The Great Saboteur
I believe with all my heart that if you asked every Christian about wanting to live a Radical Life for God they would say yes. The question is, why don’t we? Many who read David Platt’s book “Radical” will even attempt it. Maybe you heard a great sermon, went to camp, or went on a mission trip and you left there wanting to change your school, neighborhood, family or workplace, only to have your passion fizzle quickly.
I know from my own pursuit of a “Radical” life that my thoughts and heart are way more radical than my actions. What is this Great Saboteur of “Radical” life? A saboteur is someone who commits sabotage. Don’t feel bad if you didn’t know that, I had to look it up too. I believe we find the answer in John 12:42-43.
“Yet at the same time many even among the leaders believed in him. But because of the Pharisees they would not openly acknowledge their faith for fear they would be put out of the synagogue; for they loved human praise more than praise from God.”
The love of human praise is also known as the fear of man. We are often more concerned with what others think of us than with doing what we see the father doing. Living a Radical life is not about being crazy and wild just for the sake of being crazy and wild; that actually gives the church and God a bad rep. Living a Radical life is doing what we see God doing and saying what we hear God saying, just like Jesus did (John 5:19). The fear of man wants to keep us from doing just that.
I remember a time in Wal-Mart when I overcame my fear and prayed for a lady with back pains; it was an awesome experience. I walked away pumped and asked God to show me who else needed prayer. I saw a lady checking her blood pressure by the pharmacy and knew she was the one. As I was getting ready to pray, I notice that she had her grandchild with her. I thought, “What will this kid think about me?” I ended up walking away because of what I imagined a little child would think about me. I valued her approval more than a smile from Heaven.
The praise of man does not dictate my value, God does. He approved my value with His sacrificed Son. Understanding God’s love for us increases our ability to live a Radical life.
I have two challenges for you today: 1. Ask God to give you a greater understanding of His love and 2. Step out and do one thing that you see your Father doing today. Force yourself to put aside the praise of man for the smile of Heaven.
- This blog was written by Pastor Seth Goodson as part of the Radical Series. Seth is the Youth Pastor at Elim Gospel Church.