By John Miltenberger
Fellow patriots, please listen to this short, inspiring message from General Flynn. General Michael Flynn exemplifies patriotism, courage, and love of God and country - despite some of his own countrymen relentlessly attacking him. Donations for his defense are greatly appreciated. If you can only give $5.00, please do so - every little bit helps. Thank you so much, and God bless. Letter from General Flynn.
But Jesus said to him, “No one, having put his hand to the plow, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.” [Luke 9:62; NKJV]
I’ve often had the unsettling experience of trying on clothing at a store, only to get home and find it no longer seems to fit as well, or look as appealing as it did when I first tried it on. I’m not sure why this happens. It is not that I’ve changed shape and appearance on the short drive home, nor is it that the material in the garments has expanded or shrunk or changed colors; perhaps it has to do with my experiencing one reality on the sales floor and another one at home. Perhaps one is a reality of my own making, brought about by some kind of wishful thinking, and the other, the more brutal reality of my real life. Those are guesses, but it has happened to me, and maybe it’s happened to others, too. I think that’s what happened to me when I first became a professing Christian in 1972.
Without being consciously aware of it, I “tried on” Christianity in 1972. At first, the ride seemed exciting enough, and I thought my life had changed dramatically for the better. In fact, I had unwittingly interjected something into my life that was only a healthy preoccupation, and most of the dark things that needed healing and fixing in my life were set aside for a season while I learned how to be a Christian. It didn’t work; false commitments never last; I learned it the hard way. I ‘learned’ but I didn’t become, and over a quarter of a century went by before I understood what was wrong.
Becoming a Christian is often sold as a mere change of direction; many call this “repentance”, but unless the change is based on an underlying, total, gut-level commitment to change lifestyles, this kind of repentance is more accurately described as a minor course correction while still on the wrong road.
It is not uncommon to talk to folks who are desperate in their lives. They will tell you their life falling apart, and they will wax eloquent on how much is going wrong, and has gone wrong for years. No job, no money, no home, no family, no future, and on and on. It’s always very much three things: very dramatic, very urgent, and totally self-focused.
From a Christian position, you might tell them the most logical place to begin is to start over and totally commit their lives to Jesus Christ, then pragmatically build on that solid foundation. Good luck with that approach, because it’s right then that you’ll likely find out the person doesn’t really want a fundamental change, they just want some help over the most recent rough spots in their lives, a temporary fix.
It reminds me of police work; you’ll contact some twisted person living a miserable life. They’ve spent twenty-five years as some of the worst parents on the planet, and after things finally get too out of hand, they call the police to fix their kids in twenty-five minutes. They don’t want to change their lives at all, they just want a brief lift, a little help over the most current barrier, so they can resume being the lousy parents they always were. I can guarantee you’ll make immediate enemies by telling them the truth they never wanted to hear, no matter how tactful you try to be. Truth, real truth, is not tactful.
Therefore, Christianity is, as a lifestyle, a rude awakening. Anything less, any more mollified description of Christianity, is fundamentally untruthful. Commitment to God is radical, and has to be in order to be foundationally strong enough to weather the vicious storms of life. The storms won’t go away just because you say, “I do..”, but with Jesus at the helm they become navigable. Add to that the tried and true adage that ‘God wins with any hand.’, and you become the conqueror, rather than the conquered, but some days it will take a death grip on salvation to get through; nothing worth having is cheap.
All said, after a number of daunting rough spots, you’ll find that you’re changing. The future is brighter, and hope becomes a normal expectation. Fear begins to drain away as it’s replaced by it’s nemesis, faith, and the Son’s always shining. Help is indeed on the way, but now it’s on the way in the immediate future, as well as the ultimate future.
Here is my definition of Salvation, and I think it’s irreducible: “ALL OF ME, FOR ALL OF YOU, ALL THE TIME.” Now that’s radical! Can you do it?
Some would say, “Well, that’s easy for you to say..!” and go on to repaint their gloomy landscape of a life. I say, “It was never easier when I said it to myself, and it came at the cost of my (old) life.”
Start over today. Totally, completely commit yourself to Him – with no reservations. It is the most exciting life worth having.
John Miltenberger is a Christian blogger, visit John on his site: The Trip So Far
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