"Anyone who sets himself up as 'religious' by talking a good game is self-deceived. This kind of religion is hot air and only hot air. Real religion, the kind that passes muster before God the Father, is this: Reach out to the homeless and loveless in their plight, and guard against corruption from the godless world."
- James 1:27
This is the message the Lord has been speaking to me and Shawn over the last few days and weeks. If this is a litmus test for how we're doing, I can't say we've passed. How many homeless or loveless people have we invited into our home? None. Are we guarding against corruption from the world and the temptations of security, materialism, and comfort? Not very well.
The blessings we have received in the last few months here in Franklin have been undeserved and wonderful. But they have come with a price: comfort. Maybe when you read that, you think, "That seems like a reward, not a cost." But to Shawn and I (and hopefully those walking closely with Jesus), comfort scares us. Life is fleeting, and we believe God wants us to spend our moments here on earth doing things that matter, not things that make us feel good.
As children of God, we are called to minister the Gospel to one another. I don't think we are all called to sell everything we have and live among the poor. Maybe some are called to excel in the business world, make tons of money, and live on a small percentage to give the rest away. Some may be asked to use the resources they have to love on foster kids in their home and show them Jesus. People have very different gifts and different callings. In some ways, if we are following Jesus, it doesn't matter what our vocation is because our love for Jesus will pour out of us like water and saturate everyone we come into contact with. But what I don't see in Scripture, however, is where God calls us to comfort. And security. And doing everything in our power to profit ourselves.
All that to say, Shawn and I are feeling a stirring and a restlessness from the Lord that we simply cannot ignore. Honestly, we don't know the whens and whys of it, but we know that He is moving us in some way. And we feel like it's going to be big.
May our eyes be open, our ears be attentive, and our clenched fists willingly let go of everything that hinders us from fully serving Jesus.