Why is it we label anything beyond ourselves with a huge red R for radical? If a person is willing to go beyond the comfortable zone of norm then that person is instantly judged a fanatic.
Many of you have read David Platt’s book Radical. The men of our church have just completed a deep study of his teaching. Most of them fought it all the way. I wonder what would have happened if they had spent the diligence in going and serving as they were in trying to conform the teaching to their image of faith.
I loved the book. I just didn’t like the title. I prefer the title of Watchman Nee’s book that taught the same message. Nee stated, “We have gotten so far from the norm of God that anyone living the Normal Christian Life is labeled a radical.” It’s true; giving up everything we own for the Kingdom of God should be the norm for every church member.
In Acts 2:42-47; 4:32-37 we see a description of the early church. They were devoted to daily learning, fellowship, communion, prayer, worship, and selling everything to give to the poor. As a result they are described as being awestruck in the many wonders and miraculous signs, having glad and sincere hearts, and adding to their numbers daily.
Even in persecution this lifestyle continued as they spread the gospel across the land. In Acts 8:4-8 the normal life of these believers brought great joy in the cities where they settled. Oh, how that verse hurts my heart. My life, my church could and should bring great joy to my city. Why doesn’t it?
My life is out of balance. That’s a nice way of saying that I’m below the norm, not radical. The thesaurus gives these possibilities as descriptive: meager, insufficient, inadequate, paltry, skimpy, deficient, lacking, unsatisfactory, or lukewarm.
The Lord has been opening my eyes to see a higher plane of His Norm for me. It involves living in His unhindered presence by ridding myself of all distractions and worldly obstacles. I’ll be honest; I don’t know how this is going to go. I just know I want it. Oh, how I want to be radically normal in God’s eyes.
I will follow the example of Jesus. He lived balanced. He attended synagogue but spent most of his time meeting the needs of the people where they were. He balanced preaching and teaching with healing and loving.
Ministry is out of balance when all we do is attend church and Bible study, praise and worship, tithe and fellowship BUT do nothing outside the church walls and in the community among the worldly.
The church is God’s tool to reach the world. Dr. Iorg in his book Antioch teaches that the church is God’s ultimate plan for the universe, the final revelation of God’s wisdom, and the conclusion of God’s eternal purpose in sending Jesus. The church is the working out of the Gospel. We’re it. We’re His means for reaching the lost. Ephesians 3:9-11.
If the church is not doing that then it is not the true church. The parable of the Good Samaritan speaks to me, to my church. We can be church members and leaders but if we have no mercy for the hurting we pass on the road of life, we prove the condition of our hearts. Hearts controlled by the self-centered greed of our time, possessions and savings.
The warning of Matthew 25:45, “I tell you the truth, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me,” has given me motivation for my new life goal.
Eli, I commit to leave you an inheritance that keeps giving Jesus to the world.