A daily devotion for Monday, February 2010
"Whether it is pleasant or unpleasant, we will listen to the voice of the Lord our God..."
Jeremiah 42:6 (NASB)
I love being a Christian---I love everything about it: church life, the Bible, fellow believers, tithing, bible studies, etc. I especially love being an American Christian. As an American I have freedom, a nice car (relatively speaking), an air conditioned home, home owners insurance, and high speed Internet access. Sure, I respect my brothers and sisters overseas who are suffering for the Lord--and I'll even support them financially--but that doesn't mean I can't enjoy what the Lord has given me here, right?
Well, certainly there is nothing wrong with wealth and possessions, but there is a difference between being thankful for a pleasant life and being addicted to and controlled by it. Most Western Christians can go through their entire lives without ever engaging in the radical, all-encompassing, life-transforming mission Jesus has given to us. Why should Satan directly assault the American Christian when he can more easily woo him with the wonders of a pleasant and tame life?
How open are you to hear unpleasant things from the Lord? How would you respond if he asked you to tithe 20% of your income? What if he asked you to let your son or daughter go to a hostile nation for the sake of the Gospel or to fight a losing battle against cancer? What if he asked you to sell your car or forgo your remodel project in order to buy gospel literature for an inner city church? Or perhaps you have never heard God ask these things of you because long ago you stopped listening to anything that seemed unpleasant.
God is asking great things of His people---though do not mistake 'great' for 'pleasant'. Whether He send sorrow or joy, may you faithfully accept whatever your Father (in His great love) sends.