Something Disturbing

So something came up this past week that kind of threw me. It was amazing and disturbing all at the same time. The other night I was invited to work at the Casting Crowns concert in town (which was really neat) and got a free t-shirt and ticket to the show. The band really did a great job. Have you ever noticed how serious their songs are? To be honest, I’m not their biggest fan and it’s because their songs always seem so serious. Nothing is fun or exciting. They’re good musicians and good vocalists, right on every time. But for some reason their stuff hasn’t really been all that attractive to me. I do like some of their songs though. When they came out with their first album a couple of them were very convicting and challenging. But all their songs were that way. They write songs about God’s Word and what it tells us to do. They even make application in the song…and it’s scary.

Have you ever thought about the Bible before? We go to church and listen to messages, attend classes, and worship and don’t even realize what we’re there for. I read in “The Irresistable Revolution” a line Shane entered that Rich Mullins said at a chapel service. Rich said that we tend to hi-light the passages we like and ignore what we don’t. The same man, Jesus, who said to one guy that you must be born again also said to one guy that you need to sell everything you have and give to the poor. The unsettling thing is that the early church listened to both those sayings and followed them. An example is in Acts when a couple named Ananias and Saphira lied about selling it all and God struck them and they died. Does that scare you? We put so much emphasis on being born again and no emphasis on what to do next, the change that’s supposed to take place. And you say, “Am I supposed to sell everything and give to the poor?” I think you know the answer to that question yourself. God calls us all to do different things. But if he’s calling us to do that then we shouldn’t ignore it because we think that the rich young ruler just had an issue with money. The whole early church sold everything so they could all take care of each other and there was no one poor among them.

God’s Word tells us to do all kinds of things that have a tendancy to mess up everything we’ve worked so hard for. We want nice things and desire good relationships, we have a dream of what our life should look like. We work hard to reach our own personal goals and ask God to help us. We read His Word wanting to become a better person but like what we’re doing so we don’t change. We go to church all excited to be there with other Christians, have a great time at the altar and then walk out the door. Our excitment about Christ and the convicting experience we just had disappears on our way home. You know why? Because it’s unsettling to change.

The fact is that God’s Word should be disturbing and unsettling. It says in Hebrews 4:12 that His Word is living and active, sharper than a two-edged sword, penetrates to dividing even the soul and the spirit, joints and marrow. You see, God spells things out for us, His guidelines for life which is right and what’s not in His guidelines is wrong. Things are written as black and white. God drew a line in the sand, the line is Jesus and to get to God we go through Jesus.

What is wrong with us? The Christians? No wonder people don’t like us! No wonder people say we’re hypocrites! WE are the ones who erase the line, make a gray area out of the black and white, and stop God’s word from breathing, from being living and active! People take a look at us and pity us because we don’t believe what we read in His Word. There is no change! We make little compromises with our faith that eventually have us running away from God to do other “things”. We believe we’re missing out on the sin, or that maybe just one time it won’t hurt. We rationalize why we should do it. We give up meeting together, we give up encouraging one another, we give praying, we give up on faith, we give up on God’s faithfulness, and even on the Holy Spirit to help us change. We end up changing God and His Word, neither of which can change. Yet for us there is no change! Come to God as you are and leave the same?

GOD’S WORD IS DISTURBING AND UNSETTLING. It changes us. It changes our thought process. It changes our lives. It never changes. We try and change it. God tells us to give up lying, cheating, selfishness, immorality, and to love our enemies, turn the cheek, to serve, to give…and here’s some biggies, to stop sinning, to be baptized, to confess our sins, to pray, to hold each other accountable, to love the unlovely, to bless those who curse us, even to sell all we have and give to the poor… I didn’t say this stuff, God did.

Isn’t that disturbing? Does that unsettle you? It’s supposed to. God’s Word is doing exactly what it’s supposed to do. It will divide you. It will cut. It will hurt. It will rip the world you know away from you. It’s scary, mortifying, radical, foolish and rediculous.

If you claim to be a Christian, then this is the most important part. God’s Word is calling us out and this is the scary thing I’ve read. The truth is this is the line: God’s Word means what it says. This is the question: Are you going to follow it? This is the end: What will Jesus say to you about what you read in His Word?

Isn’t it disturbing? Don’t worry…I’m just as disturbed as you. So what do we to do now?

2 thoughts on “Something Disturbing

  1. Disturbing and unsettling! That’s exactly why sometimes our bibles are treated like an infectious disease. Read, contemplate, meditate, focus, apply God’s very Word? Why start with God when I already have it pretty much figured out? (sarcasm). You bet God’s Word distrurbs me because inevitable I have to decide to change; change the stuff that is so unsettling; cut away the selfishness, sin, unneeded habits that so easily entangles me. Come on Christians, believers, followers, disciples. Do we, as someone has recently said, “really believe what we believe is really real”? Let’s take the “Do not disturb” signs off our hearts and minds and have an “open door policy” with God and his Word on a daily basis. That can be unsettling and disturbing, but when I’m unsettled, I’m moving; when I’m disturbed, I’m responding. Two sure signs of life.


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