This past summer at Men's BASIC, my church's men's ministry, we went through this book. I have really enjoyed getting up in the morning to meet with other men who know, love and obey Jesus. I am often challenged to do things I would not think of on my own that are good for my mind and heart to do. The Holy Spirit is alive and at work in other people's lives and what He is asking them to teach and preach is encouraging my soul to expand and grow.
This book was a great opportunity to reflect upon that to which God has called us in Christ. The radical transformation of lives we observe in Scripture is not anomalous. The same Spirit is at work today in the proclamation of the same Good News of God in Christ. But what does it look like to live that out now? In what ways does the Gospel call us to rebel against our own culture? In what ways does it ask us to engage our culture in order to, by the grace of God, win some? What would you have to change in order to depend on God and His church as the video below encourages? What would you have to change in order for others to depend upon you as a member of God's church as the video below encourages?
The point of this book is not to guilt you into doing more or to make you feel unregenerate unless you are doing the most uncomfortable thing you can imagine. It is, however, encouraging you to participate in that which the Holy Spirit encourages you to do even if it is uncomfortable or considered crazy by others.
Being crazy is not being Christian. Being Christian may often be looked upon as being crazy however. Know the difference. Sometimes the most Christian thing you can do today is the most generic, vanilla, routine, predictable, pedestrian thing like providing for your wife and kids by working hard, honoring your boss by doing what they say, driving the speed limit, being generous with your paycheck, unloading the dishwasher, etc... Paul encourages those in Thessalonica to live a quiet life in faith and hard work. The hard work of faith is what sets you apart and somedays the most culturally rebellious thing you will do is depend on God by faith. This will be and is the most dramatic difference between you and those who do not know God. It is not crazy to love your family. It is crazy to believe that loving your family is not enough to make God happy with you. It is not crazy to obey the Law. It is crazy to believe that one's obedience/disobedience to the Law is not what makes someone right with God.
God has not called everyone to adopt children with disabilities. God has not called everyone to move overseas. God has not asked everyone to give away everything. God has not asked every person to work in a soup kitchen feeding the hungry. God has not called everyone to go to seminary.
He has called some people to do these very things. And who are these people? It can't always be "they" or "them." For Isaiah, it was him and he responded, "Here I am. Send me." God was not talking to Isaiah per se. Isaiah overheard God asking a question and he volunteered. Most of us must be shaken beyond our senses in order to acquiesce. But God is not desiring the guilt-ridden and pride-powered, but rather the love-smitten and humble-hearted.
Do you love God? Do you love Him more or less when you think about how much He loves you? Does His love give you strength or lead to laziness? The more we think about and immerse ourselves in the rich love shown us, the more we realize how radical and crazy His love is for us. This inspires a response of love in kind. Would your life look any different tomorrow if you were to truly trust and depend on God fully? When was the last time you made a decision based on your faith? Put another way, would you need faith to do what you did today?