I love jumping into the pool. There are different kinds of people, those who gradually ease their way in, those who test the water before deciding to go in or not, and then there’s me, diving in like a hooligan. My thought process is, if it’s cold, might as well get used to it quick and have fun while doing it than nothing. I hate long buildups. Danielle and I recently went on a roller coaster, it spun you all around, was really tall, and very very fast. My dearest Danielle loves adrenaline, and I enjoy roller coasters, the thing is, the waiting kills me. The lines always crawl and, in my head, I build it up to be worse than I know it is. What if I die? No one has ever died before, but what if I’m the sucker who kicks the bucket this time? What if my glasses fly off? I know physics literally says that they will stay on my head because of the force, but what if I defy physics? I have the best time when I just jump into it, and not allow room to worry.
My favorite quote from the great theologian and philosopher, Lemony Snicket, is, “Do the scary thing first, and get scared later.”
I think we need to live like this in all things, especially as we step into our calling.
Your calling is also known as the great commission, is found in Matthew 28. I’ll shorten it for you, we are called to be like Christ and be the church, everywhere, and all of the time.
Let me be honest with you, we all suck at that.
It’s true! Why is it that when it comes to being the church, we get scared and go the opposite direction? We have this life change happen to us, but forget or get scared to share it with the people around us. This isn’t designed to shame or talk down to Christ followers, I want to help you today to be the church, because we are in a world that needs you to live out the life change that has happened to you internally.
God’s word is what sustains.
I was struck this past week while reading in Hebrews, there is a moment in chapter one and verse three that says, “…sustaining all things by his powerful word.” I love that, it’s something that many know, but forget to live into. As we follow Christ, we often put reading scripture to the back. We like feeling things, it’s why we like worship songs, camp highs, and conference epiphanies. Scripture doesn’t always give us a wild feeling, but make no mistake, I would argue the spirit moves stronger through you reading scripture than a worship night. Bold, I know, but the truth is, all scripture is from the mouth of God. It’s the most direct and clear message you can get. It’s also a living word, that’s why you can read the same scripture and have it speak to you in different ways.
The spirit moves through scripture, meaning that it is a guide to all things and convicts us to move in different directions. Want to understand what it means to be the church? Read about the life of Jesus. He is our example, an example that shows a man unafraid to speak and witness to the misfits and outcasts, never being silent about the power of God, and living in a way that gives honor to God.
In order to live without fear, you need to be sustained by scripture, and when you have that life, you start being church.
It starts with you.
I’ve been in the church for a while, and I always enjoy when people will have a great idea, and look to leadership and say, “you should do something!” Why? You have the idea, God’s put a mission on your heart, why don’t you start it? Sound scary? Good, do the scary thing first, and get scared later. You think the early church felt safe? Nope, it was one of the hardest seasons to be the church, yet they chose to step into what they were called to do. It started with people, people who had a calling and a passion in their hearts.
What are you passionate about? What breaks your heart? It starts with you, big and small. There are big issues in the world, but there are also issues in your neighborhood. There are hurting people who live next door, there are lost kids that frequent your coffee spot, there are future leaders being told they are worthless in your schools and workplaces. Don’t be afraid, I know there are the fears of rejection or being laughed off, I know you feel unequipped and that someone else would be much better, but it starts with you. God’s got the equipment, the holy spirit is in you, does it really matter if they reject or laugh at you?
Jump into the water. Stop being afraid in the unknown, revolutions start with people with a need for change. What could be a bigger change than breaking chains of sin and death in the lives of others? Be like Jesus. Talk to the outcasts, enter the homes of sinners, invite people to coffee!
Be like Jesus and start being church to someone next to you.
My dearest Danielle and I recently went to the new Harry Potter ride over at Universal Studios, we lucked out and only waited a little over an hour. The funny thing was, we were playing games and talking, and the time slipped away. When we were about to get on the ride, Danielle made the observation that, “we had so much fun in line you forgot to get nervous!” You know what, she was so right! We then had a blast on the ride, and it made me think, what if we walked through life like this? Choosing to have fun in the unknowns and take a step of courage when the time comes for us to act. That’s what it means to be church; living without fear and seizing every opportunity to change a life.
You gotta start getting your sustainment from the bible and it’s time to step up, time to act on that passion tugging on your heart.
Don’t let fear rule your life, go out and start being church everywhere.
About the Author: Joshua Thomas is a writer by day and superhero by night. When he’s not writing and crimefighting, you can find him reading a good book, sipping warm tea, taking pictures, or dreaming. The young writer doesn’t fully know what he’s doing, but is enjoying the journey of it all. You can tweet memes at him on Twitter @joshua_thomas__ or follow his hipster photos and Jack Kerouac musings on Instagram @joshua_thomas__