06 March 2009

How radical is your rad?

I don't like the word "radical."

Especially when you apply it to church and Christians.  It usually means that a person and/or group has some extreme (and I even hesitate to use the word "extreme" for the same reason) characteristic quirk or practice.  When we say, "Man he/she/they are really radical!"  We usually mean something is odd, over the top, bizarre or even a wee bit goofy.

Although the word originally meant "retuning to the root," somehow "radical" has come to mean something strange about a person or group.

Usually some "radical" thing is an aberration that is by that particular group considered "going back to the root."

Maybe like prayer.  Like praying 24/7.  Okay, what could be wrong with prayer?  We all need to pray more.  And if a little prayer is good then a lot of prayer must be great, right?  So if someone could pray 24/7/365 then he'd be wonderful.  And then you could get bunches of people praying for long periods of time  and that would be like, say... heaven.

Or would it?

Is the goal of our lives to pray heaven down?  Or to get things here to be like there by simply praying?  Probably not.  Prayer is about getting quiet with God, giving Him the burdens of our heart and listening to His heart.  Prayer is a burden exchange.  I exchange my crappy death-ridden burdens for His life-giving burdens.  And my experience is that when He speaks to us, He does so expecting us to actually act on what He says. 

So should I pray for 2 hours and act out in my world what He said to me for an additional 2 hours?

Bringing heaven to earth means getting out and being Kingdom change-agents in the real world, doing real things in real time.

I look at the OT Bible guys - the non-prophet, non-priest, non-kingly types - and they had real jobs in a real world.  Daniel for example lived out a secular job (in administration) in a pagan world (Babylon! for pity's sake) serving a godless king.  Oh, he prayed, but on his own time.  And yes he served God, but he did so by serving in the location where God had placed him.

(I know, we're now all kings and priests, but don't push it...)

Prayer results in acts.  Just like faith results in works.  It's not about believing the right stuff (although believing the right stuff is superior to believing the wrong stuff!  Don't get me wrong...) it's about doing the right stuff in faith.  Faith always leads to action.

Prayer always leads to obedience.

Get quiet.  Get clean.  Pour our your cares.  Listen to God.  get up and obey. 

Right where you are.  For the good of those to whom God has sent you to serve.  God is glorified when you and I serve Him by helping others. 

And that's radical.

JER 29:4-7 This is what the LORD Almighty, the God of Israel, says to all those I carried into exile from Jerusalem to Babylon:  5 "Build houses and settle down; plant gardens and eat what they produce.  6 Marry and have sons and daughters; find wives for your sons and give your daughters in marriage, so that they too may have sons and daughters. Increase in number there; do not decrease.  7 Also, seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried you into exile. Pray to the LORD for it, because if it prospers, you too will prosper."(NIV)

1 comment:

  1. You're going to cause trouble! AGAIN!


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