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The difficult road of reckless abandon (part 2)

This issue of abandon is not necessarily one of physical leaving. It is about your heart. Where is your treasure? Are you motivated by things of the kingdom or are your motives more selfish? And even if God does call us to leave our comfort zone behind, it is often just for a while, in order …
By Seth Barnes

This issue of abandon is not necessarily one of physical leaving. It is about your heart. Where is your treasure? Are you motivated by things of the kingdom or are your motives more selfish?

And even if God does call us to leave our comfort zone behind, it is often just for a while, in order to get us into a spiritual classroom where he can readjust our values. At some point, we have to return to the relationships and environment from which we’ve come and introduce the radical life of God there – but we can’t stand strong in a place where we’re counter-culture until we’ve been stripped of the impulses of self-will and self-gratification that come so naturally to us. God knows we may have “bought” fools gold and wants us to trade it in for the pearl of great price.

Trying to do life without the Lord’s power is like driving a one horsepower car that was meant to go at 400 horsepower.  It’s sad and funny at the same time – it’s not what we were designed for.  To help us live as he designed us to live, God can lower the attractiveness of our current comfortable lifestyle in a number of ways. One way is to allow the consequences of our own sin to come home to roost so that our lifestyle doesn’t seem so comfortable anymore. Thus we get caught in the web of an addiction, or a lie we’ve told destroys a relationship, or a compromise we’ve made haunts us.

Or, God can allow the shallowness of our lives take its toll. The TV programs that bring us a respite from the day also isolate us. The debt that bought a large house brings increasing worry. The accumulation of material things complicates our lives as they break down and need repair. The job that finances our lifestyle begins to dominate our schedule.

And the net result is that, upon reflection, the rewards just don’t seem so rewarding anymore. We see that success does not equal significance. Monetary gain or career achievement fail to bring hope to our lives.

In contrast, the risk of trading it all in for the life of abandon that Jesus advocated doesn’t seem to be so intolerably high.

To make this practical, you might want to warm up by watching a movie on the theme. Here are some movies that give riffs on the theme of abandoning the world’s script:
The Graduate,
Falling Down, or
Brother Sun, Sister Moon. To take it the next level, do an inventory of those things that would be hard for you to leave and ask the Lord if any of them are idols or stand between you and him. So many of us have a fairly substantial list and need to be taken out of our comfortable environment for an extended time to get what a chiropractor might equate to “an adjustment.”

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