We all like to get invited to things. It’s good to be included and the invitation typically gives us an opportunity to have some fun with people we like or want to know. What about when we get invited to do hard things?
I’ve come to believe that our relationship with God is one big series of invitations. He invites us from glory to glory, always allowing us to make the choice for ourselves. His glory will not be denied, the only question is whether or not we want to be included in the unfolding glories.
Most of the American church is neither seeking nor accepting invitations. They are all too often comfortable in their salvation and waiting for heaven, trying to be good in the meantime. Heaven coming to earth, as Jesus announced, is not part of their deal.
Why would anyone turn down an invitation into glory from the same God that saved them? Because it’s hard to step into the invitations that reveal new glory, that’s why.
Since our business failed years ago, Julie and I have said “yes” to the invitations of the Lord the best that we can. We had lost everything and decided to stop trying to accomplish our Kingdom destiny via the American dream. We don’t pull it off perfectly every time, but our hearts and minds are intent on stepping into new things as God presents them.
What we have found, pretty much every time, is that the new things bring hard things first. In between the former glory and the new glory there is some level of discomfort, if not suffering. That in between is what shapes our character to increase its capacity to steward the new thing. We die to ourselves in the challenge and that space which we used to protect becomes His glory on display through us.
The whispers of God to step into the unknown are adventurous and romantic and most Christians think they want to be in the middle of His Kingdom. The reality of the discomfort, however, will prevent “yes” to preserve comfort at the cost of maturity.
You are invited and it will cost you everything, a little bit at a time. The faults of our soul have to give way to the glory of His Spirit within us and that costs us the crucifixion of everything within us that isn’t Him. It’s painful, but glorious as new Him comes out of the old us.