I’m sure your life is good. Normal. Your life is a perfect picture of someone living out the American dream. Life is not perfect. You have your ups and downs. But, you have a family and have landed a decent job. Fun, social events and day trips fill your calendar. Maybe you even attend church sometimes. Anyone observing your day-to-day activities would conclude that things are, well, good.
Tonight as I sat in my living room floor, Bible open, King Hezekiah study on my lap and listening to a young woman who attends our weekly gathering talk, I realized something. She was right. While I don’t think she’d mind, I’ll keep her name to myself, but she said, “I don’t think most people realize how miserable they are. They have nothing else to compare their life to.” She went on to explain that before she started following Christ, she thought she had a great life. She wasn’t unhappy. She wasn’t depressed. She wasn’t even looking for something different. She was normal.
I pray someone reading this right now feels that same way — good and normal. You are whom I’m talking to today. Have you ever considered that there is more? Have you ever wondered why “radical Christians” act the way they do? They commit their lives to serving a God they can’t see, are passionate about church activities and Bible study and they do some weird things. Perhaps they go out of their way, unnecessarily in your opinion, to take strong stands on issues and you feel sorry for them when they get slammed with the “don’t judge me” card. Why do they care so much? You don’t get it. You respect it, but you don’t get it.
May I challenge you with something? What if for one year, 2014, you determined to explore what they seem to have found? What if you joined a Bible study and went to church regularly? Not a church where tradition reigns. Go to one where Christ is King and everyone knows it. Go to one where the Bible is read and taught and God is praised. Go to one where people are focused on sharing the good news of salvation around the world. Participate in the classes and learn the teachings. Ask hard questions and as you grow in knowledge continue to consider “is there more?”
What might your life be like in a year if you did that? Is that too weird to even ask?
When my friend started paying attention to God and began to understand what it meant to be a Christian, her life didn’t really change. Same family. Same job. Same social events. But she changed. Her heart changed. Her mind changed and eventually most everything else did to. She found truth, joy, peace and purposes she’d never known existed. She learned of God’s love and began to desire His best. Soon, the old life…you know, the normal, good one…was no longer appealing and it certainly was no longer enough. She tried to go back, but she couldn’t. She was miserable in the life that used to seem so good. She had to move on with Christ.
Over and over again I’ve heard stories so similar to this one. I call it the Jesus effect. Having a relationship with Him changes people…. as it should. HE CHANGES PEOPLE. The beautiful thing is that it is always for the better.
Could it be that you presume your life is good because you’ve never experienced God’s best? Once you taste His goodness, nothing else satisfies. Every time I’ve been tempted — and I have — to abandon my faith and walk away from my beliefs, I’m left with nowhere to go. Who can compare to my God? What other truth can I stand on? What else can I build my life on? To whom shall I go? Better is one day in the courts of my God than a thousand elsewhere.
If I sound crazy, you’ve been cursed with a good life.
I dare you to come and see.