I recently had a conversation, and we were talking about an old friend. It intrigued me when they mentioned that they were doing great because of a prestigious job position. It was familiar to me, because of my former way of thinking that making good grades, majoring in the right field, getting a good job and then working until retirement was how I, and the world around me defined success. This pursuit can be a worthy one, but one major thing cannot be forgotten ….. to fully live in Christ. Jesus has called His followers to a life of self denial, a life where less is more, first is last, giving is receiving, and loosing your life is finding it.
There is something about getting in the trenches, getting your hands dirty, being in the places that Jesus would be, that hits a reality in the soul. Prayer becomes a necessity. Knowing God, His character, and His word is essential to daily life and struggle. Total dependance on Him is really the only way to live. Everything changes when you step into the fight. There is a spiritual battle and it is real. There is an enemy that is the ruler of this world and he is threatened when God's people take action. However, this opposition cannot be matched to the power that is found in Christ and in His Spirit. I have been compelled to acknowledge that there is something to fight for here, in my city. I have been compelled that there is something to fight for all over this world. Something other than stability and self reliance. Something other than living a 'good life' according to the world. The pain and heartbreak can be great, but you get to be where Jesus is. If we believe that this earth is not our home, that a greater Kingdom awaits us, when our King Jesus returns to make all things new, then our eyes begin to see the world around us so differently. Have you ever considered that perhaps some people are hurting, so that we can be used to rescue them. Perhaps some elderly people are still laying in nursing home beds so that we can go visit them. Perhaps He gave us more resources so that we could share them with those who have less. Perhaps He gives us promotions in our jobs so that we can meet the needs of the hungry.
I can testify that it is easy to blind yourself to needs, or just unintentionally be unaware. I didn't see (and in many ways still haven't seen) the plight of the poor, the hurting, the abused, the handicap. I didn’t feel the weight for the lost and unreached that I do now. There is no need for guilt from these things, but a simple prayer of asking the Lord to open your eyes can move mountains in your life. A decision to intentionally look for needs and ask the Father what He will have you do could allow you to step into the battle ground. I have been encouraged by a community that has made the trenches their life. A place where they are regularly with prostitutes, the homeless, prisoners, and the oppressed. Where it is not a big deal to sell your possessions to give to those in need. This life looks messy and unexplainable sometimes to those whose eyes are fixed on temporal things. And to be honest, it is messy and unexplainable sometimes, but it is full of joy and reliance on the Savior. It is the joy and the pain of life in the trenches. Get in the trenches...you will find Jesus there. He is worth everything. He leaves the 99 sheep to go after the 1...