By Janae Robinson
In moments of unhindered imagination, I envision Jesus’ call on my life coming in a single, glorious instant, all rolling clouds and fire and a booming voice from Heaven. “JANAE,” the voice sounds through the sky, like some divine fusion of Morgan Freeman and Billy Graham, “You must wear the same clothes every day, move into a tent on the side of the street, and declare my Kingdom to the masses!” Although I know following Christ is not necessarily synonymous with a life of asceticism, I often cannot shake the conviction that in order to authentically live my faith, I must sell all I have, move to India, and share in the poverty of the suffering millions. When at last I hush my mind enough to hear the Spirit speak interruption, I become aware of the distortions of truth that permeate my visions. Not that it is wrong for me to put off Western consumerism and live deliberately and simply in a poorer part of the world. But the real issue is (always) my heart. Am I seeking asceticism for the strange self-glorification I see in sacrifice, or because I wholeheartedly believe Jesus words, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself, take up his cross daily, and follow me”? Why do I so desperately desire the voice of God to knock me over, when His Word has already come to me, speaking of the Way and Truth and Life? Why do I think I must up and move away to serve, when only down the street or fifty miles up PA-611 the fields are ripe for the harvest?
As the NLD youth team prepares for Easton, we humbly request your prayers for these very heart issues. Pray that we would serve not to build ourselves up in that strange, pseudo-humble way, but that we would deny ourselves, take up our crosses, and experience daily the death and resurrection of Christ. Pray that we would cling close to the Way, Truth, and Life as we wonder how to serve the people of Easton and find ourselves inadequate. Pray that we would see that Jesus’ heart for the World includes those closest to us. Pray that we would not desire recognition or praise or affirmation, but would rest in the “Yes” that is ours in Christ. And, please, pray that we would have strength in the heat!
Thank you, sincerely!