This spring we’re in the middle of a GodSearch. Each Sunday during Catalyst worship, in GodSearch studies during the week, and in our own personal times with God, we’re encountering amazing firsthand accounts of Jesus’ life through the eyes of John, who was one of Jesus’ closest friends.
And God’s showing up. Jesus is speaking truth. He’s healing us. And he’s messing with us.
That’s what Jesus promises to do. When you encounter Jesus personally, one of the things he’ll do is challenge you. I was recently reminded of three ways Jesus does this:
- Jesus will challenge your priorities. Jesus demands to set the agenda in our lives and ministries. He will ask us to give up many things so that we will match our priorities with his. For instance, Jesus challenged the Rich Young Man to give up his material wealth for something better – eternal life. The issue wasn’t the young man’s wealth; it was that the young man did not have Jesus as his #1 priority.
- Jesus will challenge your faith. Jesus asks you to do the impossible. When Jesus sent out the apostles, he said, “As you go, announce that the kingdom of heaven will soon be here. Heal the sick, raise the dead to life, heal people who have leprosy, and force out demons. You received without paying, now give without being paid.” (Matthew 10:7-8CEV). It takes Jesus to do what Jesus tells us to do.
- Jesus will challenge your small thinking and mine. Jesus does this by giving us a greater vision—like the Great Commission. When Jesus gave this Great Commission—to go into the whole world and make disciples throughout the nations—it was physically impossible to complete. But he wanted to expand his disciples’ vision and get them started planting churches across the known world.
God has given each of us unique gifts and abilities. But if all you’re doing is what you know you can do in your own power or resources, then you’re not reaching God’s potential for your life. In fact, you’re living faithlessly, because what you’re doing does not require faith.
Are you willing to keep encountering Jesus in the weeks ahead? To let him challenge your priorities, your faith, and your small thinking? So continue to welcome him into your life. He loves you so much that he’s not content to let you stay where you are.
–Steve Eng, Catalyst lead pastor