Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: War and Peace (not about the book) (07/07/11)
TITLE: Namby-Pamby Doesn't Work For Me
By Robyn Burke
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For years my prayer, the one I breathed in and out, over and over again was “Jesus, keep me close to you.” At every red light, before entering a store, before sitting down to pay bills, on my drive to work. Whether it was regarding something substantial or just a run of the mill event, my prayer was without fail, “Keep me close to you.” And He has.
Just not always in ways I imagined.
Have you ever seen the picture of Jesus in the big green field with cute little lambs around him and a sweet, dark haired little child on his robed lap? That’s the kind of 'close to Jesus' I was thinking. But Jesus has a much bigger picture in mind. He doesn’t want me to only think of him as the cuddle me in his lap type—although he will and he does. He also wants me to see Him as Warrior, ready to do battle against the enemy in my defense. And the only way for me to stay safe is to walk as close to Him as possible as He deflects the flaming arrows of the evil one.
So much of the time I feel like I’m walking through a war zone. Life keeps throwing me curves and darts and daggers. My journey is often murky and the meandering path often feels more like a maze. I think I’m heading down a sweet little country road and suddenly I’m facing toll booths! Medical bills pile up, the washing machine breaks down again, the pantry shelf mocks me, and the cost of gas prods me to seriously contemplate walking. And so I go to my knees in prayer once again, begging God to increase my faith.
But when I ask for my faith to be strengthened what happens? Opportunities for growth to take place. Kind of like going to the gym and working out makes my muscles stronger. Faith isn’t faith when life is easy. Faith is what we hold onto when we can’t see and we are putting one foot in front of the other despite the fear of falling.
Yes, I am in a war zone and the only way to find peace is in the arms of the one who fights for me.
Jesus loves me, this I know, but He didn’t go to the cross so I could feel warm and fuzzy. More and more He is making it clear to me that His sacrifice was–and is—to bring me into His Glory. This sacrifice came with a huge price and if all I use Him for is to comfort me, and to make me feel good, then I miss out on the real gift. He wants me to experience victory over darkness, to grow into Christ-like character, to lay it all down and take up the Cross and follow Him. He wants me irrevocably sold out for Jesus.
There is so much more about Jesus that I need to learn. I have only scratched the surface and I know going deeper will cost me. Yet what is the alternative? A feel good Jesus that I only experience in a controlled environment on Sunday mornings? Namby-pamby Christianity might work for other people but there’s an unsettled feeling in my gut and it’s telling me I must go deeper. I want to know Jesus—really know Him and I must be willing to fight for it. Namby-pamby doesn’t work for me.
There’s a book out right now that is causing quite a stir, called “Not a Fan” by Kyle Idleman. It’s about becoming a committed follower of Jesus Christ. Not a fan who wants to clap and cheer for this awesome, loving Jesus, but a follower who will be willing to take on the full demands and rewards of being a true disciple. The disciples who carried on after Jesus ascended into heaven? Most of them died a martyr’s death.
Jesus went to the cross for me. I guess the question is how far am I willing to go for Jesus?
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