Hello Sweet Cheer: My Weekend + a Huge Challenge


My Weekend + a Huge Challenge

Happy Tuesday friends!

     I had a crazy cool and super fun weekend so getting back to the daily schedule and routine of a school week is proving to be even more difficult than normal!  Friday and Saturday I was a small group leader for a Disciple Now.  We call it Evolve weekend and I was with the middle school girls that I hang out with every Sunday night at youth, so that was awesome!  Then I drove to Austin on Sunday for my cousin Eric's wedding, it was beautiful!

     Our speaker for the weekend was Rick Mitchell who is the college pastor at a church in town called Church on the Rock.  I've known him for a little while now and he's great.  He is full of energy and speaks lots of truth!  Our good friends David's Plea led us in worship and it was spectacular as usual!  I want to briefly touch on something Rick talked about this weekend.

     On Friday he talked about the stages in which we turn away from the Lord.  Starting as a drifter we begin to have our attention focused elsewhere.  Maybe it's playing basketball or cheering on a squad, a piece of technology or a great book series you want to finish, maybe it's a person, like a significant other or family member.  The point is that we allow our attention to be drawn away from the Lord and placed on something else.  He said, "We drift when we get comfortable."  I think that's so true.  When life becomes simple or easy or no longer challenging to our relationship with Christ, we get lazy and start drifting!

     The next point he made was that one step further we sometimes begin to doze.  He illustrated this point by the common occurrence that I like to call "bobbing for apples".  Your head moves down until the second you realize you need to stay awake and you jerk your head back up.  This phase has to do with the time you begin to not only let your attention be distracted or caught by something else, but when your actions begin to change because of it.

     Lastly, he talked about when people find themselves spiritually dead.  This is when they've lost all aspiration and are in complete rebellion.  It's not possible to fake it anymore, it's clear you've check out of the relationship you once had with Jesus.

     I've really been reflecting on this over the past few days.  At face value it seems like a pretty elementary concept.  Growing up in the church we hear about drifting away from God constantly, and how not to do it.  Needless to say, these things weren't at all new or difficult concepts for me to understand.  But the more that I've allowed it to sink in and really make sense in my heart, the more I'm blown away by the fact that we drift and doze.  I've been warned about it all my life, and I've been a part of it all my life, being in a roller coaster type relationship with Jesus.  But now that I'm really sitting on this stuff I'm almost shocked when I think about the way we reject Jesus.  How IN THE WORLD do we deny and continue to sin against the only One in our lives who is ALWAYS there?  How do we say no to the God of the universe who created everything and breathed very LIFE into our souls?  How do we rebel against and turn away from this gracious and merciful God who sent His Son as a LIVING SACRIFICE to be beaten unrecognizable to save our wretched souls from eternal damnation?!  HOW?!

     Obviously, I fail Him everyday but that's not the point.  How did we get to the point where we've heard the Gospel so many times that it no longer brings us to our knees?  I would say that familiarity breeds stagnation.  We are so incredibly familiar with the incarnation of God through a virgin mother, the miracles and life of Jesus Christ, His death and eventual RESURRECTION from the dead, the very Gospel of our Lord, that it has become less moving of our hearts.  Not because it isn't moving, BECAUSE IT IS, but because we have allowed ourselves to become way too comfortable with it.  And when we become comfortable we become lazy.

     My heart breaks DAILY for those people I know, whether it be close in friendship or just an acquaintance, who KNOW and have heard the Gospel but are choosing to reject it by living their lives in rebellion to the Lord.  I was in physical tears (and by physical I mean big, droopy, boo-hooing, body writhing tears) because of the brokenness that is in this world and that is invading the hearts of my believing friends and family members.

     Through some soul searching and like I said, some big droopy tears, I've decided to make a promise to pray fervently for the believer who is in rebellion.  I've decided for the next 30 days to pray specifically by name twice a day for the ones I know, and more generally for those in the same situation whom I may not know about, once a day in my quiet time with Jesus.  As readers of my blog I would challenge you to take on this commitment as well.  While it's tough to understand how to navigate evangelizing to close friends who are already aware of the Gospel, it's much less complicated but SO INCREDIBLY POWERFUL to commit to lifting them up in prayer on a daily basis.  Please think and pray about committing to this challenge with me.  Let's intercede for our brothers and sisters by taking on this 30 Day Prayer Challenge!

     And on that note, here are a few more pictures from my weekend!  Some from Evolve and some from my cousins wedding on Sunday!!

Peace and blessings, bloggie readers!  See you tomorrow for Wordless Wednesday.


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