We live in a world where seeing is believing. Reality is physically tangible . . . molecules and particles, and that’s all. To base one’s life on anything else is simply nonsense . . . so we’re told. In many ways we are culturally predisposed against Christian faith and a worldview that has anything to do with spirituality. Yet, here we are, confessors of a faith that asks us to surrender our lives to a God we can’t see and to forsake a life devoted to pleasures and personal gain that surround us every day.
As we live among these two worlds, we must daily choose which wisdom will rule our hearts. And if we truly hope for a dynamic and living faith we must resist the ever-present temptation that this tension brings—half-hearted Christianity. Jesus understood this dynamic. He warned us that this world will not understand us; in fact, it will hate us (John 15:18-19). Our Lord was not blind to the difficulties of such tension. He never makes excuses for us in this matter, rather he gets straight to the point by simply calling us to reject a faith of convenience and totally surrender to his rule, regardless the cost (Matthew 19:29).
Sometimes I wonder why Christ demands such radical surrender. In these moments, when I can’t rationally make sense of his ways, I’m tempted to domesticate his words and downplay the gravity of his call. I’ve found that the only way I can pull free from this “other world’s wisdom” is to encounter God’s presence once again. This radical trust will never make sense in our heads; it’s only by exposure to the wonder and beauty of Christ that we’ll finally see such discipleship no more as a chore but a glorious privilege.
If we’re struggling to fully trust Christ—regardless the details—we are in need of sacred time and holy space. We must not forsake the practice of silence and stillness. We do so to the damage of our souls. We simply cannot maintain a vibrant and living faith without this kind of discipline. Even Jesus, himself needed quiet places to pray (Luke 5:16).
In this place of intentional surrender we learn to take heart and never despair when houses fall down and castles collapse because our faith is no longer determined by what we see, hear, or feel. In God’s presence—if we tarry—we’ll learn how to shed our faith of convenience for a faith of conviction. Are you tired of being discouraged by your circumstances? If so, rediscover your place of stillness and allow God to do the rest. Next week we talk about the joy that comes from radical trust.
What Do You Think?
Were you ever compelled to greater degrees of surrender after spending time alone with Christ? Describe the experience and outcome.
♦ To see the video and poem this post is based on, click here.