You know that feeling when you get home late at night and all the lights are off? You walk through the dark house and your memory tells you there is furniture in front of you. Though you haven’t felt it yet, your body instinctively prepares itself for contact.
This is how I felt when I was searching for a vision to cling to concerning our singles’ group at church. I could feel it was close—something was coming, but the exact point of contact was unknown.
The vision came one evening when a few of us were hanging out. The dozens of conversations we had had on this subject where bringing us closer and closer, but still no vision. However, this particular evening, our conversation was animated, sometimes confrontational as we tried to discover what exactly we were trying to achieve with the singles. Then someone pulled out first Corinthians 7 and challenged us to be radical for Christ; reckless for the gospel. After all, we had no spouse, no children. We were circumstantially freer and more able to go places that no one else could go. We could be flexible, follow the Holy Spirit’s leading at a moments notice. Singleness wasn’t bondage. It was an excuse to go crazy for a cause.
Bingo. We had contact.
I went home siked. We had the vision. We had a goal. Fumbling in the darkness was over.
Or so I thought.
The next morning I was perplexed again. What were we supposed to do? What was the next step for me personally?
It would be a few months before the vision narrowed a little further and became personally applicable. Throughout that time, I had been reading A Godward Life by John Piper. There was one chapter on revival that particularly stood out to me. He defined revival as a supernatural working of the Holy Spirit, stirring simultaneously an overwhelming number of people to follow hard after Christ. He ended that chapter with a challenge to pray that a revival would begin within yourself. I knew after reading this that God wanted me to pray that if a revival were to begin, it would begin within me.
Last week, I attended a conference. I had been invited by a friend and went without really knowing beforehand what the point of the whole thing was. It just so happened that the conference was centered around the church. What is the church? What’s it supposed to do? What does it look like?
The third speaker of the evening challenged the thinking that church was an institution that you attend on Sunday mornings. He pointed at the audience and said that we were the church. We were the bride of Christ, all day long, Monday through Sunday. He challenged us to live gospel-centered lives continuously, rather than compartmentalizing—separating ministry, work, and family.
Here is where the vision has narrowed, or is narrowing. The personal application is that the reckless, radical, gospel-centered, Christ focused life, that loves God so much that He burns through every aspect of every day is a lifestyle—an existence. It’s not something I have to “do” or fit into my schedule. It’s a change of everything. It’s a new motivation for living life.
Now the next step is imagining what life would be like if Christ truly saturated everything. How would I live if loving and worshiping Jesus were my morning Wheaties, my fuel for being? It’s so all-encompassing that I’m presently feeling overwhelmed. But at the same time, I feel free. I have nothing to prove to anyone. The Good News stands on it’s own and Christ is more than enough.
Just like all the puzzle pieces for the vision and its personal application to me have come together, the next thing will be waiting when I wake up in the morning. And sometimes, the journey stops off in one place for a while, just to rest.
But great cost is coming. A life controlled by the Holy Spirit is dangerous. Maybe not on the outside, but on the inside. The Old Man has to die.
I’ll end with the words of one of the speakers from the conference I attended. “If you ever cease to be astonished by the message of the gospel, beware.”
Christ, who He is, what He’s done, and what He is doing should never cease to wow us.