Saturday, September 26

The Christian Bait and Switch

When you are a non-Christian Christians will make the effort to invite you to things or they will try to tell you about God. All this is good and worthwhile, in fact God calls us to tell the world about Him. (Probably not as aggressively as some people in history have pursued it) The point is that they will tell you that God is love, and that He died for your sins, you will most likely hear John 3:16, Romans 3:23, Romans 6:23, and Romans 5:8. The gist: You've sinned just by being alive, and sin leads to death, however there is an out! This is where the love of God comes in and they will tell you about how Great God is. And while they aren't lying, these people will most likely leave out something that I think is very important to tell you about before you accept Christ.

Yes: God forgives the things you have done, and He loves us beyond what we can comprehend.

However: The thing you will not be told when all this is being spelled out is that if you let God into your life: Your. Life. Is. Over.

Plans for the future? Yeah, you can plan, but that is kind of the trade off. God saves you from your sin and you get to go to heaven, but you know what? He has control of your life now. You can plan whatever you like, but odds are very good that He will use you some day to influence His world. You know what? When He calls, odds are very good that it will interfere with your plans. "What? Why God are you sending me to Africa?", "Why are you sending me to Colorado?", "Why did I loose my job?", "Why did I loose my friend/ child/ sibling/ parent?"

There are a hundred things that can happen to steer us in a new direction. BUT, all of them are going to be something YOU never planned. To follow Jesus, really and honestly, IS salvation. To follow Christ on this earth IS death to your own plans. This is the little detail that my fellow North Americans don't often reveal. I think in other places of the world they know this. The cost is evident.

So where does that leave us? Faith. I now have to believe that because I put my trust in Him, that He is going to take care of me, watch out for me, and have my best in mind. Even though I can tell you, especially now as cough all over my keyboard because my lymph nodes are swelling and pushing on my lungs, that you will wonder sometimes if what God is doing with you is for "your best".

But maybe it's not just about here and now. Maybe you and I have something beyond this life. What if this is just the minute staging ground for something much bigger, that will last hundreds of time longer. What if the difference was Heaven and Hell? I don't need to spell out to you what those are, odds are good you've heard it.

This life is hard. The past couple years have taught me this. The other day I was thinking about no pain, fear, or sorrow in Heaven and I got excited. I can't say how long I have here. I could have years and years left to "recount the deeds of the Lord" (Psalms 118:17) or maybe my time is up sometime in the next year. I don't know. I don't know at this point that it matters. If I live I have many exciting things I want to do: I'd love to have children, I'd like to see more of the world, I'd like to get OC off of Lotus Notes. God knows all this. I'm not surprising Him with this information. But here is the thing that is different about my life: I gave it to God and I let Him choose now what is best for me.

What else can I say? That is the choice. Follow God, and trust He knows what He is doing. Or don't. My Hope is in God at this point. I'm trying to hope extravagantly that what my God has in store for me is "beyond what [I] could ask or imagine." (Ephesians 3:20)



  1. Thank you Ben for another great post! We are praying and "hoping extravagantly" with you and Lisa. "Press on ... of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus" Philippians 3:14

    The Graham Family

  2. Well said Ben! Keep up the good fight!

  3. "In [your eternal, imperishable inheritance in Christ] you rejoice, even though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been distressed by various trials, so that the proof of your faith, being more precious than gold which is perishable, even though tested by fire, may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ." (1 Peter 1)

    Encouraged by your faith, Ben. Fixing our hope with you "completely on the grace to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ!" (also 1 Peter 1)


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