Tuesday, July 07, 2009

A Holy Discontent

Several years ago, Wendy's fast food chain created a one of the most memorable marketing slogans ever when the elderly lady looked at her hamburger and sharply stated, "Where's the beef?" When one orders a burger with large hamburger buns, an equal sized hamburger patty should accompany it. When it doesn't, we know something is wrong. Wendy's supplied what was missing and put big burgers on big buns and the company saw a growth spurt in sales.
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Today, many churches offer relevant preaching, theatre seating, hot worship bands and fast paced video clips to send our adrenal glands into overdrive. All of this is like a big bun with a small hamburger patty and causes many to say, "Where's the beef?" Or maybe better, "Where's Jesus?". To quote Len Sweet, the church has a strong case of JDD, Jesus Deficit Disorder! We need Jesus to be the central and only focus in our churches. Without Jesus, there is no church from a Biblical perspective. When there is JDD, we know something is wrong.
JDD
I currently have what I am calling a Holy Discontent in my soul because of this Jesus Deficit Disorder. I want the bride of Jesus (every believer) to be strong, healthy and reproductive. I desire for every believer to be in a strong and growing obedient relationship with Jesus, doing things His way, not their own way. I desire to see believers be sacrificial with their faith, with their stuff and with their hearts to all people. I desire for those who claim to be Christ followers to have an urgency to be reaching out to those not yet following Christ. This is the example that Jesus gave us to follow.
Jesus said "Follow Me and I will make you become fishers of men" (Matt. 4:19). We are not to follow pastors or denominations or our own whims, we are to be following Jesus and His teachings and His Word. This requires us to be personally responsible for our faith and not push that responsibility off to a pastor or other spiritual leader. As we do this, we grow and deepen in our relationship with Jesus, we can each hear His voice and follow His lead and that will lead us to be strong, healthy and reproductive.
When Jesus walked this earth, He had an urgency about Him and His purpose to get His good news out to everyone. You can see it in his response to Zaccheus climbing a tree to get a look at Jesus. Jesus saw him in that tree and said, "Zaccheus, hurry and come down, for today I must stay at your house" (Luke 19:5). Jesus had an urgency about Him here. He wanted Zaccheus to 'hurry and come down'. Jesus said that He "must stay" at Zaccheus' house that very day. Jesus was full of urgency to share life with people. Today, I see people with more of an urgency to take from the church than to share Jesus with others. This has left me with a Holy Discontent.
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Christ who is our Life!
Living a Jesus filled urgent life by believers cannot happen by simply mustering up enough faith or committment to imitate Christ's urgency or passion. This never works. We must understand and rely upon Christ's indwelling Presence in our beings (John 15). We cannot do things for Christ by simply imitating His ways, we should allow Christ to flow and move through us, that is were the real life is! I am learning to stop pushing people to imitate Jesus and instead pointing them to lean into the breast of Jesus who indwells them and listen to His voice. Once one hears from Him they should choose to obey Him and let the indwelling Spirit guide them by His power. That will bring a Holy Contentment I think.
What do you think?