I lived in the world. I rolled around in the filth, loneliness, anger, hatred, abuse and bitterness of the world. I would go to church as a teenager with my Grandpa and curse out the youth pastor and tell everyone at the youth meeting that they were morons for following Jesus. I took pride in being against Jesus. I believed that God existed I just made the choice to not be on His side. I know the desperation of wanting to be loved but being so caught up in sin that it blinds you to the truth. I am grateful that in my rock bottom homeless days on the streets of Detroit that God spared my life. I still do not know how, other than God spared it. I remember quite clearly the decision made to give my life to Jesus. I think about it often. I remember the rejection I got from some of the people I used to hang out with. I remember the feeling of not having a "friend" in the world. I was changed. I worked very closely with the homeless community after giving my heart to Jesus. I would give them food and a drink and then tell anyone who would listen what Jesus had done for me. There were times when people would listen. I even prayed with a few to accept Jesus as their savior. But there were many who would laugh at me or threaten me and I would be rejected. Only Jesus could actually be given "superstar" status, if you will, in the Bible. I mean, He came to earth, born of a virgin, was the son of God and preformed miracles. People would flock to wherever He was. They would walk for days to hear him speak. Yet, in the end..He was rejected by those very same people. Truth is... when we give our hearts and lives to Jesus we WILL be rejected by the world. That's the way it is supposed to be. Actually, we are too, to reject the world...not reject the PEOPLE..but the world. Jesus spoke quite plainly when asked what someone needed to do to follow Him.. He said:
New International Version (NIV)
The Way of the Cross34 Then he called the crowd to him along with his disciples and said: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. 35 For whoever wants to save their life[a] will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me and for the gospel will save it."
So I ask you again... why are we seeking notoriety. If we are denying ourselves as Jesus said we need to do, then why are we so self centered in our pursuit of a "ministry" a "career" a ...fill in the blank? It is scary when I take inventory of my life when this is the measuring stick I am to use.
Don't be confused.. I LOVE the people who are in the world. I love them so much that I don't want to just be their friends and have them like me I want them to know that Jesus LOVES them and that He died for them. It is cruel to "in the name of love" not share the truth of Jesus with people. It is cruel to say "I am not going to judge" No one said you were called to judge. No one gave you that responsibility.. you are COPPING OUT. Don't judge... share Jesus in Love.
Personally, I am daily asking God to scrub out of me anything that keeps me from this calling on my life. Dying to self is a hard (understatement of the century) process, but I can't be filled with Jesus if there is any "self" left. I want to be filled by Him. I want to share more of Him with others. I want "my" life to be fully His. I long to have people say of me when I am gone.. She loved Jesus.