Small-Minded Christians

Jesus came to give us life to the full but no one really wants that.

Think about it. Jesus had life to the full and so did His followers.

There was companionship, laughter, and joy. There were miracles, healings, and the dead raised from the grave. Cowards found courage. The cold-hearted learned to love and apostles sometimes transported from one place to another in an instant.

But there was also rejection, suffering, and the pain of hard choices. Apostles were driven from cities, caught in storms at sea, and stoned. They were separated from loved ones and confronted by unfriendly spirits. There were beatings, imprisonment, and crucifixions. Death preceded every resurrection.

This was a full life. This was not the small living most of us experience today. These were great stories unfolding from deep lives willing to open themselves up to the full life of Christ.

I recently heard sincere, godly women proclaim that they want the life they’ve read in Acts. I agreed with them at the time but when I drew apart with God, He called me on it.

Do you really want this Acts existence or are you only scanning the apostolic trailer, the highlights reel, the headlines of what it means to follow Me? True disciples follow Jesus into the valley of death, into the prison cell of suffering, and into the shipwreck of the self, denied. You dream of the Acts life but those who follow Me bury their dreams in the dirt like mustard seeds and there they wait in the dark while I do My work within them.

Yes, the life that springs forth from them is like a mighty tree that bears fruit in its time. But first, there is darkness, damp earth, and death.

Jesus drank deeply from the full cup of God’s plan for Him and it cost Him everything. Most of us are willing to settle for only a tiny percent of the full life Jesus came to bring. Think about that.

There’s a new movie trailer out for a film called Lucy. In it, Morgan Freeman describes the main character who is undergoing a chemically-induced transformation so she’s able to use an increasing amount of her brain. Most of us only use about 10%. Not Lucy.

Freeman’s character says this about her: At 24%, she can control the cells in her body. At 40%, she can control matter. At 62%, she can control other people. What happens when she reaches 100%? No one knows.

Jesus calls us to the full life. An Acts life. And if we could hear Him inviting us deeper into this life, I think we would hear Him say something similar to Morgan Freeman’s Lucy speech.

Most of you Christians are only experiencing 10% of the full life. If you follow Me, at 24% you can control your thoughts and attitudes. At 40%, you can be content in any circumstance. At 62%, you stop trying to control people and experience the freedom to love them sacrificially. What happens at 100%? Follow me. I’ll show you. I’m there.

Follow you where?

Into death. Death of self.

Because death precedes every resurrection.

Do I want life to the full? I want to want it. I’m praying for the courage to receive it.

I don’t want to remain stuck in the small story of my small mind, my stunted soul, my lesser life. I want to follow Jesus into His great story; my mind transformed, my soul expanded, my life lived to the full.

What about you? Do you want to remain trapped in your small story? Operating from your lesser mind? Or are you willing to do what it takes to live the fullness of the Jesus life?

Bonus Post – World Blog Tour:

Christian writers support and encourage one another by letting our readers know about other new writers they may like. We do this through blog tours. Nivine Richie invited me to answer four questions and then point you toward three authors whose work I support. Here goes:

What am I working on now? I’m working on keeping my eyes on Jesus throughout the launch of my new book, Running from a Crazy Man (and other adventures traveling with Jesus) due to release in December. Also, I’m trying to write better blog posts each week and co-write a secret fiction project (shhh!).

How does my work differ from others in its genre? It’s disturbing – by intent. I mean to disrupt my readers. And to do that, I must be willing for Jesus to disrupt my life and be transparent about how that goes. Yeah, not always a good time.

Why do I write what I write? I write posts about faith designed to disturb the hobbit in all of us and inspire us to forget second breakfast long enough to join the adventure. I write to invite and to incite. I write because knowing the adventure ends well doesn’t make the journey easy – we need one another along the way.

How does my writing process work? I stare a lot. Read the Bible. Pray. Stare more. Decide I’m a terrible writer. Quit. Eat something. More staring. Write something. Quit again. Revise what I’ve written. Pray. Hit publish. Start over the next day.

Next on the world blog tour, I’d like to introduce you to:

Nivine ANivine Richie is a wife, mother, and university professor. She has had the privilege of leading many ladies’ Bible studies or co-leading small groups with her husband, Pat, over the years. Her first book, Enduring Faith: An 8-week Devotional Study of the Book of Hebrews,published by Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas, is available on Amazon. Right now, it’s engaging my mind and challenging my heart to consider Hebrews from new angles!   

Aaron Gansky AAaron D. Gansky is a novelist, teacher, and writing mentor. He is the author of the novel The Bargain (2013, Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas) as well as The Hand of Adonai, a YA Fantasy series. Additionally, he’s written two short books on the craft of fiction; Firsts in Fiction: First Lines and Write to Be Heard (with Diane Sherlock). I read The Bargain months ago and I’m still thinking about it!  

EdieEdie Melson is a leading professional in the writing industry. She’s a sought after writing instructor; and her heart to help others define and reach their dreams has connected her with writers all over the country. She’s a prolific writer, publishing thousands of articles over the years, and has a popular writing blog, The Write Conversation. Fighting Fear, Winning the War at Home When Your Soldier Leaves for Battle, is Edie’s heart project. This devotional book for those with family members in the military debuted on Veterans Day, 2011. I’m always instructed and inspired by Edie’s books and blog posts

EddieThank you to Eddie Jones for starting this World Blog Tour and for being a publisher who cares about furthering God’s kingdom through the ministry of the written word!

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4 Comments

    The Conversation

  1. Pam Manners says:

    There are many, many times when I arrive here to read and when I’m done, truly believe that God has sent you to somehow peer through the window of my soul….and then right about what you’ve seen. This is certainly one of those times. So right-on-the-money for me today, it’s downright scary.

    Grateful for you, Lori. Oh, and regarding your previous post, ‘The Parts We Don’t Discuss in Church?’ I could definitely use some prayer, some encouragement and a good swift kick in the pants these days. Thanks.

    Pam

  2. My pastor’s challenge this morning was the very same thing: Am I a “small” Christian with a small faith and a small commitment? It comes down to surrender and I still have a long way to go. I’m better than I was yesterday and God’s still shaping me for tomorrow. So thankful for His patience!

  3. Carla Allaire says:

    Many are called, but few are chosen. I think maybe instead of chosen it should say few choose. Grama used to sing us a song ‘Everybody’s longing for Heaven, but not raring’ EVERYBODY talks about going to Heaven, but when push comes to shove, they want to delay it as long as possible. We look at Pastor Saeed, Meriam Ibrahim and the scores of others who have put their walk where their mouth is, and are suffering. Suffer? Me? I think not. So they live their mediocre life, whining that they aren’t experiencing the Acts life. These brave souls have found the ‘Something’ most Christians haven’t–the sold-out life of a ardent lover of Jesus. It comes with a price–a heavy price. But if we truly believe, TRULY believe Heaven is waiting, and it’s far above what we can think or imagine, the decision is easy. We need to quit listening to the minister/evangelist with ‘a new word’, which leads us away from the Truth of a Christian life–it will be hard. Hard? Uh-uh, don’t want it to be hard, just want to be like Paul or Peter. These things go hand-in-hand, and unless you are willing to lay down your life, you’ll sit in your pew the rest of your life while the daring few soar in the Heavenlies. I pray we ALL take the first step in flying–to want it more than we want to be safe and secure.

    God bless, Lori, keep it comin’!