Tuesday, June 28, 2011

The Burden of Following God - The Lost

*Before you jump into this post like I know you will, you might want to take a look at the introduction here. This post is part of a series and should be read in order...*

It all started on a long drive. Somehow my deep thoughts always do.  I had been with a large group of people for a few hours one Saturday, (which for an introvert was exhausting enough) but as I settled into my drive I started to think back over the previous few hours.  When I thought about the time, I became sad. Really sad.

I had sat and observed everyone around me during that time and the realization hit me.

"These people don't know God.  I'm not ever sure they want to know God. Some of them proclaim to know God and follow Him, yet what I saw today makes me wonder.."

First off, I never ever want to pass judgement on who knows God and who doesn't. Only God can truly do that. However I can look at someone's life and make an educated guess. And when I look at the world around me I see a lot of people who don't know God...and that kills me.

It kills me that there are people out there who don't have the peace that I do. It kills me that they don't know TRUE hope. It kills me that instead they put their hope in things that ultimately will either leave them empty or lead them to more pain.

One of my favorite songs is by a band called Project 86. It's called "One Armed Man". The song is essentially about this point. There are people who seek to find happiness and fulfillment and end up searching forever because they never find what they are looking for. One line goes like this:

"zombies staring, looking my way, crying out for something they can fill their stomachs with enough to satisfy the hunger growing.....they need something REAL." (look it up...it's very loud.)

It hasn't always been this way. In fact, I would hear people talk about how they were overwhelmed because they knew people who were looking to Alcohol, relationships, drugs, work, and other stuff to fill the void in their lives. I would hear people saying that and I would wonder what was wrong with me. I didn't really notice. I even prayed about it. "God help me see people who need to know you.

God likes prayers like that.  And boy did He respond.

So that brings me to my drive home. I had just been with a group of people who were seeking to find fulfillment in every single place that won't give it to them. I've seen it in so many teenagers over the years. Constantly searching for love and acceptance that they'd so anything to get it. I've seen it with adults who work non-stop just to feel like they've made a difference.   It may sound harsh to compare these people to zombies. But when you watch someone who is looking for comfort consistently turn to something that hurts them, it's like watching a zombie.  And besides that, I was once a zombie. We all live that life at some point.

In the Bible, the book of Ephesians says this:  "For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord."  Notice that it doesn't say we were "IN darkness" it says we "WERE darkness"

We were darkness.

I'm a zombie, you're a zombie, we're all zombies..hey...hey. ( i can sense a pop song here).

As I drove down the interstate I sat and thought about each person I had seen. I thought about how they were trying to find fulfillment, and I thought of how it would probably leave them empty. It was sad and overwhelming. As I drove, I felt burdened for those people. That's where I realized that following God can lead to being burdened.

But that's not the end. Fortunately, that verse from Ephesians has a second half. And that half leads us to the Hope of Following God. But that's another post altogether.

until next time,

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