I have been doing a lot of radio interviews lately for the promotion of my book, Sent. Its been a lot of fun and reminds me of the radio shows I did in Southeast Asia. No matter how many radio interviews I do in America, I will always remember that I got my “start in radio” in my beloved province on the other side of the world. 🙂 Except on those shows I was the featured “native speaker,” helping locals improve their English skills by listening to me talk about a particular topic, and then talking with the listeners who were brave enough to call in and practice their English on the air.
I am very grateful for the opportunity to talk to people around the country about my family’s experience in leaving behind a “comfortable” American life to follow God to the ends of the earth. But one comment keeps coming up that I take every opportunity to correct..
It usually goes like this..
“Wow, what a story! What your family did was so radical in selling your home, quitting a great job with a prestigious company..” etc.
And I always answer with this..
Obedience is NOT radical. Its a response. A response rooted in love. From a right understanding of a relationship. That relationship being mine with God. Who He is in relation to who I am. To be perfectly clear, He is God and I am not. He is Lord and I am not. He is my Father and I am His child. He is my shepherd and I am just a dumb sheep. He is all knowing and I know nothing. I think you get the picture..
A Christian is someone who repents, believes in, trusts, and obeys Christ. A Christian is someone who has surrendered their life to Christ. So does it even make sense that you wouldn’t obey and follow someone you had surrendered your life to? How can we say “Jesus is Lord” and not then put our YES on the table to go where ever He tells us to go, and do whatever He tells us to do? If that YES comes with conditions, then there is a misunderstanding about who really is Lord.
In the simplest terms, if Curt and I ask Jordan and Molly to do something and they then do it, would we say, “Wow! You kids are so radical for obeying your parents! That is awesome!” Sorry, Jordan and Molly but you know you would never hear that response from me and Dad 🙂 Its what we expect from them, based on a right understanding of our relationship.
The other wrong I want to right here in this one blog post is the idea that somehow we made some kind of “sacrifice” in doing what we did.
Obedience is never a sacrifice.
The only one who made a sacrifice was Jesus, who laid down His life so we could be reconciled to God.
Following the Lord in obedience to Southeast Asia was never a sacrifice. It was a privilege, an honor, a blessing. God did us a favor when He called us away from SAS Institute, from our big house, from our self absorbed, materialistic, superficial cultural Christian lifestyle.
The bottom line is obedience is easy when you believe and you trust. It doesn’t mean the process of obedience will be easy. Mine sure wasn’t. Believe God is who He says He is in His Word. Trust that God is who He says He is in His word. And then put your YES on the table. That’s obedience. It is not radical and it is never a sacrifice.