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How do we live radically in a comfortable world?

Jeff Goins had a blog wherein he asked a question that sums up the the theme of this blog. I’m wondering what kind of response you, the reader of this blog, may have. How do we commit to something long-term, like a job or even a place, and still experience a radical,…
By Seth Barnes
By Seth Barnes

Jeff Goins had a blog wherein he asked a question that sums up the the theme of this blog.

I’m wondering what kind of response you, the reader of this blog, may have.

How do we commit to something long-term, like a job or even a place,
and still experience a radical, reckless behavior like Jesus had?

There’s something powerful that happens in short-term experiences, but
how do we live our long-term faith in a world where the short-term is
so much more appealing?

What are your thoughts?

Comments (12)

  • What an awesome topic….If we realized that every second of every day, including but not limited to, every single interaction, thought, gesture etc.. is an oppty to bring the Kingdom Of God to Earth..I believe some of our anxiety about are we “doing” enough would begin to lose its stronghold. I say stronghold because honestly, a lot of us struggle with this idea that every single person in the Kingdom is called to be a missionary. It is so personal to that individuals purpose and call.It can also be so seasonal, like anything else in God’s Kingdom. I had an amazing revelation recently. Mark mentioned, “He will give us the desires of our hearts” That actually goes beyond “neat and all”.. Think about this.. HE will give YOU the desires of YOUR heart. Your desires will come FROM HIM. The fact that you even have a thought about how to further expand your love for God doesn’t come from you, your “human” nature. Remember? human nature is at war with the spirit. I would be willing to bet that at some point in your life you weren’t as concerned as you are now about how much more you could “do” for God or “do” for The Kingdom on earth. That in and of itself, is fruit of The Spirit, not Mark or any of us for that matter. I agree with Matt. There is supposed to be FREEDOM in Christ. We could write a book on exactly what that means.. but a friend of mine once said, Live IN Christ and do whatever you want to do… that should help us get out of our heads long enough to rest IN HIM.

  • And Mark.. thank you for your transparency about finding the next rush with God.. I CAN TOTALLY RELATE and it’s nice to know someone else deals with that too!!! He’s like a new love. You never want that feeling to end.. I think it’s cool how just when we think He will show up or speak the way He did “the last time”.. HE FLIPS THE SCRIPT… He must have an amazing sense of humor…

  • I know it’s possible – not because I’m doing it, but because I’ve seen others do it.

    Maybe it’s as Jeff quoted in his article, “…it’s an attitude.”

    I find myself living for the experience of missions or the experience of “Being Right With God.” Because of this, it is difficult to feel like I’m in the right place. I always feel like I’m trying find the next rush that will bring me closer to God.

    I keep thinking of Ps 37:4 – Delight yourself in the LORD and he will give you the desires of your heart.. That’s neat and all, but how do you move beyond your stuff (material, mental, and spiritual) and begin to desire him only?

  • I don’t think it’s really a matter of asking how we live that way because we already know how, especially if we’ve done it in the short-term. The question we should ask ourselves is “what’s keeping us from living that way?” It’s more of the why than the how.

    And even then, asking questions and pondering how to live radically and recklessly is just that: sitting around and asking questions, pondering how to live radically and recklessly. I think that’s the problem with living out faith these days… we don’t live it. We’re too good at talking about living it. I can understand concerns about how to integrate following Jesus with our jobs and our families and our ‘lives’ at home. But honestly, if you’re wanting to follow Jesus with reckless abandon, does it even matter?

    I’m not sure. Wait. I am. Living radically isn’t going to be comfortable. If we want to live radically, we’re going to be pushing ourselves into discomfort. Discomfort to the point that even our friends, family, and employers are going to look at us like we’re crazy (most likely, because we are…).

    Question is: are we willing to embrace faith and take the plunge into living life to its fullest in an incredibly radical way? Are we willing to follow Jesus in the long-term like we were in the short-term? What’s that say about our commitment to embracing the change on our lives?

    Just felt like asking questions too… 😉

  • Matt, great comments regarding action not talk.

    I would think that one fundamental screening criteria for doing a long-term cross cultural experience would be the demonstrated ability to live out a radical life in your own culture.

    That is much different that a radical life in a short term mission experience up to one year.

