05 February 2014

Our Inside Voice: Day 2

As evangelicals, we often chase and embrace a lifestyle that inserts God enough to be known as a believer but not enough to cost anything. We tell ourselves we are doing enough for the Lord.

Our American freedom can be honed into a comfy lifestyle if we work hard and live prudently. I fear we have made that the template for our faith walk:
If we work hard and live prudently according to God's Word, he will reward us with comfy events and blessings. We can "dictate" the cost of being a believer and "manage" God and his outcomes in our lives.
That is not the template illustrated countless times in Scripture.

God promises to take our inside voice and our very selves on a journey of struggle. If we persevere, we will triumph, but it will seldom be a triumph we expect or predict.

Richard Rohr, in Breathing Under Water, describes this God:
God seems to have hidden holiness and wholeness in a secret place where only the humble will find it...some topsy-turvy God has decided that those on the bottom will be revealed as the true top, and those who try for the top will find nothing of substance there.
People who have moved from seeming success to seeming success [as we do in the quest of the American Dream] seldom understand success at all; except a very limited version of their own. People who fail to do it right, by even their own definition of right, are those who often break through to compassion. Hopefully, you will be able to accept this cosmic economy of grace. Unless there is a person, situation, event, idea, conflict or relationship that you cannot "manage," you will never find the True Manager. So God makes sure that several things will come your way that you cannot manage on your own. 
Gilbert Roller (see Feb 4th post) bumped up against his mom believing God asked of her her life's savings for two strangers who wanted to build a mission in Mexico. Dr. Roller met God on terms he could not dictate or manage. He struggled with his inside voice that reigned with frustration and resentment.

We must pursue the truth about who God says he is and separate him from our quest of the American Dream. Can they co-exist? How do we submit our inside voice to such a journey?
God promises struggle.
The American Dream promises a chance at success.
Can I open myself up to both? What will I find? How do I sail in two seas at once?
Tomorrow: John 4, Dr. Roller and submission, and sailing one sea.

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