Do Not Assume You are Good Soil

Last week I read Crazy Love by Francis Chan. It is a very convicting book packed full of Scripture and challenging application. He is one small section as a sampling that raises some great questions to consider regarding my own faith and commitment to Christ.
Do not assume you are good soil. Has your relationship with God actually changed the way you live? Do you see evidence of God’s kingdom in your life? Or are you choking it out slowly by spending too much time, energy, money, and thought on the things of this world? Are you satisfied being “godly enough” to get yourself to heaven, or to look good in comparison to others? Or can you say with Paul that you “want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death” (Phil. 3:10)?

For a long time this verse had just too much Jesus for me. In my opinion, the verse should have ended after the word resurrection, so I could have an appealing, popular Jesus who didn’t suffer. The feedback I received from other Christians reassured me that this was a fine perspective, and it gave me little reason to strive to know Christ more deeply. I was told I was good enough, “godly enough.” But this went against everything I was reading in the Bible, so I eventually rejected what the majority said and began to compare all aspects of my life to Scripture.

I quickly found that the American church is a difficult place to fit in if you want to live out New Testament Christianity. The goals of American Christianity are often a nice marriage, children who don’t swear, and good church attendance. Taking the words of Christ literally and seriously is rarely considered. That’s for the “radicals” who are “unbalanced” and who go “overboard.” Most of us want a balanced life that we can control, that is safe, and that does not involve suffering. Would you describe yourself as totally in love with Jesus Christ? Or do the words halfhearted, lukewarm, and partially committed fit better?
Would you describe yourself as totally in love with Jesus?  Do you take the words of Jesus literally and put them into practice?  Do find it hard or easy to generally fit in with the people around you?  Is their evidence of God's working in your life?  All these questions and many more give Crazy Love the prophet voice that it has.