Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. (1 Tim. 6:17-18)

Friday, July 23, 2010

Discernment by nausea | God's will

In my previous post, I mentioned that I recently heard a sermon preached by Pastor Adam Hamilton at The Church of the Resurrection. In his message, Adam also mentioned an interesting concept of following God's direction in ministry that their church affectionately refers to as "discernment by nausea."

The concept of discernment by nausea is simply this:
As Christians, we "play it safe" way too often. It's so much easier to take the less risky way in any situation, because God's way always seems like the more difficult, challenging choice. The very thought of taking this risk makes us sick in the pit of our stomach, but due to this "feeling," we are able to discern the correct course for our lives.
Jesus addressed the difficulties in the journey of following Him in this manner:
"Anyone who loves his father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves his son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me; and anyone who does not take up cross and follow me is not worthy of me" (Matthew 10:37-38, NIV).
"Blessed are you when men hate you, when they exclude you and insult you and reject your name as evil, because of the Son of Man" (Luke 6:22, NIV).
Jesus answered, "If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me." When the young man [the rich, young ruler] heard this, he went away sad, because he had great wealth. Then Jesus said to his disciples, "I tell you the truth, it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven. Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God." When the disciples heard this, they were greatly astonished and asked, "Who then can be saved?" Jesus looked at them and said, "With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible" (Matthew 19:21-26, NIV).
Even though our Lord never promised an easy journey for His followers, He promised that His grace would be sufficient for us. He also promised eternal rewards for those who refused to play it safe and give everything to follow Him!
But he said to me [the Apostle Paul], "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong (2 Corinthians 12:9-10, NIV).
"And everyone who has left houses or bothers or sisters or father or mother or children or fields for my sake will receive a hundred times as much and will inherit eternal life. But many who are first will be last, and many who are last will be first" (Matthew 19:29-30, NIV).
"Rejoice in that day and leap for joy, because great is your reward in heaven. For that is how their fathers treated the prophets" (Luke 6:23, NIV).
So, do you feel sick to your stomach, today, regarding some decisions you need to make in order to follow Christ in a deeper way? He will walk with you on your journey, supplying you with the grace and strength you will need, and you can look forward to an awesome reward that awaits you in heaven!

Also check out these related posts: