I just read an article in “Christianity Today” by Mark Gali titled, “Monomaniacs for God.”*
Mr. Gali writes, “Let me begin by picturing what the church looks like when it hasn’t forgotten God…The reality of which I am speaking—a church that has not forgotten God—exhibits one principal characteristic: a desire for God. A desire so intense it sometimes looks like drunkenness or even madness.” I know the exhilaration about which Mr. Gali writes; I hope you do, too.
When I was a young man, several times, I traveled to visit a friend that was attending a Bible College. On one occasion, as we walked around the campus, we came to an arched bridge that crossed a small stream. We stopped there and lingered for a while, listening to the flowing water and musing about what our places in Christ might be.
We were both sincerely committed to living our lives wholly committed to Jesus. Our conversation turned to how to live a radically Christian life. We each, individually, felt that God was calling us to a radical Christianity. So, on that spot, we each made that commitment to Jesus.
By radical, I do not mean militant, but radical as opposed to the lives of casual Christians of our day. I don’t mean just the laity was conforming to the ways of society, but the clergy also seemed to feel compelled to submit to modernity for their messages to be relevant.
Over time, our friendship drifted, but on the occasions when we checked in on each other, the fire remained, though we each followed very different paths.
For me, I wrestled with how to remain a radical Christian; I still do. I have learned that I must have a mindset like that of King David. He wrote in Psalms 63:1 (ESV), “O God, you are my God; earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for you; my flesh faints for you, as in a dry and weary land where there is no water.”
If I fail to keep Jesus my first love and if I am not willing to be judged by the wise people as foolish then I am destined to be pulled into the rapids of the river of this world, the ruler of which stands condemned already (John 16:11).
Oh God, give us all empty bellies that we might hunger after you.