Choosing the Extraordinary: Intentional Faith

Philosopher Soren Kierkegaard once said, “The most common form of despair is not being who you are.” Across hundreds- perhaps thousands- of years, human beings have struggled to accept God’s purpose in their lives. Comfortable faith has become the new norm. Jeremiah 10:21 states, “For the shepherds have become stupid and have not sought the Lord: therefore the have not prospered, and all their flock is scattered.” A common problem facing the modern Christian is the tendency to gravitate towards watered down faith. It isn’t cool to believe in Jesus, but if we’re going to, let’s not offend anybody. Here’s the thing, Jesus came to earth for a purpose.

Point 1: Jesus is the ONLY doorway.

John 10:9 says, “I am the door. If anyone enters by me, he will be saved and will go in and out and find pasture.” 1 John 2:23 tells us, “No one who denies the Son has the Father. Whoever confesses the Son has the Father also.” To put it bluntly, if you believe as these verses indicate, it means all other belief systems are wrong. By its nature, this will offend people. It must. If all can go their own way and enter heaven on their own merits, then Jesus is not the door. There is no point to His death if that’s the case. If Christianity’s claim that Jesus is God’s son, who was sent to earth to pay the debt we owe for our sins, and conquer death is simply untrue, then it is a pointless reason to cause offense. Conversely, if its claim is true then the reason to offend is infinitely more important. Important and an unavoidable necessity.

As easy as it would be to do so, Christ followers cannot remain unobtrusive. We cannot linger in the shadows, where it is safer to pretend ignorance. When the world overwhelms us with bills, sensory stimulation, carnal intrigue, and any number of reasons to obey, it is easy to forget that it is horrible to gain the world at the cost of eternal separation. Yes, the world gives many reasons to believe in it. Some things are worth putting your belief in; however, none are equal to God. Jesus is the only doorway. John 14:6 reminds us that Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” Acts 4:12 also says, “And there is salvation no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.” There is no compromise. Jesus isn’t the doorway for some, but other people may circumvent . No, since Jesus is the ONLY door, ALL who deny Him are turned away

Point 2: Choosing Jesus is a transformative decision

Charles Spurgeon once said, “From the Word of God I gather that damnation is all of man, from top to bottom, and salvation is all of grace, from first to last. He that perishes chooses to perish, but he that is saved is saved because God has chosen to save him.” Spurgeon also said, “I believe the holier a man becomes, the more he mourns over the unholiness which remains in him.” When we choose to allow the extraordinary in our lives it is a conscious decision. There is nothing accidental about choosing to believe Jesus is God’s son and holds the way to our salvation. Proverbs 3:5-6 states “5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding: 6in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.” We must not remain stationary. To believe completely in Jesus is to move. Isaiah 55: 6-7 says, “6 Seek ye the Lord whole he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near: 7Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the Lord, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.” You cannot choose this extraordinary gift and not accept the wonderful transformations in store. His love is the seed, that sprouts roots which lend infinite strength. We hold to our sins because we are flawed creatures, but his grace wipes the board clean each time we honestly seek to repent. We all start where the cards are stacked against us. We are repugnant with a lifetime of sins. There are sins we, as flawed humans who want to feel less dirty than others, find more deserving of God’s wrath. However, the Father abhors all sin. He sent the most blessed gift to us. We must choose to accept if we are to touch glory. We must choose, intentionally and without hesitation, to permit God’s love to transform us.

Point 3: Extraordinary is the ONLY way. And we must move!

As Rich Mullins sang, “Our God is an awesome God” so, too, should we cry out His wondrous existence. He is not a mediocre god. He isn’t an impersonal God who watches from some sky bound throne. He is in every blade of grass and every babe’s loveable grin. He blows on the fire within our souls, fanning the righteous flame. There is the Great Commission, where we are required to carry Him to every tribe. This world is His. We are His. Everything required of us- Christian men and women- is extraordinary. Mark 16:15 says, “And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and peach the gospel to every creature.” Additionally Roman’s 10:15 states “And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things.”  We are not called to stand still. We are called to share the gospel with the rest of the world. Wouldn’t you say that’s extraordinary?