saying is that the Christian life is not a blank slate, upon which we need to discern how to fill it all up. Instead, the Christian life is defined by a concrete lifestyle and ethics which demands following. We follow the life of Christ. Jesus is never on route to the American Dream (or the Imperial Throne of Rome), but to the cross. In fact, to choose to not live a life of the cross is to choose to no longer be Christ’s follower (Luke 14:27).
This is a challenge that we, who claim to follow the revolutionary from Nazareth, need to be reminded of on a regular basis. The powers clothed in the American Dream win our hearts and actions (way too often). Thanks Drew for the reminder.
I should add, for clarity sake, that Drew is all about the Holy Spirit. He states: “I still do believe that we ought to be sensitive to the Spirit’s leading. Yet, we must insist that there is only one Spirit, and it is always guiding us concretely in the steps of Jesus.”
Read Drew’s full article here.