This week there has been an abundance of email in my inbox regarding the name of the book that I recently wrote. The discussion has turned philosophical, as each of the various titles is considered, the topic of this conversation has become who God is, and how people perceive him. Despite the fact that its taking forever to name the book, I am really enjoying the talk.
Over and over we come back to the same crossroads in this discussion, we have to decide if we want to speak to the people in this world who believe that God is calling us to more as people and if we want to live a life for him we must be willing to give up everything, or to the other people who would rather him to be the god that Oprah talks about, the one who is ever-present and “good” but not dangerous or ever going to call us to do something that might not be safe.
One of the titles that I really like is “Leap of Faith”. I have felt since the book project began almost a year ago, that the highest purpose we could aspire towards with this project, is that we might inspire others to step outside their normal lives and to jump into His arms. I feel called to influence people to take leaps of faith for Him, this is really the core reason I decided to write our story.
As I am writing this post I have a Jesus Culture song playing in the background, its called “Show me Your Glory” Its a great song, but it gets me thinking… What if he really did show us his glory? Would we be able to handle it? Would we like how dangerous he is? Or would we be disappointed because our “safe god” is not real.
During our time in America this summer we had the opportunity to speak at several churches, time and time again we heard the same question. “Why are you bringing your family somewhere so unsafe?”
Each time I would stumble over my words, not really sure how to answer, I wanted so badly to us this moment to inspire them that we were each meant for more as followers of Christ, and that we are called to be his hands and feet to the sinners and the poor of this world. And most importantly we do this because of his great love for us, not because we feel better about ourselves. We are not off chasing good warm feelings, we are madly in love with God. Simple as that.
What I wanted to tell them was that it all comes down to is what kind of God you believe in, have you turned him into a safe American suburban god who wants you to have a low fixed interest rate on your mortgage and equity to spare, or do you believe that he truly cares for the sinners, the child molesters, the murders, the widows, the orphans of this world… And that he has called you to do something to help them.
The thing about God is that he does not demand anything of us, he does not manipulate us into doing things for him, he does not set us up and trick us to do his work.
He just gives us subtle opportunities, Quiet open doors off to the side, doors that lead to great things for him.
The problem is we think of Him as this tame being, and the thought of selling everything and giving it all to the poor simply does not fit within that framework.
How could a God who wants only good also want me to bring foster children into my home that might mess up the kids I already have?
We will never find answers to these questions unless we turn and face who he really is.