radical response (chapter 8)

Can you believe we’re on the next-to-last chapter?? We can do this!!

Okay, I’ll admit all the risking and dying stuff was a bit intimidating, but didn’t you find it invigorating too?? I mean, talk about upping the ante, jacking everything up a couple (hundred) notches. Wowza.

Are you at the place where you’d be okey-dokey-fine with getting accidentally stuck with an HIV-infected needle in the name of serving Jesus? What about getting speared to death by natives that you were trying to win to Christ? Or being eaten–how does that sound? Or poisoned–by your own family?

Goodness, we’re barely willing to risk being thought of as a little “out there” by our neighbor.

I like the tongue-in-cheek (but not really) warning on page 167–“To everyone wanting a safe, untroubled, comfortable life free from danger, stay away from Jesus.”

David Platt goes on to say, “Maybe this is why we sit back and settle for a casual relationship with Christ and routine religion in the church. It is safe there, and the world likes us there. The world likes us when we are pursuing everything they are pursuing.”

Ouch, ouch, ouch.

I don’t want to spend my life cruising on a luxury liner (p. 169-171). I want my life to be characterized by a sense of urgency, of not resting until the poor have food and orphans have homes and justice is restored and the lost are reconciled to Christ.

And I don’t want to just throw my money at causes–although that can be really awesome and is so important–I want to be out on the front lines. In the danger zone. Not waltzing around like some benefactress elf, passing out charity like candy canes at Christmas time. I want to get OUT THERE. IN THERE. With the poor and the orphaned and the marginalized.

God will protect me. He’ll protect my family. Because even though following Jesus might very well mean putting yourself in harm’s way, “we can rest confident in the fact that nothing will happen to us in this world apart from the gracious will of a sovereign God. Nothing.” (172)

I wrote the words “Panha’s dad” on page 173 when Platt is talking about how Satan’s plan to destroy the church through Stephen’s stoning actually helped scatter believers to all corners of the earth where they shared the gospel. Stolen tuk-tuk, anyone?

I love this paragraph on page 174–Indeed, God knows every detail of our lives, and when we step out in faith to follow him, he will show us that our greatest security is not found in the comforts we can manufacture in this world but in the faithful provision of the only one who knows our needs and the only one who is able to meet our needs in every way.

I wrote “Cambodia Fund” right under those words. I’ve told God I’d give up that dream if he asked me to (oh, I pray that I really would), but I don’t sense him saying “give it up.” I sense him saying, “Trust me.” My girls just stared at our brochures of our orphanage kiddos tonight and chattered about them and talked about which girls are closest in age to them and tried their best to say all their names without looking. Then Nina started crying. “What’s wrong, sweetie?” I asked her. “I just want to go to Cambodia,” she said.

Well. We’ll just keep praying about it then, won’t we? And she has been. A lot. And I got to give her some good news–an answer to her prayers–this afternoon. I have an opportunity to earn a little money here in awhile. It won’t buy 5 plane tickets, but it will buy 3 girlies a passport. And we’ll just keep trusting and keep trucking and see what God has up his sleeve.

And that was a tangent I didn’t mean to go off on, but I can’t apologize for Cambodian tangents, because I like them.

I have a story to share tomorrow. It doesn’t involve going to an unreached people group in a foreign land, but it does involve people I haven’t reached, because I’ve been too… something… for the past four years to walk around my neighborhood and reach out to the people I share a street with.

Lord willing, that’s going to change here soon.

Reminder: Chapter 9 on November 16, Thanksgiving week–OFF, Radical Celebration on November 30.

Two questions for you today:

1. What’s your biggest fear?

2. What are you ready to risk?

25 thoughts on “radical response (chapter 8)

  1. Brooke

    i don’t fear for myself…I’ve already had that converstation with God. But there are two little ones that I can’t say I’d be okay with losing for His sake.

