“Reclining Christians cannot be running Christians.“
My sister’s recent provocative statement on social media caught my eye. My whole life, I wanted to be a sold-out Christian whose life made a difference for the Kingdom, not a mediocre believer whose sole display of faith was Sunday church attendance.
This entire past year of pandemic fear and isolation, I longed to see the church at large rising up to meet the pressing needs around us, and to be a part of that. (I even wrote a post about COVID-19 in Light of the Resurrection.) Yet burdened by stress and uncertainty, I found myself cloistered in my comfortable home, caring solely for my own family.
It’s not too late to rise up and make a difference. May we look around us and see how, where, and whom we can serve. May Laurel’s words (which she graciously allowed to be republished here) challenge you, as they did me, to greater faith and outward focus.
Reclining Christians Cannot Be Running Christians
Guest post by Laurel Vargas
An interesting effect of this past year has been the turning of assembled churches into TV churches, effectively putting Christians in their recliners. While convenience is a blessing and technological connection is conciliatory for a time, comfort tends to incline us to expect to receive and be served, rather than to give and to serve.
When everything shut down a year ago, millions closed their doors and hid inside their houses while essential workers were worthily lauded for their heroism and courage in helping communities get through this crisis. While these people bravely suited up and continued to go to work, thousands of others forgot, in the fray, that they were essential workers too.
I’m talking about people of God. Because the people who KNOW their God are strong and carry out great exploits. The people who have received orders from God himself to preach the gospel, make disciples, heal the sick, raise the dead, cast out demons, to seek and save the lost, to set captives free, to heal the oppressed, to care for the poor and the suffering, and ABOVE ALL, to seek God’s face and become like him.
While the world turned upside down to prevent one kind of serious disease from spreading, millions were still in need of help for other things: suicide, domestic, sexual and substance abuse, violence, poverty, hunger, despair. The very things we are commissioned to care for by the living gospel of Jesus Christ.
I am deeply encouraged by the MANY bold men and women whose faith in God never stopped leading them to speak truth in love, to act with compassion and courage, to strengthen, encourage and care for those in need in this sudden storm. These are the people who rejected fear in all its facets, and lived from a place of POWER, LOVE, and a SOUND MIND in Christ.
We learn many things in a year, about life, about God, about ourselves, about how to better connect, strengthen and care for people.
What I consider a year later is an opportunity and pressing need. That people everywhere need love, need care, need Christ.
And help will not come from the faint of heart, but from the brave, the bold, and those whose trust is in God, who will set personal convenience, comfort, and safety aside for the sake of reconciling people to the Father and the freedom that he gives those who walk in his truth.
Let us each ask God to renew purpose and vision in our hearts, that he might give us power to run the course faithfully. He gives wisdom to those who ask, direction to those who seek, and joy to those who abide in Him.
Let’s get out of our recliners and position ourselves to run with the purpose and commission of God, now.
Essential workers, there is a world in need.
…let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us RUN with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.Hebrews 12:1-2, NKJV, emphasis added
Laurel Vargas is a wife and busy mother to four young children. She manages her home with grace, extends hospitality with joy, and runs a business, Laureli Cottage, on the side, all brightened by her creativity, her natural eye for beauty, and most of all, her love for Jesus.