Recently, our family watched the movie, War Room. It is about a family that is completely falling apart at the seams, both in their relationships with each other and their relationship with God Almighty, and their struggle through repentance and truly handing over their fears, struggles, and heart-ache to God Almighty. At one point toward the end of the movie the dad looks at the mom, shakes his head, and says, “This is crazy!” And he was exactly right. From a worldly, logical standpoint what they were doing was absolutely crazy.
Along these lines, for the last several months on Sunday morning my hubby has been teaching a class on Christian Living/Discipleship. (It’s an amazing class, wish you could be there!) But many times throughout this class we have had the same conversation: the Christian life is crazy! We respond with love and forgiveness when others would be angry and vengeful. We hand over our hurts, doubts, fears and heartaches to a physically invisible God and trust Him to take care of things for us. We (lovingly) stand firm on our Biblical convictions even with full knowledge that it could cost us a grade, get us kicked out of college, cost us a promotion or potentially even our job all together, or even in today’s society get us thrown in jail. We trust in God’s invisible strength rather than our own, and lead a life of service and sacrifice that’s dedicated to others in full knowledge that those others will at times hate us for it (John 15:18-19). It’s crazy! Why would anyone choose to live this way, it makes no sense!
We do it, because maybe it’s not so crazy after all. I Peter 5:6-7 reminds us, “Humble yourselves therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.” Me! God cares for me! He’s watching, He’s listening, my hurts are His hurts, and He will be beside me no matter what!
There have certainly been times in my own life when I was completely broken. Times that I felt completely alone and like no one could possibly understand or care what I was going through. Times that I felt like even God had left me because I was just a complete failure. What drove through my heart like ice at these times, was that every single time it was a direct result of standing firm in my convictions or opening myself up to serve others and being hated for it. These situations, this pain that literally makes you feel like you’re slowly bleeding to death inside, are why some people choose to stay on the fence. This heartache is why the world (and unfortunately sometimes even our brethren) look at the way we live and say that we’re crazy.
But then there are passages such as Romans 8:28, “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to His purpose.” Does that mean that nothing bad will ever happen? Does it mean that things will always work out exactly the way I want them to? Not at all! But it does mean that in the end everything will be OK, and in my own I can confirm that it is! These times have led to the greatest faith and peace that I have ever experienced.
I, for one, am convinced that these “crazy” actions are where our faith grows and solidifies. When we step out on that limb in full knowledge that it may very well break underneath us, yet convinced that our Heavenly Father will catch us if we fall, that is what the world does not understand. That is when we let our light shine. That is when our faith grows in ways that we never knew it could. That is when we receive the peace that passes understanding (Philippians 4:7), the peace that is so crazy and such a blessing that it doesn’t even make sense to those around us.
You see sisters, we can sit around for decades believing and telling others that we have faith in God, but if we aren’t willing to act on that faith in a way that the world sees as crazy, how are we living the faith that we claim to have? This concept is seen so beautifully in the “Faith Hall of Fame,” Hebrews 11:
- Abel offered a more acceptable sacrifice
- Noah built the ark
- Abraham went out not knowing where he was going
- Abraham offered up Isaac
- Moses was hidden in a basket
- Moses left Egypt
- The Israelites crossed the Red Sea on dry land
- The Israelites marched around Jericho and the walls fell
- Verse 35-38, “Women received back their dead by resurrection. Some were tortured, refusing to accept release, so that they might rise again to a better life. Others suffered mocking and flogging, and even chains and imprisonment. They were stoned, they were sawn in two, they were killed with the sword. They went out in skins of sheep and goats, destitute, afflicted, mistreated-of whom the world was not worthy-wandering about in deserts and mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth.”
What do all of these individuals have in common? A CRAZY faith that was evident through their actions. And the truth is, sometimes that faith cost them, and the price was high and dear. So why did they do it? Because they knew that God cared for them, and had something much greater, and eternal, waiting for them. Scriptures like Matthew 5:10-12, Luke 6:22-23, 2 Timothy 4:8, John 14:3, and Philippians 3:20-21 remind us that our goal, our reward, is an eternity in Heaven with God Almighty and Jesus the Christ, reunited with all of the faithful who have gone before! Staying faithful in the here and now doesn’t seem quite so crazy when we remember what is at stake, does it? The truth is that if we are truly living the life of faith God calls us to, it will cost us just as it did those in Hebrews 11. So let me ask, what has your faith cost you? If the answer is little or nothing you need to honestly sit down and ask ourselves why.
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Because the other side is that there is something out there that is crazy. It’s horrible, it’s terrifying, and it makes absolutely no sense. You see, there’s only one situation in our entire lives where we know the end of the story before we get there, and it’s the most important one! Hebrews 2:14-15 tells us that Jesus Christ has overthrown Satan’s power, and Revelation chapter 20 tells us exactly what is waiting for Satan. He has already been defeated by the glorious resurrection of our Savior, and in the end he and his followers will be thrown into the lake of fire for all eternity! Satan knows he has been defeated, he knows what is waiting for him, and it his is all-consuming goal to take as many of us and our loved ones with him as he can!
Sisters, what is crazy is playing for the losing team! In Matthew 12:30 Jesus plainly states that if we aren’t fully for Him, we are against him. And Revelation 3:16 tells us that lukewarm Christians literally make Jesus Christ vomit! If we are not intentionally living for Jesus Christ every day, if we aren’t doing things that the world sees as crazy, then we are playing for the wrong team whether it is intentional or not. That is the very definition of lukewarm Christianity: those that come to the building more often than not, yet still compromise their Biblical convictions when the boss asks them to, those that still openly invite Satan into their home through the types of music and television they engage in, those who put Satan on a pedestal when they choose sports, sleep or hunting over gathering with the Saints to worship our God, those who leave their study and their Bibles in the pew every time they leave the church building rather than making sure God’s word is an active part of their home every day. Being a lukewarm Christian, living a life that is nauseous to Christ, is crazy!
Is Christianity sometimes hard? Absolutely! Do those around us sometimes criticize us and think we are crazy? Yes! But we know the end of the story! We know that Jesus has already been victorious! We know that Satan has no power except the power that we give him! We know the eternal blessings that wait for us if we live a life faithful to the teachings of Christ! So then how is it logical to take the easy way now, and play for the losing team? With all that being said, the logical question is this: Are you crazy?