Do you watch wrestling? I never did...sometimes accidentally I would walk by a TV when we were growing up and would see it if my brother had it on. I don't know much about wrestling...I never even went to a high school wrestling match, but this week I feel like I could beat the best of them...even Nacho Libre. I have been wrestling all week and feel like a seasoned pro. I have wrestled with myself(something you won't see on TV)...over God's Word...the line...my thoughts...my fears..my flesh. I don't know any other way to describe my last week...but one filled with wrestling.
I have read chapter 2 of Radical like 4 times and every time I read back through it something else stands out to me....and I underline it...and wrestle with it. I'm going to try my best to get my thoughts written out in a somewhat clear manner...and pray that what I write truly magnifies Christ and not me.
When David Platt writes about his experience in Asia with a secret church, I got a little sick to my stomach. He talked about how the leaders just wanted him to teach for hours on end...that all they wanted was to learn the Old Testament and then the New Testament. These men left their fields(their livelihood...they were farmers) unattended for weeks to learn the word...Jesus was all that mattered to them. The word he described them with was hungry...and it stuck a cord with me. Am I that hungry for the word...for the truth..for God's moving in my life? He described the scene in that little secret church where they all huddled together with their Bible's laid on their laps and one little light bulb hanging over their heads and then Platt wrote these words...
No Sound system.
No cushioned chairs.
No heated or air-conditioned building.
Nothing but the people of God and the Word of God.
And strangely, that's enough...
But is His Word enough for us?
Would His Word still be enough for His people to come together?"
and my question for myself was...is He enough for me? I don't need all of those things above(although I do like them)...but there are a whole lot of other things that I think I "need". I know I need to be hungry for the revelation of God.
As I read through the rest of the chapter I was like "right on...preach it brother", because Platt teaches such sound doctrine when it comes to who we are(spiritually dead with an evil heart)...who He is(a loving Father, but also a wrathful judge...which you won't hear too often)...and what we need.
This is the part of the chapter that literally jumped off the page because far too many people are falling into the lies of "Christianity today"... We aren't saved from our sins because Roman soldiers hung Jesus on a cross with nails...it's not the judgement of men that payed the debt for all of man kinds sin...wood and nails and a crown of thorns is not powerful enough to save us. "What happened at the Cross was not primarily about nails being thrust into Jesus' hands and feet but about the wrath of your sin and my sin being thrust upon his soul" . The cup that He wanted to pass was not the cross itself...but divine judgement, the cup of God's wrath.
Today we tell people that the way to respond to this gospel is to say a prayer...invite Jesus into our lives...sign a card...walk an aisle...but that just doesn't seem adequate enough or even appropriate. In our ministry we have stressed this with our teenagers...that it's not a prayer...it has nothing to do with anything you have done or choose...that He chooses us...and that the sinner's prayer is nowhere in scripture. I loved Platt's statement here:
"We have taken the infinitely glorious Son of God, who endured the infinitely terrible wrath of God and who now reigns as the infinitely worthy Lord of all, and we have reduced Him to a poor, puny Savior who is just begging for us to accept Him. Accept Him?? do we really think Jesus needs our acceptance? Don't we need Him?"
Oh, we so desperately need Him...and that I think is where the wrestling begins. I wrestled with whether or not I have not done the kids in our ministry justice. Have I stressed to them enough about what salvation truly is? Do they know Jesus intimately? Do they hunger after His word...do I? Do they truly get it or are they clinging to a prayer? Are they settling for less than "a God-centered, Christ-exalting, self-denying gospel"?
I am worn out from my wrestling this week...but I'm glad. I texted my husband yesterday to say to him ...I'm struggling...where do I draw the line? Is it wrong to go on vacations? Is it wrong to go through Dunkin Donuts and get my Pumpkin Spice Latte that I love? Is it wrong to want new things...is it wrong to have someone pray the sinner's prayer...am I a selfish baby because I don't see others needs like I should? His response...."good". I said "good what?"...he said "good that you are struggling". And I smiled...it is good...so I will put on my stretchy pants and cape this week...dive into God's Word...and keep wrestling. Maybe I'll even learn some new "moves" this week. I know one thing, after all this wrestling, I am just praying that I would follow Him and come out stronger on the other side...and maybe learn how to do a Superfly Snuka move(don't let it fool you...I had to google it)!