Salt is good, but if it loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again?
It is fit neither for the soil nor the manure pile; it is thrown out.
-Luke 14: 34-35
I started a new book last night, Crazy Love by Francis Chan. This is one of those books that you can't put down. Each page moves your innermost soul. The words have convicted places in my heart that I don't think have ever been stirred. It's that good.
Francis Chan discusses in one chapter all about being lukewarm as a christian. He lays out numerous characteristics of lukewarm christians. What a life changing chapter. I've always heard and understood through scripture that being lukewarm in my faith wasn't okay with God. He calls us to be set apart and radical for Him--not just in a flaky, so-so manner, but in a wild about Him, can't stop talking or thinking about Him, revolving every ounce of your life around Him, deep faith sort of way.
I loved how Francis Chan explained that we're all "messed-up human beings" and we all fall short. However, there is a difference in being comfortable in being lukewarm and actually processing the thoughts of this and allowing God's words to transform you. Well needless to say, I underlined quite a few of these lukewarm characteristics. It hurt my heart to do so, but it was so true. I am lukewarm. I'm ruining manure.
The good news....God also stirred me to tears through these pages. The thought of these words are still rumbling in my mind, heart, and stomach. I'm being transformed. I might have been ruining manure...and maybe I still will at times...but God is transforming me in a way to have more saltiness. He loves us that much to refuse to leave us where we are as long as we are willing to allow Him to move in our lives.
One of the main lukewarm characteristics that rattled my heart was when Francis Chan stated the following:
"Lukewarm people do not live by faith; their lives are structured so they never have to. They don't trust God if something unexpected happens--they have their savings account. They don't need God to help them--they have their retirement plan in place. They don't genuinely seek out what life God would have them live--they have life figured and mapped out. They don't depend on God on a daily basis--their refrigerators are full and, for the most part, they are in good health. The truth is, their lives wouldn't look much different if they suddenly stopped believing in God."
Oh my. What? I thought I lived by faith? I thought I depended on God? My life sure isn't showing that with my obsessive need to control things. I plan and build structure so that I know what is coming. I'm introverted, so I plan my thoughts before I speak. Sometimes so much to a point where I end up not even saying them. I over-planned a lesson this week I am being observed in tomorrow due to my fear of it not going well. I plan our budget like crazy so our checkbook balances to a tee and our tithing is just right. I have planned how we are going to have enough money for my Master's degree and possibly a new car. I have stocked our refrigerator with items we just may need. I even learned in a personality test at work that the way I control things on a day-to-day basis tags me as a "pleaser" and when my back is against the wall and I am in a stressful situation, I'm a "controller". Not good.
What a slap in the face were these words. A slap I needed. This thought came in my mind last night after reflecting over what I read.
True faith releases control and hands it over to the One that this life is all about.
I'm ready to release control. I'm ready to add saltiness to my life. I'm ready to have my world moved and shaken in a way that honors God, is liven completely for Him, and requires true faith...not lukewarm faith. I'm ready to be a person that isn't ruining the manure anymore.
Are you ready? Ready to hand over the control and move deeper and more passionately in your faith? Ready to stop living a lukewarm life? Read Luke 12:16-21 for even more inspiration.
God is so good.