After writing yesterday’s devotional, I was struck with a thought, “We have given up the wrong things so others could feel more comfortable.”
At churches across America, we seem to strive to make others comfortable. To make the members of the church feel safe. To make visitors and non-believers who attend, comfortable…but isn’t it the friction of the gospel what brings appropriate discomfort that leads to repentance and salvation? Isn’t it the knowledge of hell and heaven that provokes a heart to desire to receive Christ, just as much as the kindness of God? I believe a good mixture of both does the trick.
I was saved at a young age, but I strayed for many years. I had deep wounds that kept preventing me from moving deeper in Him, and I had zero discipleship. What led me to a turnaround years after my salvation, was a stark realization that heaven and hell both existed, and I knew where I wanted to end up…and more importantly (at the time) where I didn’t. An intense fear of hell fell on me, and it drove me to an encounter with God. My encounter didn’t happen in a church. It happened in a seemingly random moment with friends. You know, I’ve had pastors downplay my encounter since it didn’t happen in church, when I believe the opposite should occur. Shouldn’t we celebrate the power of a God Who moves wherever He chooses?! Yes! Absolutely, yes!! But I digress…
In the years prior to that, the only thing that drew me toward God was authentic worship. Seeing those few who really worshiped with their whole hearts. It was never the watered-down church service that drew me. It wasn’t the appropriately watered-down worship. It wasn’t men in suits and women with perfect hair. It wasn’t even elaborate buildings, I cared nothing about that actually. No, it was those who felt real. It was what felt pure. I have always been able to discern the difference between the authentic and everything else.
The lost aren’t searching for comfortable…their searching for comfort. Comfort comes from bringing all your mess in and having someone come and scoop you up in their arms, mess and all, and loving the hell out of you. Literally. Loving the hell out of you. Then when they have an encounter with Jesus and all their sins are washed away…they have peace. That peace that can’t be manufactured and looks like nothing the world can offer. Oh, how I love that peace. The Prince of Peace.
The world doesn’t need comfortable…they need Jesus.
What if we all decided to be more like Him, not just on Sunday in the church building, but every day and everywhere? We could change the world!
Stand your ground, putting on the belt of truth and the body armor of God’s righteousness. For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News so that you will be fully prepared. Ephesians 6:14-15
Since we are receiving a Kingdom that is unshakeable, let us be thankful and please God by worshiping Him with holy fear and awe. For our God is a devouring fire. Hebrews 12:28-29