"God is most glorified in you when you are most satisfied in him in the midst of loss, not prosperity." --John Piper

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Come to the Happy Place!

I have been listening to some Francis Chan lately. For such a mild tone, he speaks powerful words.

One of the things that struck me most was the church as a "Happy Place." A place where we invite people in, make them feel comfortable, and tell them how much God will bless them if they give their life to him.

Or to put it bluntly, we lie.

It is not that God won't bless them, but it is the perception of HOW He will bless them that is missleading.

Jesus spent a lot of his ministry shooing people away. Saying things like, "If you want to follow me you have to pick up your cross" surely did not appeal to the masses. Or walking the extra mile, or turning the other cheek...

Why do we seem to preach from the same verses over and over to the neglect of the cost and the cross?

We offer an invitiation to the Happy Place, smile and extend a hand and tell them they are now "one of us." But what if I don't want to be one of them?

To quote Keith Green, "I want to, I need to, be more like Jesus." I don't want to go to the Happy Place, take me to the cross. The cross is where I can worship Him, where I can cry over His death and my sin. The cross is where I am broken in to pieces and healed by the Master. The cross is my redemption, and it is not a happy place.


Kansas Bob said...

You have painted a really great contrast! I wonder if joy is the inner quality needed to deny our flesh, pick up our cross and follow Jesus? Maybe without joy we can never follow Jeus with the right attitude? Not sure?

Spherical said...

I agree completely, because while the cross may not be a happy place, it is the source of great joy. A paradox that the world cannot understand, but one that Christians should and Jesus did.

"For the joy set before him he endured the cross..." (He 12:2)

Kansas Bob said...

Good tie in scripture!