I have been reading Francis Chan’s amazing book Crazy Love since I got it for Christmas. I have been gleaning a lot through reading it, and I’m so glad God used Chan to put it out in the world. One thing in particular struck me the other day while I was reading though.
In the chapter entitled “Serving Leftovers to a Holy God,” Chan discusses how it is so easy to give to God the little leftovers that are easy to give but fail to give Him our whole lives, which is what He actually wants from us. The passage that really hit me was this:
If life is a river, then pursuing Christ requires swimming upstream. When we stop swimming, or actively following Him, we automatically begin to be swept downstream.
Wow. That is so true and hard hitting. More importantly I think it explained an oddness I sort of felt about my walk with Christ since I went to college. It was kind of subtle and I honestly didn’t really notice it until recently, which is I guess is why I never really talked about it to anyone. Basically, I let it stagnate. It’s really one of the most dangerous things that can happen since it is rather unnoticeable. I think I just kind of went into college with the attitude that I would get a baseline for church and such, then just hold that until I got everything settled and figured out with college. Oops, big mistake.
The first thing I should have done was to start looking for ways to get involved with a church and, well, just other ways to chase after Christ with all I’ve got. That’s what my life is supposed to be about. All the time. Not just when finish college, or on weekends, or when I finish my assignments. Every moment. Everything is either part of that or it should be secondary. Am I saying I should neglect my school work? No, not at all, just that it should all be with the goal of glorifying and pursuing God.
Now, this part of the post I’m writing a few days after that first part. Incidentally my involvement at 12Stone called me away (hey, that’s a good thing!) from writing. Admittedly I don’t remember exactly what I was going to write next, but I definitely have more to say. God just keeps reaffirming this whole point in multiple ways. I love how He works.
Yesterday my good friend Wes and I went to visit our old youth pastor Anson at the church that he is currently in the process of planting. It was great to see him again and how God is already working through the young church. Anson’s message really struck me though. He preached on six Biblical reasons church membership is important. The main point, of course, is that it is absolutely crucial to become a member of a church rather than just attend a service every week or two and walk out. This means getting involved, getting to know people there, and serving. Church shouldn’t be a one-way experience. It’s simply how growing closer to God works.
So, basically, I’m going to be doing a whole lot more chasing after God during this upcoming semester. I’m definitely going to try to get involved with a church somewhere, be it the Crossing or somewhere else, in much the same way that I am at 12Stone. I also intend to spend a lot more time with the scripture. In fact, I started a one year Bible reading plan on YouVersion today (great tool) today in order to have the Bible completely read by the end of the year, and I fully intend to carry it out. I know it will do a whole lot to help me grow closer to God, both because it will keep me focused on a daily basis and because spending time with the Bible is just so important, and it’s an area I’m admittedly a little weak in.
I would definitely like to ask that my Christian brothers and sisters, both at home and in Tampa, would pray that I would just stay focused and active in this respect, and that it would create an amazing impact in my life and in others. I love you all, thanks!