  2. Sharon

    Ok, the last two chapters have been tough for me. I have left them feeling very guilty. I was in catholic school and raised a catholic and that was a way of life to me. I don’t like feeling that again and have told myself I won’t live like that again! I know I can do more and am not living my life the way Jesus would want me to, always a work in progress. Things are always put on the back burner but at my age, need to start moving to the front burner! As usual, these chapters have given me a lot to think about and process. I have loved seeing your enthusiasm Marla!

  3. Leigh

    Oh, Marla, thank you for sharing your heart. I can’t wait to see how Cambodia intersects with your life. In the meantime, it sounds like your neighborhood will be a good place to practice some of these lessons.

  4. Mary

    Love you! Love this!

    I know I’ve fallen a little off the Radical blogging bandwagon, but it doesn’t mean I’m not still following along. I think my biggest fear is living my life without doing something eternally significant for Christ. I have those same feelings – in fact I cried myself to sleep the other night (not typical!) because I just wanted to DO something…be OUT there…physically helping children and the lost, etc etc. It seems that interruptions keep getting in the way…not necessarily bad ones but things that God wants me to do instead right now.

    Anyway, I’m rambling. Thanks for your post 🙂

  5. ali

    God’s really working on me with this one. Mainly regarding my fears. I’ve got a lot brewing. I’m hoping to get my thoughts on paper (uh, I mean, computer) soon. Love you, friend.

  6. Pingback: Radical Chapter 8… wowzers! » Gini and Payton

  7. Melissa

    To be honest, being eaten kinda freaks me out. But I guess if I were already dead it wouldn’t be that bad. I was thinking last night as I was reading if this is why God gave me such a high tolerance for pain 🙂 In my heart I am ready to risk everything…just need to convince my head.

  8. MainlineMom

    I haven’t been keeping up with the read along or all the posts but I’ve read enough to know I’m sold. I’m all in. I’m ready to risk it all for the cause of Christ. But my husband is not…he’s far from ready. So it leaves me awfully confused and frustrated as I wait on the Lord to work in his heart.

  9. Jen Hanson

    Radical has had an effect on me where I feel like I’m drowning and just when I think I can’t take the pressure of the water and the lack of breath any longer, I get a brief gulp of sustaining air (chps 5 and 6) before being plunged under the surface once more. I’m deep under again after this chapter and I’m feeling panicky and my chest hurts and I feel like giving up. I’ll try and hold my breath a little longer and will my heart to keep pounding until I get what will hopefully be some breath, resolution and direction in the final chapter and whatever God has beyond that…

  10. Rachelle

    1) My biggest fear: When my mom was dying of cancer she said, “There’s just so much more left for me to do”…
    I am afraid I may find myself saying the same thing if I don’t start living like I have nothing to lose and quit worrying about my numbered days.

    2)I am ready to risk everything. I can’t deny some anxiety about risking everything. I do know that in my life God has always proven faithful, even when I am not.

  11. Pingback: Radical Chapter 8 | P2P

  12. Nancy

    Oh, I agree about the intimidating/invigorating aspect!! It brings us to our “fight or flight” response and makes me wonder which I will choose. I loved where David Platt said “What if the center of God’s will is in reality the most unsafe place for us to be?” Reminds me of “The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe” when Susan asks Mr. Beaver whether Aslan is safe. “‘Course he isn’t safe,” the Beaver replies. “But he’s good.”

  13. Natalie

    “Okay, I’ll admit all the risking and dying stuff was a bit intimidating, but didn’t you find it invigorating too??”

    Yes and Yes! I don’t know what God has in store for me after Radical but I do know that this wake up call has been sorely needed. And hard as it is to accept the truth about my “American” Christianity, I am thankful I have had to!

  14. sandee

    well I have a typo in my title and linky won’t let me fix it, but you get the idea. 🙂

    My biggest fear is that I will die before my children are grown. My grestes fear is that they would not walk with the Lord their entire life.

    I am ready to risk everything, except my children’s eternal salvation. I do not want to choose anything that would risk that.

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