I was travelling with some new friends I met at my place of worship and we were talking about a schism they had recently experienced within the congregation, just a little before I started to attend.
The discussion turned to how so many people were tied to other people in the congregation, tied to the building, the memories of the activities in that building, and other human-based , worldly things. The finances didn’t allow for that building anymore, but people wanted to stay there because it was comfortable and they had been there for years. Some others wanted to keep the building they couldn’t afford because of the memories of ceremonies for family and friends that had been given there. Others didn’t want to stay with the group moving because they changed the date of services.
I understand these feelings- I felt them towards the synagogue where I was first “saved” and to which I had given more than just time: I gave money, I gave blood and sweat, and many tears. I made friends and had many happy, spiritually enriching experiences there, too. I was tied to it emotionally and spiritually. But when the time came to leave, I was gone.
Maybe you’re thinking ,”Hey- if I like a place, what’s wrong with that?” Nothing. But if you like a place too much, you are too tied to the world.
Here’s something that may get me in trouble, but I’ll say it, anyway (after all, it’s my blog): I believe that people who are strongly tied to a tradition, or a memory, or a place will be the first ones to kneel down and take the mark!
“Hey- whaddaya mean? I am a Christian soldier and I won’t turn my back on God. I just don’t want to leave this place or have a new Pastor/Rabbi/whatever. I like things the way they are.”
What does God do with a vine that bears much good fruit? He prunes it, so that it can grow more good fruit elsewhere.
What did Yeshua say to the man who wanted to follow Him? “The fox has it’s hole and the bird its nest, but the Son of Man doesn’t have a place to lay His head.”
Didn’t Yeshua say that someone who holds the plow and looks back isn’t fit for the Kingdom of God?
The world is a waste- nothing of the world has lasting power or eternal value. Only those things of the Spirit can be counted upon to last. That is why I say that people who are tied to worldly things will take the mark- it’s because their Spirit is weak and, like the seed that is sown among weeds, they will apostatize when the rubber hits the road. Their weak spirit and lack of faith (that’s right- being attracted to the world and it’s things shows lack of faith) will cause them to accept the mark. Why? Because the Enemy will attract them and dupe them in by promising that their comfort zone will be coddled, that they are right and justified to stay where they feel comfortable. That anyone who tells them they need to change is wrong.
When something never changes they have a special name for that- it’s called stagnation. It’s the way to keep from growing and maturing. It’s the comfortable, easy way. It’s also death.
Yeshua said we need to pick up our execution stake and follow Him. Think about that for a moment…He didn’t say pick up your stake and stand still. He said pick it up and follow. Well, I can’t follow anyone who isn’t moving, so I guess Yeshua figures He will be moving, He will be in motion, and I’ll bet you that He won’t be looking back as He plows.
We need to be ready, willing, and even (dare I say it!) looking forward to when Yeshua or God will call us out of our comfort zone so that we can do more good for His Glory!
Don’t stagnate, don’t get comfy-cozy, and do be ready to move when the call comes. God is everywhere, so His work is everywhere. If you expect to be doing His work, don’t get too comfortable.