Sacrificing some comfort

Heard a sermon today about sacrifice, specifically giving and fasting. What hit me close to home was the pastor’s question to us – what would God challenge you to sacrifice for His kingdom?

That got me thinking on the way home. I’m going on a missions trip to Thailand next week, and I’m pretty psyched about it. I think the rest of the team is too, but not quite in the same way as I am.

I want the boldness to go after opportunities to minister grace. I believe we will see opportunities come up, but I want God to give me tho boldness to not back down from them. Andy Stanley said that boldness is saying something when it’s easier to say nothing. That’s the kind of boldness I desire.

I have to admit that I don’t exhibit that boldness in my everyday life. I should, but I often don’t. But in Andy’s sermon, he mentioned two of the apostles who had been brought before the Sanhedrin for preaching the gospel. They were thrown into jail for a night, and when they returned to the group, they prayed together.

You’d think they would pray for protection. For safety. Maybe “wisdom” in sharing the truth. But no, they prayed for boldness. They prayed to be even more bold with the gospel.

They recognized that the enemy had put roadblocks in their path that would deter them from their  God-given mission, and they refused to let fear hold them back. They asked God to make them bolder, make them more courageous, so that they would be even more resilient to the challenges they were bound to face.

But we often don’t pray for that, do we? So often, we pray for safety and protection. Do we need it? Paul famously said that “for me, to live is Christ and to die is gain” (Phil. 1:21). Do we believe that in such a way that it affects the way we live?

I’m quickly getting to a place in my life that I believe that God hasn’t called me to live comfortably. Don’t get me wrong, I like living comfortably – who doesn’t? But I don’t believe God wants to keep me there. I think that’s why I’ve been so restless and dissatisfied with my current lot in life. It’s plenty comfortable, but it’s way lacking in meaning as a result.

God promised us eternal life through Christ. Is that enough? If it is, then why do we hold on so tightly to everything else and try to get more of it?

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