In my last couple of posts I have written about this idea of true freedom and how that comes in our relationship with Jesus Christ. Then not only how it comes but then how it is expressed!! Interestingly, yesterday I heard two different pastors talk about making the folks they were speaking to “uncomfortable”. Not only that but I talked to a lay pastor who preaches in our area at different churches and how he feels his calling is to be more radical in the word he brings… and really in essence as we talked more how he was bringing discomfort as well. Does that seem backwards to you? Or maybe a better way to explore this is… what do you think the majority of folks listening to a message bringing discomfort think of that? Or how do they respond to it?
In one of those messages I heard the passage utilized was from Ephesians (Paul’s letter to the churches in the region of Ephesus) listen to it and see what you think the kind of message Paul was giving to the churches.
6 Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of such things God’s wrath comes on those who are disobedient. 7 Therefore do not be partners with them.
8 For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light 14 This is why it is said:
“Wake up, sleeper,
rise from the dead,
and Christ will shine on you.”
15 Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, 16 making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. 17 Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is.
Ephesians 5: 6-8, 14-17
How do you feel when that alarm clock goes off in the morning? Be honest… is your first thought when you are awoken from that wonderful sleep one of comfort or discomfort? Do these words make you all fuzzy and comfortable inside? Or maybe do they challenge, or even convict us about how well we are doing with making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Dare say maybe a bit uncomfortable!!??
So how does that match up with this idea of living a more free life? It is truly a question about independence or interdependence. As we give up the reigns more and more to our life and allow God through His son and the working of the Holy Spirit to call the shots freedom is being realized. Our true selves in Him are being awoken and we are not just trying to muscle up on our own to handle whatever this world and the adversary throws at us. I believe one of the lies that the adversary works in that twisted way is to have us peddle comfort, but in a way that keeps us in control. Comfort in and of itself is obviously not a bad thing to want to live in… but when we grab the comfort of this world is it really delivering.
As churches we have to navigate the tension between this idea of comfort and discomfort. With delivering messages such as Paul did to the churches of Ephesus we need to deliver it in a way that points to the joyful fulfillment of our lives that God has for us as He works in and through our lives (which will absolutely lead us into places we had never thought we would go!!)