I Want to Be Let Off the Hook

I keep rolling this phrase around in my mind, “Either He is enough or He is not. Where does my hope rest? Will I fulfill my commission to Him no matter what?”

Now, by all natural inclinations, I should be terrified about what’s going on in our nation right now. After all, I’ve battled germaphobia and hypochondria since I was a child. I also start to suffocate when I feel my schedule and freedoms close in on me–ahem, I don’t like to feel controlled. So, it’s nothing short of God’s grace that I feel calm during this time of pandemic and chaos.

Sadly, many don’t. Peace seems elusive and they subconsciously say, “Well, I trust God–as long as He doesn’t ask me to give up my child, my job, my health, or my {fill in the blank}.”

Cringe-worthy, I know, but I’ve certainly given God ultimatums. I don’t mean to and I’d probably say that I mentally assert to surrender, but do I really in my practice? Do I believe that He will protect me, sustain me and help me get through whatever this sinful, broken world hurls at me? Do I act like He’s with me or like He’s left me to my own devices? Like it’s up to me? Do I see God as He truly is: capable, powerful, effective…in control? Am I brave enough to be honest with Him and myself? After all, He already knows the truth.

Prompted by a friend’s genuine encouragement from her own spiritual journey, I’ve asked the Lord, what am I falsely believing about You and my situation right now? How am I letting fear overrule faith? How I am putting my trust in something other than you?

Maybe your struggle isn’t to try to take control of too much. Maybe you are by nature easy-going and avoiding the initiative doesn’t bother you. Maybe you take God’s sovereignty as a way to let you off the hook. Not only do you not worry about anything or anyone, but you also don’t see His commands as imperatives. God will accomplish His goals with or without us, that’s true. He doesn’t need anyone or anything to do good, but what do we do about these verses?

*Romans 10:14: How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching?
*2 Cor. 5:20: We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God.
*Matt. 28:19-20: Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

Mark 16:15 - Bible verse of the day - DailyVerses.net

Have you figured out what one of my primary fears is right now? I am afraid to share my faith with those who don’t know the Lord and contest that they are sinners in need of a Savior. I am not ashamed of the Gospel, but I’m afraid of being rejected for it too.

For years, I’ve justified my failure to completely follow in the Great Commission by saying, “Well, that’s not my spiritual gift.” Or “Someone else will do it better.” Or “I don’t have that many friends who don’t already know Jesus.” Or “He will spread His loving truth of the Good News without me.”

All true statements… but that certainly doesn’t let me off the hook. Jesus asked the lowest and the weakest and least likely to follow Him and to be His hands and feet. I am no less exempt.

My mom’s creative ideas and my brother’s passionate just-do-it attitude have inspired me to step out in missional ways I haven’t since college. We are praying for our town, putting together care packages with the Jesus Film dvds and other things to leave by front doors, discussing how we could do small groups of Easter caroling through neighborhoods, and leave postcards with church live-stream sites on them–all things that would show people love, spread the Gospel, and still honor people’s boundary needs.

As a precious sister on the west coast told me this week, We, the Church, ARE an essential part of life. We need to be caring for more than people’s physical needs, but their spiritual ones too.

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