I recently finished reading an informative, challenging and inspiring book by George Barna entitled “Revolution” (2005, 2012). Here I want to quote at length from his book (page 27-28):
“One of the most important lessons I’ve learned from studying the words of Jesus is that he loved fruit. Not the kind you pick off trees or vines, but the kind that’s evident in the life of a person whom he has changed. Jesus made very clear that the proof of people’s faith is not in the information they know or the religious gatherings they attend, but in the way they integrate what they know and believe into their everyday practices.
The hallmarks of the Church (not refers to building but the aggregation of believers) that Jesus died for are clear, based on Scripture: your profession of faith in Christ must be supported by a lifestyle that provides irrefutable evidence of your complete devotion to Jesus. The Lord encountered numerous people during his earthly tenure who could quote Scripture or pretend that they knew and loved him. But his reaction to them was always the same: “Show me the fruit.”
Revolutionaries are Christ-followers who refuse to make excuses for their failings; instead, they address and overcome those inadequacies. Jesus did not die on the cross to fill church auditoriums, to enable magnificent church campuses to be funded, or to motivate people to implement innovative programs. He died because he loves you and me, he wants an everlasting relationship with us, and he expects that connection to be all-consuming that we become wholly transformed – Jesus clones, if you will indulge the expression.
Does something get in the way of your living like Jesus? Then figure out how to eliminate that obstruction. Does life get so complicated that it’s difficult for you to juggle everything and remain Christlike? Then simplify your life. Are you unable to find words that describe how you believe God has called you to know, love, and serve Him? Then develop new ways to communicate to others how God is ministering to you and through you.
Is society dragging you in the opposite direction from where Jesus calls you? Then acknowledge that your life is part of a spiritual war between God and Satan, declare your side, and get on with it. Admit that you are better off “fighting the good fight” and suffering on earth for the cause of Christ than winning the world but losing your soul for eternity.
God used to the fact that your life is lived in the context of warfare. Every breath you take is an act of war. To survive and thrive in the midst of the spiritual battle in which you live, seek a faith context and experience that will enhance your capacity to be Christlike. This mission demands single-minded commitment and a disregard for the criticisms of those who lack the same dedication to the cause of Christ. You answer to only one Commander in Chief, and only you will give an explanation for your choices. Do whatever you have to do to prove that you fear God, you love Him, and you serve Him – yes, that you live only for Him.
This is the commitment of a Revolutionary.”
THINK BIG. START SMALL. GO DEEP.