A few summers ago, I woke up one morning and sensed the Lord pressing my heart with a great burden. I got up and did the usual—poured my coffee, grabbed my bag, hopped into my vehicle, and drove to the office. It was early, and I was the only one in the office, so I opened my Bible and read as I normally did each day. Although God’s word often brings me peace, this day my mind was spinning and stirring.
As I looked out the window of my office, I couldn’t help but think that somewhere along the way we had missed the mark. There was a real sense of uneasiness in my heart, and I wanted to simply drop everything and move on to something else. Going through the motions, checking off church responsibilities and opportunities like a checklist, going to Sunday school—I knew there had to be more than that. Is being a Christian simply being involved with a bunch of church activities? It made no sense to me.
There had to be more to the Christian life. I mean, people are dying and going to hell without ever hearing the gospel of their own salvation. We clearly have no time to waste our lives. I am thinking about the area and the city I live in where thousands of people surround me. How can I make my life count for them and for Christ? I don’t want to waste this life that has been entrusted to me. I want this life to count for His glory.
We’ve Missed the Point
At times, I wonder why the church has so little influence on the world. What has happened to the church? God then convicted my heart and showed me that it is because the world has so much influence on the church. For instance, we spend hours practicing for this and that, hours on video games, hours in front of a TV, and minutes, at the most, in God’s word or in prayer. The effects are evident.
John Piper once tweeted, “One of the great uses of Twitter and Facebook will be to prove at the Last Day that prayerlessness was not from lack of time.” We use social media, text, and talk on mere temporal conversations with people who are going to spend eternity in either heaven or hell.
I am convinced that the greatest need of the church today is more ordinary men, women, boys, and girls who will abandon their dreams, possessions, and treasures at the feet of the cross and rise up to be the disciples that the Scripture points us to and multiply the gospel to the ends of the earth (Acts 1:8).
For throughout history, God has done extraordinary things through ordinary people—ordinary radicals. In many of our churches, the ordinary Christian will always fight the status quo of lukewarm Christianity. Throughout the Scriptures, God calls His people in the midst of a crooked generation to be the people of faith and step out (Phil. 2:15). This is a radical stand that goes against our fleshly desire (Gal. 5:17). However, it is such a shame and grieves my heart that it has become a norm to live a nominal, casual Christianity.
The task of discipleship is grounded and founded in Christ, is to return to Christ-centered discipleship.
This radical call is for anyone who is wrestling with nominal, casual Christianity (Matt. 15:7–9). To be a disciple of Jesus is to make disciples of Jesus (Mark 16:15). Discipleship is not a call for others to come to us to hear the gospel, but a command for us to go to others to share the gospel (Rom. 10:14–15). Jesus has not given us an option to consider but a command to obey. If we won’t go, who will?
I pray that God will sweep our churches with a wind of great awakening for the call to discipleship in this dark, sin-stained world in desperate need of the gospel. The time has come for a new kind of discipleship, a radical discipleship by ordinary radicals. My prayer is that people will see that following Jesus costs everything you are and everything you have. And my prayer is that people will see that Jesus is worth it and that He is more than enough.