I had the pleasure this evening to attend the opening session at a conference of church planters called Converge Ignite. Scott Ridout spoke to a crowd composed mostly of pastors who have committed to spread the gospel by extending one more church, one more place, to reach one more person. Modernizing the words of Jesus, Scott reminded us that “the demand for people to know Christ is greater than our capacity to reach them.”
You know, it’s possible to lead in the church, and loose sight of Jesus’ call at times. If I pause to think about it, I can always quickly recenter myself intellectually. I recall that we are called to make disciples, teaching them to obey the commands of Jesus. My mind remembers it is Jesus and not the church that is the center of our worship. My intellect returns to center but often my heart is slow to follow. I can become consumed by the building of the church, and not the building of disciples, and my focus (should I say worship?) becomes the body of Christ instead of Jesus himself.
I thank God that he can make himself too compelling not be be drawn back in. That grace is too amazing not to pull my heart towards God again, and stir worship of him within me. If not for his intervention in my life, I might possibly go on doing all sorts of things “for him” long after he’s left the scene. I could find myself saying something like the lost ones who thought they had Jesus figured out:
On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ And then will I declare to them, ‘Inever knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’(Matthew 7:22-23, ESV)
I want to see lost people found by Jesus and those found people to grow to be like Him. And in my own life I want to go deeper and deeper into my identity as one who is found by Jesus. As a man purchased by his sacrifice. I want to worship Him. To cherish Him. To desire Him!
Scott said something else tonight that resonates within my heart. “If we see what God sees, we will do what God says.” I need a vision before me that is divinely inspired. I believe that if God were to open my eyes to see, to really see, even one thing the way that he does, then I believe that my life would be ruined for Him. If I saw my children with the eyes of love that He has for them, I would be a different dad. If I saw my wife through his eyes, I’d love her sacrificially and unselfishly. If I saw my neighbor through his eyes, I wouldn’t be content to small talk occasionally in the front yard.
It’s when I see the world through my limited vision that I become content to chose survival over significance. I chose safety over sacrifice. I chose self over Jesus. I pray tonight that God would ruin me again. And again. And again. I pray that his holy discontentment would chisel through my selfish contentment with good enough, or better than average. God. Please. Ruin. Me.