WE ARE hard to please, us Christians. We want to be used by God, effective in His Kingdom, but we never realise what it will cost.
We never quite take Jesus at His Word: “If you wish to be my follower, you must love me more than anything else; even more than your own life!”
When you’re used by God it’s the most frustrating, stretching, taxing time of your life, because you feel constantly pushed and pulled and completely unable to predict what is coming next. You’re fundamentally undone any given moment. It’s just what the Kingdom demands, and the only way we ‘succeed’ is if we approach life as if our own desires were truly non-existent; as if we had died already.
Whenever we’re pressed into all sorts of shapes of fatigue tending toward burnout, and we didn’t arrive there because we chose to, we’re in the familiar territory of the saints.
God will choose for us our particular idol and He will smash it — if we’re truly purposed for His Kingdom. If we were looking into our lives as if we were someone else, we would want it no other way. But it’s our life, and no matter how devoted we are to God it always comes as a shock that God would take our spoken devotion so literally. But it’s important to us, from eternality’s perspective, that He does.
The secular world will want to reinforce its best attempt at effective management, and so the mainstream church follows the programmatic way of doing things. Sabbath, for just one instance, becomes a rule when under the New Covenant it is a state of being.
We can’t expect not to be pushed to the absolute limit in our faith when we’ve told God our devotion is limitless. God takes us at our word.