We all know this word. We all use it. But the problem that I’m finding as I live here in D.C. is that there is very little hope in people’s lives. I’m not talking about the hope of a better government or the hope that people are no longer poor. These things are needed hopes but the hope that is truly missing is the hope of Jesus Christ.
I see my husband out on the streets of D.C. sharing that hope to whomever the Spirit leads him to. But let me remind you, it came and still comes at a cost.
Can you count how many people you’ve heard say something like this, “I’ll follow Jesus no matter the cost!” It’s rare. And you may have heard someone say it but did their actions back it up?
I used to say this. I used to say this in my comfortable house, in my comfortable clothes with my comforting food with my comfortable Christianity. You may have caught where I’m going… Then God asked my family to step out of comfort because if I truly wanted to do God’s will it would not be comfortable. We would stand alone and we would not receive support. In more ways than one.
While Mark and a wonderfully gracious friend, David, were driving out to D.C. in a moving truck loaded up with all our belongings and our car the kids and I stayed in California with many thoughts and fears. My faith was about to be put through the refiners fire. I needed God desperately to confirm what we were doing. He led me to Romans but more specifically to Romans 4:18-24. To summarize (please go look it up for yourself though too) it is speaking of Abraham’s faith and why he was considered the “father of faith”. Contrary to the hope at hand, Abraham still had hope… Meaning when all hope was lost, Abraham still had hope. Why? Because he believed God. This was counted to him as righteousness.
Hope has been lost. Hope has been thrown out in place of comfort and worldly desires. Sadly, even in the church. We are no longer hearing messages from the Bible, led by the Spirit. We are simply playing church. And then we wonder what’s wrong with our country. What’s wrong with the church. Why is it becoming more and more corrupt. If you take the name Christian do not take it lightly. You are aligning yourself with Christ and saying you follow Him, even unto death.
You may say, “ok that’s a little extreme!” I say it regularly, as biblical Christians we should be counter culture. Jesus promised us that we would be hated because they first hated Him! And yet churches are saying opposite. Acting like the world does not bring the world to Jesus. It only brings us closer to the world and farther away from Him.
I fear our value and security in Christ has been replaced with things in this life. I admit I struggle to not want nice things. I struggle with not wanting to look a certain way. It’s all about looking good for your Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat friends. Being the “best Christian mom” for all the world to see and adore. No longer. These things ought not to be so. God is our value and security.
To give up comfort and title and nice things is hard. I fear many have bought into the lie that all biblical Christians are called to work a 9-5 life. This is not a bad thing, many are called to work hard and witness at work. But how many have settled for it, knowing that God has called them out, simply because they don’t want to give up things or comfort or because “God can find someone else to do it”?
I want to quote you Jesus’ own words in response to that. It is in the Amplified Bible version so you can clearly see what He is saying, “If anyone comes to Me, and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life [in the sense of indifference to or relative disregard for them in comparison with his attitude toward God]– he cannot be My disciple. Whoever does not carry his own cross [expressing a willingness to endure whatever may come] and follow after Me [believing in Me, conforming to My example in living and, if need be, suffering or perhaps dying because of faith in Me] cannot be My disciple.” LUKE 14:26-27
These words are not just for the early church or for the followers that were listening to Him at the time. It’s for us today. He’s asking this of us today. Comfort, status, title, things should never, never be the goal of a believer. The hope we have is in Christ must be lived out and shared to a deceived and hopeless world.
Yes, there is a cost to accepting Jesus into your heart. Whoever told you otherwise should have known better. But trust me when I say, it may start costing you more to follow Him even in our free country. And at the end of my days when He calls me home I want to get that beautiful, huge crown made for me for finishing my race well for Him. But I want to place it back at His feet where it belongs because I did it all for Him. For His honor, His glory and His praise.
No longer shall we hoard away the saving grace and abundant mercy so thankfully given to us by Jesus dying on the cross so we can feel comfort or feel like we’re successful in man’s eyes.
God has called us all to a purpose and to each one He has given us the grace to do it. So I say, do it. Do not waste more time but search and seek His will for you and do it. It may not be moving to another country or another state to share Jesus. But our faith should be plain for all to see. And unapologetically at that. No more compromise. Listen to the Spirit’s leading and guiding.
And if you’re in the D.C. area, we’d love to meet up with you. If you want to come out on the streets or help serve the needs of this city as each day we are doing not only street witnessing but homeless care packages, Bible studies and we’re working on going into hospitals and retirement homes to bring care packages but also the hope of Christ.
Share the hope that was shared with you. Don’t worry about the cost. We serve a good, good Father.