Consider Daniel. He established a friendship with King Darius and could have lived out his Babylonian captivity in relative ease. When some of Darius’ royal leaders convinced the king to issue an edict effectively outlawing prayer to the Living God, Daniel prayed anyway. This put him on the wrong side of the law and landed him in a den of hungry lions. We know from scripture God shut the mouths of the lions and protected Daniel. But Daniel didn’t know this would happen at the time. He prayed knowing it might cost him his life. Is that normal?
The Apostle Paul left the prestige of a Pharisee’s life to follow Jesus. Instead of moving along the streets of Jerusalem in a holy robe, he was hounded by his own countrymen, beaten, stoned, imprisoned and, according to tradition eventually beheaded. Paul could have kept his belief in Jesus private and possibly held on to the high life. Instead, he spent his life reaching out to the Gentile world. Is that normal?
I have decided the longer we walk with the Lord the more abnormal our faith becomes. I am beginning to understand what Paul meant when he said, “We are fools for Christ!” (1 Corinthians 4:10). It is foolish to think the more we empty ourselves out for the Lord, the stronger we become, yet this is exactly how He works. Paul told the Corinthians he and his companions were like “the scum of the earth” and “the refuse of the world” (1 Corinthians 4:13). Why would anyone voluntarily assume these personas? The only explanation is that one decides the greater knowledge of God is better than clinging to the empty sophistication of human wisdom.
Would you consider yourself normal or abnormal? Do you think our world, in general, understands the difference?
Dear God, am I really that crazy? In Jesus’ name, Amen.