  • I’ve been going through some of these questions in my own mind over the last few years. I got right with God while in the military and during a move of God that thrust young missionaries out all over the world. I’ve been to 14 countries all before age of 30. When I got out of the military, I attended a radical Bible School where Jesus Revolution was the main message. Being single and on my own, being radical meant I could go anywhere and do anything without a second thought about it.

    I met my wife in that school and eventually we were married and had a son. Next thing you know, I need to get a a decent paying job to sutain us. My wife stays home with our son, so I work long hours in sales. I get a mortgage because it’s about the same as renting. We have another child and years are beginning to pass by. My heart is still holding on to that Word that we’ve both received at the beginning of our marraige. My wife is ready to go anywhere and do anything God calls us to do, but we have not felt a release just yet from our current circumstances.

    Through it all, this is what I’ve learned.

    1. There are times and seasons for everything. We have to define radical for the season of life we’re in. Building a foundation for a new family is part of my long term radical plan to raise up a new generation. If my family fails, but the ministry suceeds, I still lose.

    2. “Wherever you go, there you are.” I agree with Bill. We have to demonstrate the ability to live radically no matter where we are, who we’re with, or what happens to us. It doesn’t just “turn on” when we are in another culture. My test was living radically in the business world and being successful at the same time. I have confronted the sins of my bosses and been a witness to them and my co workers. I was only heard because I did my job with excellence and lived the life before them.

    3. We must find a place to exercise our influence on the Body of Christ, ie) the local church. I volunteer to teach and disciple people whenever I get the opportunity. I ask for opportunities. I volunteer to put together trips. I advocate for other ministries. I network, influence, and build relationships. Doors open and God steers when I’m moving! And most importantly, I see who I really am in the context of community.

    4. I realize that for an arrow to fly higher and longer, it has to be pulled back further than the others before it. This helps me when I am tempted to compare myself with my friends who are doing things that I think I would rather be doing right now. Everything I am experiencing right now has redemptive value both now and for the future.

    5. I never give up on the dreams that God has put in my heart. I believe that He is more motivated to see me and my family live these dreams than we are! Like when David was tending sheep, God made a way for him to be found and brought into his destiny. David’s job was to remain faithful. I am uncomfortable in this world, but I am at rest in my heart.

    I know this is long, but I hope it helps some frustrated young married radical guy out there!


  • Man, if we could devise a “formula” for patience in this while not feeling like a sellout, I’d love to have it. For the most part, I’m grateful for a faith that isn’t formulaic and surprises you, but in instances like this (where I have to wait and trust), my flesh gets the better of me. Any practical tips?

  • I am guessing it is different for each person…we need to hear God’s voice and follow. I think my life at home was radical, when compared to many other people, but we are not living in comparison to others, we live in comparison to our destiny.

    I really don’t know how to do it, the TV calls, comfort calls and distracts…

    I think in my life, it is a matter of putting myself physically in a spot where it is most difficult to slide to ‘normal’. Missions trips are a great place for this, in my experience.

    Jeff, I think you are an example of a radical person…a man wholly dedicated to pursuing your destiny.

    The more I type my opinion here, the more I am just not sure…so that is enough.

  • Why don’t you get rid of the TV? I have thought so much about this topic. Why do we feel the need to have all of these things? We daily surround ourselves with things that bring temporary pleasure and ultimately distract us from chasing after Christ.

    The bible says, “Blessed are those who are poor in Spirit.” Ask your self this. Are you poor in Spirit? Do you recognize that all of yourself and your life is nothing without Christ? I have felt so much lately that I have put my identity in material things. The close I wear identify me with a common group, the TV I own (hoping to sell) identifies me with the people who watch the same shows, the stuff I own gives me status. People can come over and see how “successful” I am based on what I own.

    In the end, all any of that has done is placed my identity in stuff instead of FULLY in Christ.

    I went to Africa this summer and it changed my whole perspective on life. People there (Zambia to be exact) have one pair of clothes, no running water, no electricity. Instead of going home to endless distractions they just go home and rest in the Lord. How beautiful is that?

    Lets stop talking about this alone. I challenge each one of you to actually be radical. I have challenged myself with that same thing.

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Seth Barnes

I'm motivated to join God in his global reclamation project. He's on the move, setting his sons and daughters free from their places of captivity. And he's partnering with those of us who have been freed to go and free others.

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