Radical is a book I’ve mentioned on the blog before. It is exceptional. Follow Me, another one of Platt’s books, is equally great. Both discuss what it means to know Jesus and what life with Jesus is and how Jesus has plans for His followers. Read them both. I have them. Yes, you can borrow them from me.
I learned more from these books than can be put into words here, but one lesson changed the way I look at pretty much everything. God’s will for my life has been in front of me the whole time. It’s in the Bible, the Gospels being especially helpful.
As a church-going youth, I heard a million conversations about waiting on God’s will for your life, seeking God’s will for your life. To be sure, seeking and waiting are a part of living the Christian life, and both are fine. But, unlike what I believed, God has some words that are universal for all believers. Our lives are to glorify Him and He told us some ways to do that. Love Him. Love others. Take care of the orphans and homeless and victims and consider myself less than the people around me. Serve. Take His words to the ends of the Earth. Raise my children in the Word. None of these are other people’s jobs.
Adopt the orphans or take in foster kids? We can do that.
Care for the elderly? We can do that.
Help those who have no home? We live in the richest country in the world, so we can do that.
Previously, I believed jobs like sharing Jesus fell on my plate, but more on my pastors. Missions were for missionaries, and I didn’t feel all that “called” to be one of those. Take in foster kids? That seems risky and hard and might not be super-duper fun all the time.
Platt is not trying to prescribe a to-do to get to Heaven list. He’s simply stating what the Gospels already state: this is what Jesus told us to do. This is what following Him looks like. It doesn’t look identical in everyone’s life, but God is going to lead me to serve if I am following Him because Jesus was sort of big on that. Still is. Maybe not everyone is going to be a missionary overseas, but we need to pray for anyone, anywhere who doesn’t know Christ. Will everyone adopt? No. But is it everyone’s problem that so many kids cycle through our foster care system each year? Yes, and Christians were instructed to take care of these kids.
I no longer feel the need to wonder what God wants me to do. Of course, staying plugged into Him helps ensure I am following His will for my particular life in my particular situation with the gifts He has given me and all the obstacles I stumble over. But I am always supposed to bathe others in prayer, find ways to feed the hungry, not get crazy about holding on to “my” money and possessions since it all belongs to God. Following Him means walking away from self, all the time, every time. It’s a lesson I am constantly in need of remembering.